Lymphatic drainage is also known as lymphatic massage and was initially started in Germany to address the accumulation of fluid that may arise following the removal of lymph nodes. This condition is known as lymphedema. The condition can occur at birth, at puberty or even in adulthood. The condition could affect up to four limbs and other body parts. The cause of lymphedema is not known.
It is estimated that 25% of patients with breast cancer suffer from lymphedema after lymph nodes are removed in the armpit area following a surgery. The condition may also arise in other parts such as legs if during surgery the lymph nodes are removed. Lymphatic drainage therapy other than for lymphedema conditions is not recommended by medics. For a holistic healing, proper medical advice should be consulted before engaging in lymphatic drainage therapy.
Causes and symptoms of lymphatic obstruction
A healthy lymphatic unit means that the body can maintain strong immunity, and, as a result, the body can heal itself. The lymphatic system should be able to remove dead blood cells, excess fluids, cellular debris, cancer cells and toxins. A lymphatic system could become obstructed due to factors such as Drugs, surgery or injuries, air pollution, poor nutrition, tight clothes and many others.
There are several factors that would indicate that your lymph system requires cleansing or lymphatic drainage therapy. Such factors include; Breast challenges, swelling with edema, acute pain, inflammatory conditions, and stress and cellulite tissue. Lymphedema has been found to be common after cancer surgery. With this regard, integrative medicine center cooperate with oncology team to offer a comprehensive care plan based on evidence to ensure good health and quality clinical results.
Recommendations to the patients
Together with lymphatic drainage therapy, patients are often encouraged to perform self-massage with guideline from their therapist. Patients can also have special simple exercises aimed at improving the flow of lymph fluid from the affected limbs. Other patients are encouraged to put on compression garments such as stockings or long sleeves. These clothes are designed to press the leg or the arm to boost lymphatic flow from the limbs.
Other therapists recommend wrapping the affected area to boost fluid flow to the trunk. Pneumatic compression could also be employed. It applies gentle pressure to the affected area, and, as a result, the lymphatic fluid is moved away thereby reducing swelling. Some conditions that would necessitate lymphatic cleansing can also be treated with chinese herbal remedies.