Video Course: Lymphatic System: An Essential Guide to an Underrated System

Ruth Werner, Megan Belanger

This course has closed captioning. Click "cc" on the video player to view.

Join Ruth Werner and Megan Belanger for a fascinating look at the underrated lymphatic system, with special emphasis on its structures and functions. Learn the vital role each of the system’s components plays, including lymph, lymphangions, nodes, trunks, ducts, and the cisterna chyli. We’ll also take an in-depth look at multiple lymphatic-related pathologies, including lymphangitis, lymphadenopathy, lymphoma, cardiovascular and traumatic edema, and lymphedema. This course was featured during the 2022 ABMP CE Summit: Lymph.

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Course Outline
  • Interstitial fluid
  • Lymphatic system overview
  • Lymph
  • Lymphatic vessels: initial vessels, precollectors, collecting vessels, trunks, ducts
  • Other lymphatic structures: nodes, spleen, tonsils, adenoids, bone marrow, thymus, Peyer’s patches, appendix
  • Lymphatic system function: formation of lymph, uptake, flow, external pumps
  • Watersheds and lymphotomes
  • Pathologies: lymphangitis, lymphadenopathy, lymphoma, edema, lymphedema
Learning Objectives

Having viewed the online massage therapy CE course, participants will be able to:

  • List the components of the lymphatic system.
  • Describe the flow of lymphatic fluid in the body.
  • Describe the importance of lymphatic flow to a person’s health.
  • Describe the lymphatic system’s role in edema.
  • Identify at least three pathologies of the lymphatic system.
  • Define lymphedema and its effects on clients.
Ruth Werner

Ruth Werner is an award-winning educator, writer, and retired massage therapist with a passionate interest in massage therapy research and the role of bodywork for people who struggle with health. Her groundbreaking textbook, A Massage Therapist's Guide to Pathology is now in its 7th edition and is published by Books of Discovery. Werner is a columnist for Massage & Bodywork magazine and Massage New Zealand.  She teaches continuing education workshops all over the world and hosts the “I Have a Client Who …” podcast on the ABMP Podcast Network. Reach her at www.ruthwerner.comLearn more from Ruth Werner through ABMP's Pocket Pathology quick-reference app with key information on nearly 200 common pathologies!

Megan Belanger

Megan Belanger, LMT, CLT, is the founder of One River Massage Therapy, offering oncology massage, lymphedema and lipedema care, scar rehabilitation, and occupational therapy services in the Boston area. She is the founder of Touch of Kindness, a pay-it-forward fund that helps provide low- and no-cost oncology massage and lymphatic treatment for people with cancer, cancer histories, lymphedema, and lipedema. As a teaching assistant for Tracy Walton & Associates, Megan trained oncology massage therapists and she currently offers mentoring in oncology massage and manual lymphatic drainage. She is the creator of the educational comic strip Under Your Skin and the illustrator of “Understanding Lymphedema: Keeping the Train on Track,” written by Dr. Dhruv Singhal of the Boston Lymphatic Center and sponsored by the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN). Learn more at

Topics and Techniques

This online massage therapy CE course is available to you on demand to access, learn, and earn CE whenever and wherever it’s most convenient for you!


Visit the ABMP Education Center FAQ page for a full list of resources.

Q: Is this CE course approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) for CE credit?
A: Yes! All of the courses are approved under ABMP’s NCBTMB Approved Provider account (451086-09).

Q: How do I earn a CE certificate for this video-based course?
A: After you complete the webinar video, a quiz will appear on the page. Earn a CE certificate by scoring 70% or higher on the course quiz.

Q: Can I earn a CE certificate for this course more than once?
A: Learners can earn one CE certificate for each course.

Q: How do I access my CE certificates?
A: CE certificates are available on your “My CE Transcripts” page and on the course page. Visit your “My CE Transcript” page by clicking “My CE” on the navigation bar at the top of your screen.

Copyright Statement
All of the ABMP courses contain materials that are proprietary to ABMP. None of the course material may be used without the express written permission of ABMP. Materials may include, but are not limited to, video, audio, images, documents, and slides. Course materials are only for the use of students enrolled in this course and may not be shared publicly or shown to groups. Unauthorized retention, duplication, distribution, or modification of copyrighted materials is strictly prohibited by law. Check your state’s defined scope of practice for massage therapy before practicing any new modalities or techniques.


"This course was clearly communicated and a deeper-than-surface dive into the workings of the lymphatic system.:

"Super informative and comprehensive course that helped me understand the lymph system quite thoroughly in many ways I didn't understand. It was engaging and had great slides and quality audio. Thank you!"

"Thank you so very much Ruth and Megan for an absolutely fabulous presentation. You made it easy to understand!"