To Reduce Swelling, Counteract Cellulite, and Boost the Immune System
Lymphatic drainage is a particular massage technique that promotes the drainage of lymphatic fluids from tissues: manual mechanical action is applied to areas involving the lymphatic system, including the spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels. The purpose of lymphatic drainage massage is to direct the lymph towards the lymphatic areas closest to the massaged area, facilitating the superficial circulation of lymph and its flow.
Vodder Method Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), also known as the original Vodder method, is a therapeutic technique devised by Dr. Emil Johannes Vodder, a biologist and physiotherapist, in 1932. The primary goal of this method is to facilitate lymph drainage from the body’s perimeter toward the heart, promoting improved blood flow that allows for the elimination of waste and the transport of new nutrients to tissues.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is considered a scientifically tested and rigorous method, and due to its proven therapeutic efficacy, it is used to treat various lymphatic system conditions.
Who Benefits from Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Lymphatic drainage is mainly used as a complementary therapy for poor or slow lymphatic circulation. For example, it is used to alleviate symptoms of lymphedema, where maneuvers performed during lymphatic drainage massage help reduce typical symptoms associated with this condition.
Additionally, lymphatic drainage is recommended to counteract fluid retention in pregnant women, a common occurrence during pregnancy. In the aesthetic field, lymphatic drainage massage may be suggested to prevent or reduce fluid accumulation in patients who have undergone aesthetic surgery, such as liposuction or liposculpture.
Finally, as a complementary treatment for cellulite and as a relaxing therapy, lymphatic drainage massage is widely used for aesthetic purposes.
How Lymphatic Drainage Massage Is Performed
Lymphatic drainage works on three levels:
- Draining action: eliminates interstitial and lymphatic fluids
- Relaxing activity on muscle fibers
- Immune System Enhancement: Introduces leukocytes and immunoglobulins (produced in the lymphatic system organs).
Lymphatic drainage massage is performed through a light pressure movement on the skin, slow and gentle, applying tangential pressures. Lymphatic drainage must follow the path of the lymph: in this regard, the massage requires starting at the neck, where lymph nodes are located, and where the lymph mixes with the blood circulation. Only later, other areas of the body are massaged. The typical movements of lymphatic drainage massage consist of circular, rotating, pumping, and dispensing pressures.
Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Lymphatic drainage massage reduces or eliminates lymph stagnation and relieves associated symptoms or disorders. In addition to this benefit, lymphatic drainage:
- Combats cellulite
- Improves the issue of swollen feet
- Resolves pregnancy-related swelling (from the fourth month to delivery) and premenstrual syndrome
- Counters acne and couperose
- Treats lymphedema
- Exfoliates and regenerates the skin
- Reduces swelling from water retention
- Treats osteoarthritis
- Prevents fluid stagnation
- Boosts the immune system.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage: Who Should Avoid It
Professional lymphatic drainage massage has some contraindications and should not be performed in the presence of:
- Cancer (in the last 5 years)
- Heart failure
- Low blood pressure
- Bacterial infections