10 Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage

Lymphatic drainage consists of a massage with gentle movements, kept at a slow pace, to prevent the rupture of the lymphatic vessels and which aims to stimulate and facilitate the passage of the lymph through the circulatory system. 

Lymph is a liquid that circulates in the body, cleaning the blood of impurities and playing its immune role, together with the blood antibodies, however, it can accumulate in excess in the tissues, and, in some cases, it can cause swelling and ache.

The main benefits of lymphatic drainage are:

1. Fight swelling

Lymphatic drainage helps to reduce swelling and fluid retention, because, through massage, it helps to drain liquids and toxins to the lymph nodes, facilitating their elimination.

2. Fight cellulite

Since fluid retention contributes to the formation of cellulite, by promoting the elimination of fluids, it is also possible to combat cellulite. However, it is recommended to combine other methods, so that their elimination is more effective.

3. Assist in recovery from injuries

Lymphatic drainage contributes to the recovery of muscle and joint injuries, since it favors muscle toning and promotes tissue oxygenation.

4. Promote healing

Lymphatic drainage helps to reduce edema and improves blood supply, which contributes to faster tissue healing.

5. Reduce bruising

In addition to speed healing, reduced edema and increased blood flow promoted by lymphatic drainage, also contributes to the reduction of bruising.

6. Improve blood circulation

Lymphatic drainage stimulates microcirculation and reduces swelling, which contributes to improving blood circulation, reducing the sensation of heavy legs and preventing the appearance of spider veins.

7. Oxygenate the tissues

The activation of the microcirculation and the elimination of liquids promoted by the lymphatic drainage, contributes to a more efficient tissue oxygenation, since oxygen reaches the cells more easily.

8. Eliminate toxins

The lymphatic system helps the body to eliminate toxins, so the lymphatic drainage, by promoting the transport of liquids to the lymph nodes, makes this process more effective.

9. Improve self-esteem

By reducing fluid retention, lymphatic drainage helps to shape the body, making the person more confident with their body, improving self-esteem and quality of life.

10. Prevent healing adhesions after plastic surgery

Lymphatic drainage favors the organized regeneration of fibers, preventing the scar from sticking together.

Lymphatic drainage should be applied by a competent professional who knows how to use the techniques correctly. The maneuvers that can be used include circulatory finger movements, thumb circles, bracelet pressure and slip, or pumping movement. Drainage can be done in the whole body, or only in a treatment area, depending on the need that the person presents. 

Indications and contraindications of lymphatic drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage can be useful to eliminate any swelling in the face or body that may arise in the most varied situations. When the technique is performed accurately, it allows to eliminate the excess liquid that shows the swelling, returning it to the bloodstream, which after being filtered through the kidneys, can be eliminated in the urine. 

Thus, lymphatic drainage is indicated in the following cases:

  • During the pregnancy;
  • After plastic surgery;
  • After cancer treatment to fight lymphedema;
  • Injuries and trauma to the muscles, tendons or joints;
  • During the menstrual period;
  • After any surgery;
  • In case of cellulite;
  • Due to excessive salt consumption and little water intake.

Lymphatic drainage can be performed with the hands or with the use of specific drainage devices, present in some offices.

Lymphatic drainage should not be performed in the presence of severe acne, grade 3 or 4 because it can worsen the injury, or where there are open wounds, because they can become infected. In addition, after plastic surgery, the technique should only be performed after the plastic surgeon’s release, usually 24 or 48 hours after surgery. 

Is it possible to drain in case of cancer? 

You can perform manual lymphatic drainage with a physical therapist, even in the case of cancer, and even after the removal of lymph nodes, as in the case of breast cancer, for example.

Lymphatic drainage does not spread cancer cells, but it must be done with a specific technique, because the lymphatic system starts to function differently after the removal of lymph nodes, and the poorly applied technique can be harmful to the patient, causing even more discomfort. Thus, although it is possible to perform lymphatic drainage in the case of cancer, caution should be exercised when choosing a professional, and the use of devices or pressotherapy is not advised, as their mode of action cannot be changed, as with the hands. . 

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