The lymphatic drainage consists of a massage with gentle movements, kept a slow pace, to avoid the disruption of the lymphatic vessels and aims to stimulate and facilitate the passage of the lymph through the circulatory system.
The lymph is a fluid that circulates in the body clearing the blood of impurities, playing the role immune along with antibodies from the blood but which may be present between the cells, causing swelling and pain, in some cases.
The main benefits of lymphatic drainage are:
- To combat the swelling and the fluid retention;
- Help in the fight against cellulite;
- Assist in the recovery of muscle and joint injuries;
- Collaborate in the healing process of the tissues;
- Prevent adhesions scarring after plastic surgery;
- Reduce the bruising;
- Improve the blood circulation, venous and lymphatic;
- Oxygenate tissues more effectively;
- To contribute to the elimination of toxins from the body;
- Improve self-esteem and therefore their quality of life.
Lymphatic drainage should be applied by competent professional that uses the techniques correctly. The maneuvers that may be used include movements circulatory with the fingers, the circles with the thumb, pressure and slip in the form of a bracelet, or movement of pumping. The drain can be made in the whole body, or only in an area of treatment, depending on the need that the person has.
Indications and contraindications of lymphatic drainage
Manual lymphatic drainage can be helpful to eliminate any type of swelling in the face or in the body that can arise in the most varied situations. When the technique is carried out with precision, can eliminate the excess fluid, which shows the swelling, returning it to the bloodstream, which after being filtered through the kidneys, can be eliminated in the form of urine.
Thus, the lymphatic drainage is indicated in the following cases:
- During pregnancy;
- After the plastic surgery;
- After cancer treatment to combat lymphedema;
- Injuries and trauma in the muscles, tendons or joints;
- During the menstrual period;
- After any surgery;
- In the case of cellulite;
- Due to excessive consumption of salt and low intake of water.
The lymphatic drainage can be performed with the hands or with the use of specific apparatus for drainage, present in some clinics, but lymphatic drainage should not be performed when there is severe acne, grades 3 or 4 because it can worsen the injury, or when there are open wounds, because it can become infected. After the plastic surgery, the technique should be performed after the release of the plastic surgeon, usually after 24 or 48 hours of surgery.
It is possible to make the drainage in the case of cancer?
It is possible to perform the manual lymphatic drainage with a physical therapist even in the case of cancer, and even after the removal of lymph nodes, as happens in the case of breast cancer, for example.
The lymphatic drainage does not spread the cancer cells but it must be done with a specific technique because the lymphatic system starts to work differently after the removal of the lymph nodes, and the technique poorly applied it can be harmful for the patient, causing even more discomfort. Thus, although it is possible to perform the lymphatic drainage in the case of cancer, you should be cautious in the choice of the professional. But it is not advised for drainage devices, or pressotherapy, because its mode of action may not be modified, as happens with the hands.
In this way it is possible to do the manual lymphatic drainage in case of cancer or its complications, such as lymphedema, with a qualified professional, such as physiotherapist with specific training in oncology, being contraindicated drainage devices in aesthetic clinics, for example.