Lymphatic drainage, as we know it today, is a gentle massage that uses light, rhythmical hand movements to enable drainage of the lymph. The therapist carrying the massage must be well informed about the human anatomy and the lymphatic system in general. Dr Emil Vodder is said to be the father of lymphatic drainage. In 1932, Dr. Vodder and his wife were treating patients who suffered from chronic colds. He noticed that the patient’s lymph nodes were swollen around the neck. He massaged the swollen lymph nodes and positive results were yielded. His discovery was not immediately accepted because in those times, tampering with the lymphatic system was a taboo. Dr. Vodder and his wife went on to teach this technique to other therapists. It was named Manual Lymph Drainage after it gained popularity among therapists.
BENEFITS OF LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE
The lymphatic system performs the very important function of cleansing body cells. This is a vital function without which life would not continue. The damage of lymph nodes and lymph vessels- a condition called lymphoedema- can lead to extreme swelling of limbs. This immobilizes the patient with such a condition and leaves him in pain. Lymphatic drainage serves to manage this condition. Although other methods such as acupuncture cupping are known to enhance blood circulation and cause relaxation, lymphatic drainage does this even better. Benefits of lymphatic drainage include:
• Relaxation: lymphatic drainage has a calming effect on the autonomic nervous system. This relaxes not only the body, but also blood vessels.
• Quickening healing: body tissues may remain swollen after surgery. Lymphatic drainage drains these tissues and induces faster healing.
• Lymphatic drainage also reduces headaches by enhancing blood circulation.
• Lymphatic drainage boosts the immune system.
LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE LOOK ALIKES
There a few methods known to enhance blood flow. One of them is hydrogen peroxide intravenous therapy. Here, hydrogen peroxide is introduced in the body to provide singlet oxygen, which kills anaerobic organisms in the body while supporting the aerobic ones, and oxidizes toxic waste from the body into substances that the liver can handle easily.
An extract from the milk thistle seed is known to contain silymarin. Milk thistle seed extract benefits include oxidizing toxic waste and protecting the liver against injury.
However, the fact that lymphatic drainage is a simple massage makes it the best option in managing a wide range of body conditions.