Lymphatic fluid buildup is a condition that happens when there’s a buildup of fluid after lymph nodes/glands have been removed by surgery. Some doctors have found that lymphatic drainage massage benefits were the key to relieving associated swelling and pain. In addition to this condition existing after surgery for breast cancer or mastectomy, it can also be present when someone is born and it can develop in an adult. For reasons yet unknown.
It is estimated that between 1/4 and 1/3 of all breast cancer patients who have surgery on their arm pits will develop the condition that causes this buildup of fluid. The fluid can build up in the armpits, the legs, and other parts of the body. Other surgeries that have led to the development of this condition include surgery for bladder, prostate cancer, and colon surgery. Pain and swelling are common issues related to this condition. This type of massage relieves the buildup of fluid which reduces the symptoms.
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Benefits Of Lymphatic Drainage Massage
While this type of massage is certainly not one of the more popular techniques in the world, there are certainly some health benefits. This kind of massage can also be done on people that haven’t had their lymph nodes taken out as well.
Boosts The Immune System
Lymph drainage massage can not only help reduce inflammation, but also boost the immune system. Which helps fight of infections with antibodies. The immune system can actually weaken if the flow of lymph fluid (infection fighting white blood cells and chyle) slows down too much. So massage helps to move along this clear to white color lymph liquid. Boosting the lymph nodes with antigens. This kind of massage can also reduce symptoms on tonsillitis and bronchitis.
Essentially these lymph get stuck while on their journey to parts of the body. Because they can’t return back to the heart due to being blocked,the legs and arms can swell up as a result. So massage can help un block the lymph for circulation again with the heart to be spread over your body.
The stagnant fluid can also cause pain and muscle spasms. So by massaging with rhythmic movement and hand pressure you can release this stagnant fluid relieving the pain.
The Actual Lymphatic Massage Session
The session will begin with a gentle massage at the surface of the skin around the affected area. The massage specialists will use a series of taps and pushes along with gentle strokes of the skin to help stimulate the built-up fluid into moving along the lymphatic system. This type of massage is very gentle and there is no pain associated with it. The massage will take place over a 40 to 60 minute time frame and will usually be done four or five times a week over a couple of weeks up to a month. There is some evidence to suggest that the greatest amount of swelling will be reduced after the first week of receiving this type of massage.
The Side Effects, If Any
There are many lymphatic drainage massage benefits found with this therapy but there are some circumstances where it’s recommended that a patient seeks the assistance of a doctor. For example, a patient may experience severe swelling and should this happen, it is recommended that they get a doctor’s opinion before continuing with the massage. If the patient develops an infection, then they should discontinue the massage until the infection has cleared up.
Any patient who has blood clotting issues needs to be treated by a doctor and to get the doctor’s recommendation as to whether or not it’s safe for them to receive this type of massage. It can be dangerous to have a lot of fluid moving quickly for those who have congestive heart failure. It is also important that patients pay attention to their body and should they experience any pain during a massage, then they should discontinue the treatment until they seek the advice of a doctor.
When To Avoid Lymph Drainage Massage
Should the massage you are undertaking cause you any pain, stop immediately. Tell the therapist your in pain and to stop the session.
If you are bleeding or have thrombosis
Fever symptoms or an inflammatory disease.
A suspicious not yet diagnosed lump.
What Credentials Are Required For Lymphatic Massage Specialist?
Lymphatic Association of North America is the only governing body and they are the ones that administer certificates of examination. Practitioners are required to be massage therapist, occupational or physical therapist, nurses or physicians and licensed as such. In order to obtain their certification, they will usually take specialized classes on lymphatic massage.
Other Therapies That Can Be Used
It is very commonly recommended that patients perform their own massage therapy in addition to any professional therapy they are receiving. There are also some exercises that can help the lymphatic fluid to move which helps alleviate the build-up. There are also some types of clothing that are designed to aid the flow of lymphatic fluid out of the body’s limbs.
Some doctors may recommend
that help stimulate the movement of fluid. These compression wraps have a pump that inflates intermittently to stimulate the movement of fluid. For many patients these practices are good but anytime someone has problems with blood clotting, diabetes, or high blood pressure they should consult with their physician before beginning any of these therapies. compression wraps
Lymph Nodes Removed But No Build Up
Lymphatic massage is specifically to help a buildup of fluid to start moving properly after the lymph nodes have been removed through surgery. If someone has had surgery that included the removal of their lymph nodes but they are not experiencing a buildup of fluid then this type of massage is not generally needed.
However, while you lymphatic system may be working, it may not be at 100%. So by practicing some self massage techniques at home you can help circulate the lymph fluid better. There are some practitioners that still believe there are lymphatic drainage massage benefits even for those who do not have excessive fluid buildup.
Some of the reported benefits include relief from constipation, insomnia, chronic pain, ear infections, obesity, and even memory loss. Not all of these claims are medically proven but many practitioners and recipients of this therapy have said that it has helped them in these ways. Additionally, it is reported that this type of massage therapy helps patients to heal from surgery faster. Many practitioners say that it helps to detoxify the body and even to regenerate cells and tissue.
Benefits Of Breasts/feeding & Massaging The Lymph Nodes
Mothers of infants who are still breastfeeding have often experienced complications that are often caused by their babies failure to latch properly. This can lead to swelling and pain that ultimately causes the mother to stop breastfeeding. This type of therapy has been demonstrated to help those mothers in relieving those issues. In large part, this massage therapy helps reduce engorgement and alleviates plugged ducts.
It has also been found to help improve the immune system which is often weakened when the lymphatic fluid slows. It is believed that when the fluid begins moving more freely because of the massage therapy that the body creates antibodies that fight off infection. It has also been found that patients reduce the amount of inflammation in their bodies which helps eliminate chronic pain associated with conditions such as arthritis.
One of the biggest health benefits associated with this therapy is how relaxed recipients feel afterward. Massage and the gentle stimulation of lymphatic fluid helps create a feeling of relaxation. This allows the body to work better than it does when under stress.