Lymphatic drainage is a holistic approach to promoting a healthy lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a complex network of vessels and ducts that move fluid throughout the body and is responsible for moving toxins away from healthy cells and carrying germ-fighting materials to cells when they are under attack by viruses. Though fluid moves through the lymphatic system, it does not have its own pumping mechanism. Lymphatic drainage is a type of therapy that is intended to help the body produce a free-flowing lymphatic system.
Using exacting anatomical science and distinctive manual processes, LDT enables practitioners to detect the specific rhythm, direction, depth and quality of the lymph flow anywhere in the body. From there they can use their hands to perform Manual Lymphatic Mapping (MLM) of the vessels to assess overall circulation and determine the best alternate pathways for draining body-fluid stagnations.
Therapists work with flat hands, using all the fingers to simulate gentle, specific wave-like movements. These subtle manual maneuvers activate lymph and interstitial fluid circulation as well as stimulate the functioning of the immune and parasympathetic nervous systems. It is shown that when these actions are accomplished, the results can be:
- Reduction in edemas (swelling) and lymphedemas of various origins
- Detoxification of the body
- Regeneration of tissue, including burns, wounds and wrinkles
- Anti-aging effects
- Relief of numerous chronic and subacute inflammations, including sinusitis, bronchitis and otitis
- Relief of chronic pain
- Reduction in the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
- Antispastic actions to relieve conditions such as muscle hypertonus and some forms of constipation
- Deep relaxation to aid insomnia, stress, loss of vitality and loss of memory
- Alleviation of adiposis and cellulite tissue
Lymphatic drainage therapy consists of a manual massage, performed by a lymphatic drainage therapist. A lymphatic drainage massage primarily focuses on specific lymph nodes and points of the body, as well as the natural flow of the lymphatic system. Proponents of lymphatic drainage believe that the process will reduce blockages of the lymphatic system, which in turn promotes a healthier body.
When the lymphatic system becomes blocked, lymph nodes may become swollen. Further, the system fails to remove the bodys toxins and can even affect white blood cell counts. Lymphatic drainage is believed to reduce blockage, which promotes health in the lymphatic system as well as other bodily systems such as the circulatory, respiratory, muscular and endocrine systems. Some therapists believe that lymphatic drainage therapy can also reduce allergies, menstrual cramps, colds and other viruses.