This amazing form of lymphatic drainage allows for movement of the deep lymphatic channels unlike traditional forms of superficial lymphatic massage and compression.
Patients who suffer from lymphedema secondary to cancer, post-op complications (post lymph node dissection), chemotherapy, radiation, trauma, or chronic illnesses (asthma)- all benefit immensely from Lymphatic Therapy.
We’ve seen some remarkable success using this therapy alongside Immunotherapy and Cancer-Fighting protocols. Our state-of-the-art cancer-fighting regimen is part of a tailored and dynamic anti-cancer approach that has helped reduce the symptoms of cancer care in a safe and welcoming environment.
The lymphatic system
The lymphatic system is an interconnected network of tissues and organs that work to eliminate toxic and unwanted materials from the body. Its primary function is to facilitate the migration of lymph, a fluid containing fighter and killer cells, throughout the body. The lymphatic vessels could become congested when the body sustains an injury, blood clots, or misuse. Congestion could also be caused by the fluid accumulation in the lymphatic vessels after the surgical removal of lymph nodes. This condition is referred to as Lymphedema.
What is lymphedema
Lymphedema will occur only in the areas in proximity to the surgical site. Your surgeon may then recommend a lymphatic drainage massage if your surgery involves your lymph nodes. It is always advisable to seek the services of a trained and certified masseuse or a physical therapist to perform lymphatic therapy.
However, people suffering from the following conditions are advised against lymphatic massage.
- History of blood clots and stroke
- Congestive heart failure
- Liver problems
- Kidney problems
- Current infections
Lymphedema caused by the fluid build-up is painful and causes heaviness, and brings discomfort to the affected area. When it reaches stage 3, it can be devastating and can cause a lack of mobility; and significant depression. It can then complicate healing. Lymphatic therapy, a technique used to reduce lymphedema, can bring some relief.
The technique of lymphedema
Lymphatic therapy is a massage technique used to clear congestion, Lymphedema, or any other kind, from the lymphatic vessels. This treatment technique is also referred to as Lymphatic Drainage Therapy or Deep Lymphatic Therapy.
In this therapy, gentle pressure gets applied by the therapist in the area of congestion. It helps remove waste fluids accumulated in the damaged area.The massage should include all body parts, apart from the affected area, to help drain the fluid properly.Indeed, you can prevent fluid build-up to some extent using a compression sleeve. But it is recommended to go for therapy to get relief from lymphedema.
Clearing and reabsorption
There are two stages of lymphatic massage- clearing and reabsorption. The clearing process involves giving gentle pressure to the affected area, thus creating a vacuum. Reabsorption is the next process wherein it helps create a flushing effect and prepares the spot to bring in more fluid.
The clearing is the first stage of lymphatic therapy. There are different areas involved in the clearing process – the supraclavicular lymph area, which is located under the collarbone, axillary lymph area, which is located under the arms and inside the elbows. You can repeat the clearing process as many as ten times a day. And it is always advisable to massage not only the side having lymphedema but also both the sides of the body. The fluid gets trapped in the superficial skin structure.
And you work on this part of the body during lymphatic therapy. So, you only have to apply gentle pressure during this process.
It is necessary to follow some guidelines while performing the clearing process. It gets done in various stages. You should make sure you start with clearing the supraclavicular area, followed by the axillary area, and end it with the inner elbow area. Now the system is clear to let the fluid drain up. After performing the massage on the upper body parts, you can move to the legs. Start the massage with the point that is farthest to the injured area, and then work your way down from the upper leg area to the knee and ankle. Putting gentle pressure, you can stretch the skin from the leg toward the hip. With this, you are helping open up the lymphatic vessels and allow the excess fluid to drain into the lymph nodes situated in the groin area.
Massaging the upper body and the legs completes the clearing process.
It is the second stage of lymphatic therapy. In this process, there are different steps involved. You begin with the farthest point of the affected area. You should gently massage the upper part of the body, moving from the farthest point toward it. With a sweeping motion, you put just enough pressure to shift the skin surface. Then you move to the legs. It starts with giving a pumping motion behind the knee. It creates a passage to move the fluid from the lower part of the leg up to the knee. Then you move to the lower leg part. Here you stretch the skin with an upward motion and then release it. Continue doing this movement from the knee to the ankle and then the feet. End the process by massaging the toes gently, consequently pushing the fluid upwards.
Measuring the effectiveness of the massage
If you regularly perform the lymphatic massage, your lymphedema should not get worse. It is essential to keep yourself well hydrated. You can do this by drinking an ample amount of water. It helps flush out the waste materials from the tissues and boy.
You ought to opt for a massage or any therapy from a certified therapist to get the best results out of undergoing this therapy.