Lymphatic Drainage

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

Lymph vessels carry 75% of the waste rejected by our cells. One of its main functions is to heal wounds. If lymph begins to circulate poorly due to blockages, vital functions become impaired. This can lead to water retention, cellulite, exhaustion, stretch-marks, and swollen ankles.

 

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When the body stores too much fat, the fatty cells become large, constricting blood and lymph vessels. This “blockage” prevents the drainage of water and toxins. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is especially common in the thighs and buttocks regions.

Uses

img_ld_1Lymphatic drainage can be used to address a wide range of health conditions and assist in healthy body functions. Lymphatic drainage can help patients heal after surgery by reducing swelling and detoxifying the body. It can help improve the immune system by removing blockages preventing the flow of lymphatic materials. It has been used to decrease the appearance of cellulite and assist in breast feeding.

Treatment

Multiple sessions are required for best results. Each patient is treated on a case by case basis. The more severe the lymph blockage, the more sessions required for best results. For a customized treatment plan see your practitioner.

History

In 1936, Dr. Emil Vodder came up with a set of specific hand movements designed to facilitate the movement of lymph. Manual lymphatic drainage was born, and the technique has been perfected for nearly a century.

Method

There are a variety of ways in which lymphatic drainage therapy can be performed. Lymphatic drainage machines use multiple technologies to attack specific problem areas. The use of machines in lymphatic drainage typically provides more powerful results than manual lymphatic drainage massage.

What to Expect

img_ld_4Patients lie down and relax as the therapist prepares the machine. Vacuum systems assist the therapist in draining the lymph. The therapist slides the vacuum tubes along the lymphatic channels following the direction of the lymph. The procedure is not painful and many find it relaxing. Patients can return to normal activity the next day.

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Risks & Side Effects

If you have an infection, fever, serious circulatory or cardiac problems, signs of hemorrhaging, or are an active cancer patient you should not seek lymphatic drainage treatments. Some patients have experienced nausea and vomiting. In some cases bruising can occur where firm pressure was applied.

References:

Rossi AB, Vergnanini AL (July 2000). “Cellulite: a review”. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 14 (4): 251–62.

Milady’s Guide to Lymph Drainage Massage; Ramona Moody French; Delmar/Cengage; 2004

Livestrong.com: “What are the Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage.”

Livestrong.com: “Are There Side Effects of Lymphatic Massage?”