What is lymphatique drainage ?
Lymphatic drainage is a gentle massage technique designed to stimulate the flow of lymph and detoxify the body while strengthening the immune system. In manual lymphatic drainage, the therapist moves her fingers and palms across your body in the same direction as the lymphatic circulation, gradually increasing then decreasing pressure.
Danish physiologist Thomas Bartholin was the first to discover lymph in 1654. This colourless liquid, whose job it is to feed and clean cells, represents a remarkable 15% of our body weight. When the flow of lymph in the lymphatic vessels is obstructed, there is a toxic effect: the body weakens and health problems arise.
Lymphatic fluid, which is propelled through the body by contractions of the muscles and blood vessels, drains unwanted toxins and cellular debris. The lymph nodes, particularly those found in the groin, armpits and sides of the neck, work to purify the lymph before redirecting it into the bloodstream.
Unlike the circulatory system, which has a heart, the lymphatic system doesn't have its own pump. It is slower to eliminate toxins, which can cause swelling.
What are the 2 main lymphatic drainage techniques ?
There are two main techniques: the Vodder method and the Leduc.
- Dr. Emil Vodder's technique dates back to 1932 when he developed it as a way to treat chronic sinusitis. He then used it on other conditions, as a therapeutic and aesthetic treatment.
- The Dr. Albert Leduc technique is based on Vodder's work, but involves some slightly different maneuvers. Moreover, this approach uses pressure therapy devices for medical lymphatic drainage (MDL): the patient puts on long boots, which are connected to an air compressor, exerting pressure simultaneously at various locations.
When isw lymphatic drainage appropriate ?
- Circulatory problems
- Stretch marks
- Heavy feeling in your legs
- Swollen ankles
- Reduced circulation
- Premature aging
- Desire to lose weight (keep reading to learn why)
- Glandular trouble
- Insect bite, food allergy, fungus
- Following an operation or a shock to the body
Does it work ?
Some people with circulatory problems, swelling or heaviness see results quickly, sometimes even immediately after treatment.
They feel lighter, sleep better and have more energy. Cellulite will not disappear in just one treatment, but we will feel a difference. The therapist may recommend exercises to do at home.
It's important to start by discussing our needs with our massage therapist, and sometimes, as during pregnancy, to seek the advice of a physician before receiving treatment. There are times, though, where lymphatic drainage alone is not enough, and we will need to meet with other therapists for the best results.
Lymphatic drainage works best when combined with wich other therapy ?
For certain lymphatic problems, lymphatic drainage works best when combined with medicinal herbs, recommended by a qualified herbalist, who will consider our overall health and may also suggest other lifestyle choices.
For circulatory problems, acupuncture can bolster lymphatic drainage by stimulating the circulatory system and any affected organs.
For weight loss, we recommend meeting with a nutritionist for personalized information on food and portion size. Lymphatic drainage is only one step towards weight loss. To succeed, you will need to adopt a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
For swelling in a specific part of the body, we recommend osteopathy, to remove tension and rebalance the entire body. Combined with lymphatic drainage, it helps the body return towards health.
In all these cases, homeopathy may also be a good complementary therapy. Glandular disorders, edema, cellulite, varicose veins, circulatory problems, heavy legs syndrome, premature aging and other problems of any kind are indicators of our overall state. Our bodies are telling us that something is wrong. We don't feel well! Homeopathy can help restore our energy, and, when combined with lymphatic drainage, may help us achieve our treatment goals faster.
Can Lymphatic drainage help me lose weight ?
Lymphatic drainage was not developed as a weight loss method. (If it was, we'd go for treatment all the time!) It simply helps lymph resume its normal flow.
Because lymph carries toxins and cellular debris, blockages weaken the body. Lymphatic drainage is a good first step to a new lifestyle. We suddenly feel better, our bodies work as they should and we feel less congested. But regular physical activity and healthy eating are still essential to losing weight. When we move, we releases toxins, naturally activating the flow of lymph. Exercising helps us to maintain the benefits of our massage over a longer period of time. It also helps prevent new blockages from forming.
Anyone wishing to receive lymphatic drainage following surgery and/or for a major circulatory problem must have medical authorization.