Manual lymphatic drainage is a gentle and painless therapeutic massage technique that caters to those who wish to maintain good health. By draining problem areas, the body gains a better immune system resistance.
Manual lymphatic drainage is a massage technique which serves to stimulate the circulation of lymph and interstitial fluid in the body.
This full-body method consists of gentle movements made with the fingers and the palms of the hands. The movements follow the direction of the lymphatic system's circulation. They create a pumping effect of the lymph through pressure changes exerted on the body. In addition, this approach can be combined with the use of pressotherapy technqiues, which allows for simultaneous pressure in various areas.
The lymph circulates in the lymphatic vessels and the ganglia. These filter the waste produced by the body. Unlike the blood system, the lymphatic network is not activated by the heart. So, the lymph has to rely on respiration and body movements to circulate and eliminate waste and toxins from the body. Interstitial fluid is a clear liquid that fills the space between cells and blood capillaries. It brings the nutrients to the cells and releases them of their waste.
A lack of muscular activity and unhealthy body mass index can affect the circulation of the lymph. This lack of activity leads to weakening of immunity and intoxication of the body. In addition, swelling limbs, a heavy feeling in the legs, cellulite and stretch marks are all symptoms of poor lymphatic circulation. Lymphatic drainage serves as an effective way to stimulate deficient lymphatic circulation and counter these undesirable effects.
Lymphatic drainage can encompass an entire treatment on its own, but can also be incorporated into the therapist's techniques throughout a more general massage. Usually, the movements are soft and slow and vary according to the method used, Vodder or Leduc. It is performed with oil or massage gel on the body in the same way as a table massage.
The contraindications are the same as for most techniques: fever, infection, active wounds or other skin issues and a history of cardiac problems. Precautions should be taken in the case of a person with cancer, asthma, kidney failure, hyperthyroidism, low bleed pressure, phlebitis, varicose veins that are large and panful, abdominal surgery or accurate inflammation.