Lymphoedema is a swelling of a body part usually occurring in the extremities. It can also occur in the face, neck, abdomen or genitals and is the result of abnormal accumulation of protein-rich edema fluid in the affected area. Lymphoedema is classified as either Primary which may be present at birth but more often develops later in life without obvious cause, or Secondary Lymphoedema which is much more common and is the result of surgery or is a side effect of radiation therapy for cancer.
Lymphoedema and Massage – The Basic Facts
The human body’s lymphatic system is a wonderful thing. It runs throughout the body, parallel to the veins and works continuously to remove to remove all kinds of unwanted substances from the body – toxins, excess fluids, bacteria and excess proteins.
Because it is so crucial to normal body function when the lymphatic system is not working properly its not a good thing. When the lymph nodes or lymph pathways are insufficient, have been damaged or even removed after surgery then lymph fluid cannot make its way through the body in the way it should. This can result in swollen, painful tissue, the immune system can become overwhelmed with excess bacteria, increasing the risk of infection and excess tissue growth – called fibrosis – can occur, limiting movement.
Lymphoedema can be treated and often a part of that treatment is lymphatic drainage massage. This special massage technique is designed to stimulate the nearby lymphatic channels in order to help the fluid trapped in the affected area to flow freely again, reliving many of the worst symptoms of lymphoedema.
Is Lymphatic Drainage Massage Safe for All Lymphoedema Patients?
If a patient has had recently surgery that has affected the lymph nodes in some way then lymphatic drainage massage may not be advisable and it is always wisest to receive clearance from your doctor before you begin a massage treatment. Once a patient is given the OK Lymphatic Drainage used as a part of a complete treatment plan can be very effective.
It is very important that you choose a massage therapist who is well trained in the specific art of lymphatic drainage massage. Louise of Massage Central is trained in Lymphoedema treatment, and will happily accept referrals from the medical profession for lymphoedema treatment.