The lymphatic system is a system of fine tubes, similar to blood vessels, throughout the whole body that are involved in the transport of bodily fluids, the removal of toxins and harmful substances as well the fight against infection. The fluid moves through the lymphatic system without being pumped through as the heart pumps the blood.
Lymphatic drainage is used as a holistic therapeutical treatment method aimed at promoting a free flowing lymphatic system throughout the whole body.
The therapy is carried out by a professionally qualified lymphatic drainage therapist. The therapist will perform manual massage focusing on specific lymph nodes and points throughout the whole body. In order to promote the free flow of lymphatic fluid the therapist will use specific rhythmic strokes of the hand – found to be extremely soothing and relaxing by most patients. It is believed by those who advocated this type of treatment that using lymphatic drainage therapy to maintain free flowing lymphatic fluid in the body will reduce any blockages of the system and thereby promotes better overall good health.
Blockages in the lymphatic system
One of the side effects of blockages within the lymphatic system is swollen lymph nodes, as the system struggles to expel harmful substances and toxins from the body the white blood count may also be affected.
Undergoing lymphatic drainage therapy will remove and reduce any blockages within the lymphatic system thereby promoting improving the rate of which harmful toxins are expelled from the body and maintaining a healthy white blood cell count.
A healthy lymphatic system also promotes good health in the bodys other major systems affecting circulation, the respiratory system, skeleton-muscular system and the endocrine system. This in turn will promote a feeling of well being and good health in the individual undergoing lymphatic drainage therapy.
A word of warning
Whilst any individual who experiences persistent swollen glands and/or lymph nodes should seek medical advice in order to rule out any underlying serious medical condition,
therapy is often recommended for various health treatments and as a preventative measure used to maintain good health.
Lympherderma is a condition causing swelling of the arms and/or legs; this is caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system and has been found to be alleviated by drainage of the lymphatic system. Practitioners also believe that the therapy is useful in the treatment of some allergies, menstrual cramps, various viral illnesses, and the common cold.
Manual lymphatic therapy is often recommended to patients undergoing treatment for cancer – the intense massage enables excess lymph fluid to drain away from the swollen areas thereby easing pain and encouraging normal drainage from the healthy glands. A course of treatment may last for over three years with daily or thrice weekly massage sessions. The course may be repeated after a few months and is generally accompanied by specialist breathing exercises.
Research indicates that some simple lifestyle changes will also promote a free flowing, healthy lymphatic system, these changes include –
- Avoiding the use of tight, restrictive clothing, particularly underwear garments.
- Reduction of stress
- Regular exercise
- Eating a healthy, well balanced diet