Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Manual Lymphatic Drainage, also called Lymphatic Drainage Massage, relieves swelling that happens when medical treatment or illness blocks your lymphatic system. Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage involves gently manipulating specific areas of your body to help lymph move to an area with working lymph vessels.
How are lymphatic drainage massages done?
A manual lymphatic drainage massage is a two-step process:
- Clearing: This step releases lymphatic fluid in your tissues.
- Reabsorption: This step moves your lymphatic fluid to your lymph nodes.
Are there other ways to remove lymphatic fluid from my tissues?
Some people benefit from a mechanical process. In this process, you put a sleeve on the swollen arm or leg. The sleeve is attached to a pneumatic pump that pulsates and helps your lymph to drain from your tissues to your lymph nodes. We also have a mechanical lymphatic drainage device in our Beaverton office called the Ballancer Pro.
What are some conditions that can benefit from lymphatic drainage massage?
Lymphatic drainage massages are often used to relieve lymphedema following breast cancer surgery. Other conditions that benefit from lymphatic drainage massages are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This is ongoing arthritis in your joints causing joint pain, swelling and stiffness.
- Fibromyalgia: This condition causes chronic muscle and joint pain.
- Chronic venous insufficiency: This happens when your leg veins aren’t working effectively, making it hard for your blood to return to your heart from your legs.
- Lipedema: This happens when excess fat accumulates in your lower body, blocking your lymphatic pathway and causing lymphedema.
Are there any risks associated with lymphatic drainage massage?
Generally speaking, lymphatic drainage massage is a safe treatment to relieve lymphedema. There are some conditions and circumstances where lymphatic drainage massage is not recommended:
- You have a heart condition.
- You have kidney failure.
- You have blood clots.
- You have an infection.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re concerned your physical health might be affected by lymphatic drainage massage.
Josh Casey in Our Portland Office is a Certified Manual Lymphatic Drainage Specialist. See bio and booking information below: