MS Manuela Shala

What are the benefits of lymphatic drainage?

Lymphatic drainage or lymphatic drainage massage is one of women's best friends, giving immediate and long-term results, provided it is performed correctly. If you are not yet familiar with it, here is its history, function and special features.

What is lymphatic drainage and what is its origin?

Lymphatic drainage, or lymphatic drainage, or even lymphatic drainage massage, is special for two main reasons: its holistic approach places it between aesthetics and medicine, as it acts on the flow path of the lymphatic vessels with benefits such as increased capillary circulation; it also has an important draining or anti-oedematous action, as it eliminates stagnant liquids by promoting lymphatic circulation. The lymphatic vessels are very delicate, which is why a very special technique is required that does not involve the use of force, but gentle, slow, rhythmic, harmonious movements aimed at recreating the water balance in the tissues.

massage-linf drainage
Lymph drainage is a specialised massage that is performed on the body or face, with pressure and depression movements exerted by the fingers along the path of the lymphatic channels.

The best known and most widespread manual lymph drainage technique is the so-called Vodder method, named after its inventor. Historically, the Danish biologist Emil Vodder, in the 1930s, is credited with developing a protocol aimed precisely at promoting the transit of lymph through the body.

The lymphatic system

The lymph, a fluid very similar to blood composed of water, salts, proteins and lymphocytes, flows through each body district, cleansing it of metabolic waste accumulated in the tissues. Along its path are various 'stations', the lymphatic ganglia, where the lymph is freed from the collected toxic residues and circulates back into the tissues.

The lymphatic and venous systems are very similar
The lymphatic and venous systems are very similar

The path of lymph in our body is comparable to that of blood in the circulatory system, the only difference being the way the fluids flow. In the circulatory system, we have a motor that continuously acts as a pump, the heart, while in the lymphatic system, the movement of the lymph is given by the contractionof the musclesby squeezing the contents of the vessels. And it is precisely in order to help our lymphatic system that manual lymph drainage treatments are practised: they promote the flow of lymph in the lymphatic system.

What the lymphatic drainage massage is for

Lymph drainage is currently used mainly to combat cellulite and improve the appearance of the lower limbs.

lymphatic drainage-cellulite
Lymph drainage is useful for fighting cellulite.

The first consequence of good lymphatic drainage is in fact the disappearance of swelling, the elimination of excess fluid (immediately) and the gradual reduction of cellulite. This is why it enjoys a good reputation, especially among women.

The basics of lymphatic drainage massage

The mechanism by which lymph drainage works is explained by theacceleration of the lymph flow, an increase in the lymphatic current that 'carries away' harmful substances from the wound area and, with the arrival of fresh lymph, nutrients with plastic and reconstructive action also reach the area.

The effect is an improvement in microcirculation with the release of excess interstitial fluid from the tissues, improved cell oxygenation and an acceleration of the filtration-reabsorption processes in the blood capillaries. Good nourishment of the body tissues enables cell turnover, enhancement of immunological resources and improvement of the aesthetic condition. Lymph drainage favours all these conditions and is therefore useful not only in cases of water retention and cellulite, but in all cases of oedema and blood stagnation, following surgery, and in pathologies in which it is necessary to strengthen the immune system.

The lymph drainage massage strengthens the immune defences by promoting the production of lymphocytes and their passage into the lymph and blood, where they exert their action against infections. (@ IngImage)

The manual action of lymphatic drainage (in particular the technique of Manual Lymphatic Drainage according to Vodder), exercised through slow, rhythmic movements, pushes the lymph into the lymphatic stations, thus preventing the stagnation of liquids and toxins in the tissues.This technique, which is also extremely relaxing, performs another extremely important task, which concerns the renewal of the intercellular or interstitial fluid. The continuous supply of 'fresh' lymph is, in fact, indispensable so that the cells, better nourished, can renew themselves and live longer. Thisfacilitates the repair of tissues compromised by wounds or irritative processes and, consequently, also improves their aesthetic appearance.

The release of excess interstitial fluid from the tissues also results in improved cellular oxygenation and accelerated filtration and reabsorption processes in the capillaries and blood. The improvement of microcirculation is exploited in the treatment of cellulite, along with the anti-oedematous effect. Ideally, it is used as an adjunct to mesotherapy treatments: applied at least one or two days beforehand, it prepares the area to be treated and then, after one to two days, allows the injected liquid to be absorbed into the surrounding areas.

Manual lymph drainage

With manual lymphatic drainage, complete and immediate tissue regeneration is achieved, as well as a lasting effect of reducing oedema and very often also pain. In addition, the neurovegetative system is rebalanced and overall psychophysical relaxation is achieved. In addition, the body's own immune defences are strengthened, as massaging the lymph nodes encourages the release of lymphocytes, which pass into the lymph and then into the blood, increasing resistance against infection.

The correct drainage of the lymph depends entirely on the hand and no device can replace the manual approach.
The correct drainage of the lymph depends entirely on the hand and no device can replace the manual approach.

Due to its manifold effects, manual lymph drainage is used in the scientific treatment of the lymphatic system for the resolution of oedema in post-operative sequelae, in cases of venous insufficiency, in the treatment of cellulite and various lymphoedematous, post-traumatic, pregnancy, etc. pathologies.


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