Lymphatic drainage is the natural function of the lymphatic system. It is an essential part of our immunity. If this function isn't working properly, it can cause a build-up of fluid in tissues as well as more serious medical problems like lymphagitis and lymphoma.
Most of the conditions caused by poor lymphatic drainage are treatable, but others require immediate medical care. Some conditions can easily spread throughout the body. Therapeutic massage called Lymphatic Drainage Therapy (LDT) helps this system to work better and to alleviate some of the conditions associated with the lymphatic system.
Problems with Lymphatic Drainage
Since the lymphatic system plays such an important part in immunity, problems with lymphatic drainage can cause very serious health conditions. When lymph vessels or nodes are damaged or missing, the fluid cannot move quickly away from an area of the body. This causes it to pool up in the surrounding body tissue and causing it to swell. This is called lymphedema. If the fluid remains in the tissue for too long, it can prevent the transportation of oxygen from the bloodstream to the tissue's cells. This interferes with wound healing.
If the swelling is not treated it can lead to:
* hardening of muscle tissue
*a loss of movement in the area
*a bacterial infection called lymphagitis.
This condition causes the lymph vessels to become swollen, inflamed, and painful, and red lines may appear along the skin above the vessels. This requires immediate medical attention to prevent it from spreading throughout the body. It is generally treated with painkillers, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medications.
People with severely compromised lymphatic drainage may also have lymphoma, a type of cancer. There are about 40 different types of this cancer, which are generally divided into Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. People with this condition have a compromised immune system and are typically more prone to infections than others. Also they may have headaches; night sweats, and unexplained weight loss.
Lymphatic Drainage Therapy
LDT consists of specific movements that are used to lightly push lymph through the system. This helps it to drain out of the tissues and move lymph throughout the body. This treatment is commonly used to help with lymphedema, which can be caused by heart problems, wearing tight-fitting clothing, and injuries like sprains and fractures. It also sometimes occurs as a side effect of chemotherapy and surgery to remove breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
During a LDT treatment, a massage therapist gently presses and moves his or her hands along the body in specified directions. If a person's arms and legs are swollen, then the massage therapist may rub both sides of his or her neck with a downward motion.
*generally not suitable for people with certain types of cancer, since it could encourage the cancer to spread throughout the body
*serious heart disease or circulatory problems
* internal bleeding.
Some massage therapists still do lymphatic drainage with people with these conditions, but may only work with one part of the body instead of all of it.
This treatment is generally used together with other treatments like:
*exercising to promote circulation
People can also learn to do it at home, but should only be trained by a medical massage therapist and should only do it after speaking to a healthcare provider. This prevents any complications.
To book your Shiatsu Massage or Remedial Massage ring Cheryl Young and Graham Honeyman at Rainbow Bay Massage on 0419609232 in Tweed Heads Coolangatta Gold Coast
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