Our lymphatic system is an open system that works to move waste toward our heart so that it may enter our bloodstream and eventually be expelled from our bodies. Unlike blood, which is pumped through our veins and arteries by our heart, lymphatic fluid is pushed through our bodies through movement. When we move, our muscles contract, and lymphatic fluid is squeezed through our vessels where valves help to control the direction of the fluid toward our heart. Lymphatic Drainage Massage helps this process along and can reduce the buildup of interstitial fluids in our body. Lymphatic Drainage is especially beneficial to those of us suffering from an injury, surgery, or even cancer treatment.
Lymphedema in Cancer Patients
It is estimated that up to 25 percent of breast cancer patients who have had their lymph nodes surgically removed from their armpit area will experience lymphedema. Other surgeries including colon surgery, prostate surgery, or radiation treatment for other cancers also may lead to lymphedema. You should consult with your doctor following any surgery or cancer treatment to find out if and when massage therapy is appropriate for your particular condition.
Lymphatic Drainage for Edema
Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage is a gentle, non-invasive therapy often used to treat edema and the pain and discomfort that often accompanies it. Our bodies contain about 500 lymph nodes that filter and purify the lymphatic fluid (lymph) in our bodies and ultimately empty it into our bloodstream. Injury, surgery, infection, cancer and radiation can all cause lymphatic fluid accumulation. This accumulation causes swelling (edema) and is most profound in our extremities. During lymphatic drainage massage, the therapist uses light pressure in the natural direction of lymph flow toward the heart, stretching the tissue directly under the skin against the fascia without affecting the underlying muscle. In many cases the results can be almost immediate. By the end of the massage session the swelling can be greatly reduced, if not gone altogether.
Lymphatic Drainage After Tummy Tuck
After having a tummy tuck procedure, post-surgical lymphedema is extremely common. It is the body’s natural response to trauma and often causes bruising, swelling, scar tissue formation, and overall discomfort. One of the most effective ways to treat post-surgical lymphedema following a tummy tuck Is with lymphatic drainage massage. It can help minimize scar formation, reduce bruising, stimulate the immune system, and aid in the removal of metabolic waste, bacteria, and other fluid from the tissue.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage After Liposuction
Doctors often prescribe Lymphatic Drainage Massage after liposuction and other surgical procedures to make sure their patients get the best possible results from their procedure. Lymphedema following a liposuction procedure is caused by inflammation and the trauma from the surgical instruments (cannula) used in the procedure. When the cannula is inserted under the skin, it creates canals or channels in the tissue that fill up with fluid resulting in swelling. Lymphatic drainage Massage helps to mobilize the fluid by gently pumping it back into the lymphatic vessels. This can reduce swelling and ease the discomfort that accompanies it. If lymphatic drainage massage is not applied following liposuction, it is very possible that the patient could develop fibrosis (a permanent hardening of the tissue) or a seroma (pocket of clear serous liquid) could form.
We Can Deliver Lymphatic Drainage Massage to You
At Massage Fort Myers, Inc., we provide Lymphatic Drainage Massage at our well-equipped office, but we will be glad travel to your home following surgery should you be unable or unwilling to travel to our office. It is imperative, following any surgery, that you get your doctor’s permission before receiving any massage therapy.