Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

What is Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic system is a system of thin tubes (lymph vessels or lymphatic vessels) and lymph nodes that run throughout the body. The Lymphatic system is our front line of defence in fighting bodily infections. It detoxifies the body and transports metabolic waste, excess water, bacteria, viruses and toxins out of the body. The lymphatic system is therefore an important part of our immune system.

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

Lymphatic drainage is a light, rhythmic technique designed to ease congestion in the lymphatic system. Lymphatic vessels remove waste products and carry substances vital to the defence of the body. Lymphatic drainage is both preventative and remedial and can enhance overall well-being.

What Type of Medical Conditions Can it Benefit?

  • Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is especially useful for people who suffer regularly from colds and flu;
  • Glandular Fever, ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome);
  • Migraines;
  • Sinus Problems;
  • Hay Fever and other allergies;
  • Pre/Post Operative cases, in particular where lymph nodes have been removed such as post cancer where lymphatic system is impaired in some way;
  • Post cosmetic surgery;
  • Scarring;
  • Cellulite;
  • Sedentary Lifestyle, or those who want to reduce puffiness or swelling in legs, ankles and eyes;
  • Digestive Problems;
  • Stress, Anxiety, Tension;
  • Acne, Rosacea.

It has been cited as having a positive effect on:

  • Dysfunctional respiratory systems;
  • People with low energy
  • Before and after a long-haul flight

Absolute Contraindications to Manual Lymphatic Drainage:

  • Acute inflammation – caused by bacteria, viruses and poisons are contraindicated. Tissues will be red, hot, and painful with congestion accompanied by fever. Lymphatic drainage will push these substances into the lymph channels before the body has a chance to eliminate them. This way one can spread the toxic substances throughout the body. It is best to wait a few days until the condition is not acute and the body has had a chance to clean up the area.
  • Malignant tumours – there is a fear of spreading the cancer.
  • Thrombosis – can lead to free floating blood clots in the circulatory system.
  • Major heart problems – if the heart is not fully functioning, oedema can be lymphodynamic due to a lack of venous return. Pumping more fluid in the heart it may stress it more than the actual condition.

Relative Indications or Precautions:

  • Kidney problems – check with the physician before treating.
  • Bronchial asthma – this can stimulate the vagus nerve bringing on an attack.
  • Thyroid problems – no treatment around the throat.
  • Medications – fear of increasing the dosage by draining the interstitial spaces.
  • Chemotherapy – fear of increasing the dosage by draining the interstitial spaces.
  • First three months of pregnancy – fear of miscarriage.
  • Removed spleen – recommend shorter session first.
  • Menstruation – Manual Lymphatic Drainage can increase the flow.

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