The Importance of Lymph Drainage For Good Health
The proper functioning of the lymphatic system is critical to our body’s ability to drain fluids, detoxify, regenerate tissues, filter out toxins and foreign substances, and maintain a healthy immune system. It’s a complex system comprised primarily of lymph vessels and nodes working in cooperation to accomplish these tasks.
Unlike the circulatory system, which uses the pumping of the heart to circulate its blood flow, lymph vessels rely upon hundreds of tiny muscular units (lymphangions) contracting throughout the body to propel the lymph. These contractions enable the lymph vessels to transport numerous substances (i.e., proteins, toxins, hormones, fatty acids, immmune cells) to the lymph nodes, which can then process them. The action of these muscular units can be hindered or stopped, however, due to fatigue, stress, lack of physical activity, emotional shock, cold temperatures, infections, substantial swelling, age, chemicals or food additives. When the lymph circulation stagnates, fluids, proteins, cells and toxins accumulate and cellular functioning is significantly compromised. This opens the way to many physical ailments and may hasten the aging process.
How Lymph Drainage Therapy is Performed
The LDT process involves the use of subtle manual maneuvers to aid in the recirculation of the lymphatic flow. Specifically, the therapist works with flat hands, using all the fingers to stimulate wavelike movements. The pressure applied is generally around five grams, or the equivalent weight of a nickel. Using this technique, trained therapists are able to detect the specific rhythm, direction, depth, and quality of the lymph flow anywhere in the body. From there, they can use their hands to perform Manual Lymphatic Mapping (MLM) of the vessels to assess overall lymphatic circulation and determine the best alternate pathways for draining lymph and other body fluids.
The Benefits of Lymph Drainage Therapy
Due to the nature and role of the lymphatic system, LDT can prove beneficial in the correction of numerous conditions, as well as a useful tool in preventive health maintenance. This is why you’ll find a wide range of practitioners using LDT. Among them are medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, doctors of chiropractic, dentists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, lymphedema specialists, massage therapists, bodyworkers, and estheticians.
In essence, Lymph Drainage Therapy works to recirculate lymphatic flow, activate fluid circulation, and stimulate the functioning of the immune system and parasympathetic nervous system. It is shown that when these actions are accomplished, the results may be:
- Reduction in edemas (swelling) and lymphedemas of many origins
- Relief of chronic and subacute inflammation and conditions such as sinusitis, acne, eczema, and allergies
- Immune system stimulation for preventive and therapeutic effects
- Regeneration of tissue from burns and scars (pre- and postsurgical)
- Detoxification of the body
- Relief of chronic pain
- Deep relaxation to aid insomnia, depression, stress, loss of vitality, and loss of memory
- Antispastic actions to relieve conditions such as voluntary or involuntary muscle hypertonus
- Reduction in the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
- Anti-aging effects
- Alleviation of adiposis and cellulite tissue
- Advanced technique for fascia, viscera and joints