What Is Lymph Drainage Massage?

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Lymph drainage massage has become a popular form of massage due to its potential health benefits. This specialized approach focuses on the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system

Understanding the lymphatic system
The lymphatic system consists of blood vessels and nodes that contain lymph, a mixture of proteins, water, waste products and elements of the immune system. Lymph nodes that lie all over the body filter out all these fragments.

The largest nodules are on the neck, abdomen and armpits. They all work together to get "pure" lymph back into the veins that bring blood to the heart.

Lymphedema:Lymphatic drainage massage is used in people with lymphedema, which involves inflammation, usually on one of the legs or arms. Inflammation of the lymph fluid accumulates in the soft tissues due to a genetic disorder, injury, infection, cancer treatment, or surgery. Symptoms of lymphedema include:

Skin changes
Inflammation of the tissue
Weight on the arms
Hardening or thickening of the skin
Recurrent infections

Benefits of lymphatic drainage massage
Lymphedema can be treated with a tight compression bandage or stockings, but a manual lymphatic drainage massage can help improve the benefits.

If lymphedema occurs after mastectomy, which involves the removal of breast tissue to treat or prevent breast cancer, lymphatic drainage massage can help reduce mild to moderate postoperative symptoms.

Treatment of other medical conditions

In addition to lymphedema, lymphatic drainage massage can help treat many health problems. Some conditions are more favorable for massage than others.

Studies have found that lymphatic drainage massage can be beneficial for the following:

Rheumatoid arthritis. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may experience poor lymph flow as the disease goes away. When the tissues become inflamed, the pain in the joints increases, the joints lose their function and the skin changes color. Lymphatic drainage massage can help reduce these late symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition in which the valves or walls of the veins in the legs do not work properly. This makes blood flow back to the heart of the feet. Lymphatic drainage massage can help speed up blood flow in people with CVI.

The massage can improve the feeling of the femoral artery - the large artery in the leg - immediately after the session. It is not clear how long this effect will last or whether the massage will relieve pain and inflammation in the long term. Further research in this area will help shed more light on the effectiveness of this CVI massage technique.

Fibromyalgia. Lymphatic drainage massage can help people with fibromyalgia. This condition causes inflammation of the nerves in the skin, discoloration of the skin and inflammation of the tissues. Massage has been shown to be better than connective tissue massage in treating depression, stiffness and improving viability in people living with fibromyalgia.