Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Supporting the body’s immune system to function properly

Lymphatic Drainage massage helps to improve the flow of lymphatic fluid, and boost the efficiency of your lymphatic system. This system (which is complementary to our circulatory system) is a vitally important part of our immune system. The lymph systems helps fight infections and bacteria, alongside destroying abnormal or old cells, including cancer cells.

For many health reasons, such as illness or disease, surgery, stress or injury, our lymphatic system can be put under greater stress, which reduces the efficiency of lymph fluid being carried to our lymph nodes back to the heart. This can create a build-up of fluid in certain areas, coupled with tender, achy or swollen lymph glands across the body.

Manual Lymph Drainage encourages our lymph vessels to continue to function healthily, which results in lymph fluid – or a build-up of excess lymph fluid – to flow easily to the lymph glands (also known as lymph nodes).

Who can have Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatment?

This treatment is suitable for a wide-range of people who want to look after their immune system and all-round immunity.

It is also extremely beneficial for those:

• About to embark on surgery

• Post-surgery (including cosmetic surgery)

• Cancer-related lymphoedema (fluid retention)

• Pregnancy-related lymphoedema (fluid retention)

• Rheumatoid arthritis

• Fibromyalgia

• Chronic venous insufficiency (your leg veins aren’t working effectively)

• Lipedema (excess fat in the lower body)

• Sudden weight gain with fluid retention

There are a few conditions whereby it is not recommend to commence this treatment, these include: heart conditions, kidney failure, blood clots, you have an infection.

If you are unsure if you fall under any of these contraindication categories, please reach out to us. Often GPs can give you the all-clear for Lymphatic Drainage Massage if you have one of the above conditions, or our experts can sign-post you to the best treatment for you across our services.

How many sessions will I need?

Typically, a course of treatment is recommended to see results, as it can take a while to get the lymphatic system to return to its normal functionality.

It also depends on whether you’ve got lymphedema, have had cancer, are pre/post surgery, or are wanting treatment as part of your preventative healthcare routine.

Normally, patients feel some form of benefit after the first treatment.

Benefits after one treatment can include:

• Feeling lighter, less bloated or sluggish

• Lymph node tenderness is reduced (especially in neck, armpit or groin area)

• Fluid retention in extremities (hands, arms, feet and legs) has begun to improve

• Brain fog, or feeling ‘stuck in your head’ has lessened

• The sensation of ‘fighting the beginning of a bug’ has ceased

• Looking less puffy in the face or neck region

 

Are there any side-effects?

Normally, patients feel some form of benefit after the first treatment.

Benefits after one treatment can include:

• Feeling lighter, less bloated or sluggish

• Lymph node tenderness is reduced (especially in neck, armpit or groin area)

• Fluid retention in extremities (hands, arms, feet and legs) has begun to improve

• Brain fog, or feeling ‘stuck in your head’ has lessened

• The sensation of ‘fighting the beginning of a bug’ has ceased

• Looking less puffy in the face or neck region

For some, side-effects can include feeling more fatigued than normal for up to 1-2 days afterwards, feeling a little more tender in major lymph node areas or needing to pee more frequently. These should subside a few days after treatment.

 

Does Manual Lymphatic Drainage hurt?

For the majority of people, treatment should not hurt at all, in fact many find it to be deeeply relaxing.

For some, especially with fibromyalgia or post-surgery, we will ensure we are avoiding painful areas, or ensuring that wounds have healed adequately before commencing treatment,

Lymphatic Drainage origins

Lymphatic Drainage Massage that we know today, was pioneered in the 1930’s by Danish doctors Emil Vodder and Estrid Vodder. They initially created these techniques to help their patients who were suffering from chronic colds and sinusitis, alongside other immune disorders, after they noticed they had swollen lymph glands (nodes).

After deciding to study the lymphatic system in much greater depth, they developed a gentle, yet effective, series of hand movements to encourage healthy lymph flow and gland health. The result was the chronic colds/sinusitis and immune disorders improved immeasurably in their patients.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE TREATMENT

We will start the healing process from the very first visit. The initial Lymphatic Drainage Massage treatment includes a thorough consultation, medical history, before we start a mini 20-35 minute treatment which forms part of our hands-on assessment. All treatments last 60 minutes, and follow-on treatments include 50 minutes of hands-on treatment time.

First visit (or existing client but new to Lymphatic Drainage)

If you’re new to The Body Mechanic, or it’s your first time having Lymphatic Manual Drainage  at the clinic, we will begin your first 60-minute session with a thorough discussion about your medical history, lifestyle, and current symptoms/concerns. This is a great opportunity for you to ask further questions you might have about the process.

For existing Manual Lymphatic Drainage clients, we will review and assess your progress, and update your records to ensure the latest information is recorded, and that we’re on track to help you.

Physical Assessment

We will ensure that prior to your first Manual Lymphatic Drainage session with us, that your condition is suitable for treatment, and there are no contraindications.

Treat

After either the Initial Consultation or catch-up, we’ll begin with treatment. You will lie face-up on our treatment bench covered with towels). Only the body area being targeted will be exposed, although it is recommended that you are in your underwear (boxers or bra and pants; socks off).

Your physical therapist will then start treatment by using light, systematic strokes towards key lymph node areas, to encourage the drainage of lymph fluid.

Treatment should not hurt, but sometimes there might be mild, bearable discomfort, depending on what condition is being presented.

The session will finish with some relaxation techniques, to further promote your body to reduce stress, inflammation in the body and promote healing.

Aftercare/Follow-up Sessions

It is recommended for the majority of cases to have a small course of treatment in order to see proper improvements, and allow the lymphatic system time to adjust.  We will chat to you about the best plan of action for your condition or health goals going forward at the end of the first treatment.

We will also ensure you’re fully aware of any potential side-effects that may occur 1-2 days post-treatment, so you know what to expect between treatments; although side-effects are minimum, and most patients report benefits straight away.

Recommended for those pre-and-post surgery

Lymphatic Drainage Massage is recommended by many healthcare professionals, GPs and surgeons for those about to undergo surgery, or those who have recently had surgery (including cosmetic surgery).

The gentle, yet effective, nature of this treatment helps to reducing swelling, fluid retention, reduce bruising and can speed up healing.

What can Manual Lymphatic Drainage help with:

• Pre & post surgery (incl. Lipo) 

• Strengthened immune system

• Lipedema (excess fat in lower body)

• Fibromyalgia

• Post-illness or disease

• Sudden increase in weight

• Rheumatoid arthritis

• Chronic venous insufficiency

• Lymphoedema 

• Better sleep

• Supports overall health

 

Did you know?

The fluid circulating in lymphatic vessels appears limpid and clear, and for this reason the word ‘lymph’ was originally derived from the Greek Nymph, indicating a creature associated with clear streams, as well as the Roman deity Lympha – the meaning of spring clear water.

Treatment offered by:

Charlie Lowry-Corry

Charlie Lowry-Corry

HEAD OF MASSAGE THERAPY

Kelly Waites

Kelly Waites

MANUAL THERAPIST & FINAL YEAR STUDENT OSTEOPATH

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