Lymphatic Drainage Therapy involves the use of gentle manual maneuvers to aid in the re-circulation of body fluids. The pressure applied depends on the area and pathology involved. It is very light pressure and trained therapists are able to detect the specific rhythm, direction, depth and quality of the lymph flow anywhere in the body. The lymph work is very pleasurable and induces deep states of relaxation.
The proper functioning of the lymphatic system is important to our body’s ability to drain stagnant fluids, detoxify, regenerate tissues, filter out toxins and foreign substances, and maintain a healthy immune system. The lymph system is complex and is composed of lymph vessels and lymph nodes. (Asdonk,1970, Adair & Guyton, 1982)
Some of the pathologies that are improved by receiving lymph drainage therapy are:
- * Reduction in edemas (swelling)
- * Relief of chronic and sub-acute inflammation and conditions such as acne, eczema and allergies.
- * Immune system stimulation for preventive and therapeutic effects
- * Regeneration of tissues (e.g., from burns and pre- and post-surgical scarring)
- * Detoxification of the body
- * Relief of chronic pain
- * Deep relaxation to aid insomnia, depression, stress, loss of vitality, and loss of memory
- * Anti-spastic actions to relieve conditions such as voluntary or involuntary muscle hypertonus
- * Reduction in the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
- * Alleviation of adiposis and cellulite tissue
After having surgery in 2004 in which my lymph nodes were removed, I developed lymphedema which is a progressive and incurable condition that causes swelling and discomfort. I began receiving lymphatic drainage treatments in 2005 which kept my lymph moving somewhat but I wanted to learn how to work my own lymph system so I started taking classes from a French Physician, Dr. Bruno Chikly who developed “Lymph Drainage Therapy”. My first class was in 2009 and I went on to take the next 2 levels in December of 2009 and February of 2010. I was able to work my own lymph system with only occasional treatments in between and became interested in teaching others with lymphedema issues how to do self care so I became certified in “Complete Decongestive Therapy” from the Academy of Lymphatic Studies in Florida.
I still get occasional treatments from a practitioner in town because it helps me feel better and I am maintaining a lymph system that is not getting worse. I have learned that although it is progressive and incurable; it can be treated and people can lead normal lives. However, if left untreated; it can lead to much greater problems.
The lymph system does not have a pump like the circulatory system does (the heart) but it does move with tiny muscle contractions within the vessels themselves and are vulnerable and can be damaged by trauma, surgery, burns, infections, substantial swelling, fatigue, stress and age. If compromised, it can open the way to many physical ailments and hasten the aging process.
Lymphedema therapy is also a wonderful therapy to have to keep healthy lymph systems even healthier. The lymph system is our disposal for every cell in our body. It finds viruses, bacteria, and unfriendly cells and renders them harmless and those are then returned to blood and filtered by the liver and kidneys.
Our bodies are magical!