Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy
A specific light-touch therapy, Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is a gentle, rhythmic stimulation of the lymph nodes and lymph vessels that can dramatically increase the normal rate of lymph flow. The slow rhythmic strokes move the skin and connective tissue, creating a gentle pumping action that increases flow in the tissues, promoting regeneration.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is an ideal form of therapy for most pre- and post-surgical recovery (with physician permission). Promoting detoxification of the entire body may help reduce fluid retention and edemas; accelerate healing of burns; and minimize bruising and scarring.
When even a single lymph node has been compromised as a result of surgery or radiation, the lymphatic fluid may “lose its course,” lacking the capacity for transporting fluids through that area. This can cause a backup of fluid that leads to swelling and, when left untreated, may develop into Lymphedema. Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy gently assists the flow of lymphatic fluid, encouraging the lymph to find and regain a healthy path.
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- What conditions does lymphatic drainage therapy help support?
- Neurological conditions (Lyme disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease)
- Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)
- Skin conditions (eczema, rosacea)
- Cellulite (with a series and in conjunction with diet changes)
- Poor circulation
- Frequent colds and infections
- Sinus headaches and congestion
- Allergies/hay feverMigraines
- Can this technique also help with anti-aging?
Yes. Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy can provide results similar to a mini-facelift by decreasing puffiness and dark circles; diminishing wrinkles; and releasing tension that is frequently held around the eyes, forehead, and jaw.
- How should I prepare for a session?
- Drink plenty of water or fresh natural juice two to four days before each session.
- Eat lightly, at least on the day of the initial session.
- Avoid heavy, highly processed, and greasy foods.
- How does my clothing affect my lymphatic system?
- Your clothing should be loose and non-restrictive. When you remove your clothes at the end of the day, are there red marks on your skin? If so, it’s time to loosen up your clothes!
- How can I stimulate lymph flow?
- Activate your muscles with regular exercise and stretching. Shoulder rolls can help open up the lymph nodes at the base of your neck, where lymph returns to the blood system.
- Practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing plus visualization to energize your body and mind.
- Swim! Or simply soak in the tub for a while. Compression from the water is one of the best ways to improve your lymph flow. (However, if you have Lymphedema, you should avoid hot temperatures and follow the advice from your doctor.)
- Learn manual lymph drainage and self-care techniques you can do at home from your licensed massage therapist.