CHISWICK MASSAGE THERAPY Katie Hunter

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

What is the Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic system is a system of drainage which works closely with the body’s immune system bringing fluid containing nutrients to all parts of the body and taking away waste products from around the cells.
When the lymphatic system is impaired you may experience an accumulation of fluid and waste products which presents as a swelling of the affected part of the body. Most people will have seen this type of swelling in a sprained ankle. This type of local swelling is called edema and can restrict the movement of a joint and so impede healing. At times discomfort is experienced due to inability to bend a joint or a feeling of 'pins and needles'. The combination of manual lymphatic drainage and osteopathic techniques can assist recovery by moving the accumulated fluid out of the joint space.
This results in a much more comfortable feeling, for instance when putting shoes, going upstairs etc.

Secondary Lymphoedema

The lymphatic system can be damaged by trauma or surgery, particularly for cancer treatment. This results in a condition called secondary lymphoedema.

Depending on the severity of this condition patients may be more vulnerable to infection or to suffer musculosketal pain which could cause difficulty in working or exercising, giving rise to problems with weight or depression. It is common for patients with lymphoedema to contract an infection called cellulitis. If you have been operated on and had lymph nodes removed it is important to start lymphatic drainage as soon as possible. The tissues can return to normal if you do this. If left for a long time, the tissue alters in constitution and becomes more fatty - it is then much more difficult to deal with. The pain of lymphoedema can be due to the pressure of the fluid on the nerves, or to the extreme stretching of the skin and vessels beneath it, all of which are sensitive to pain. If you find you can't face going upstairs due to swelling this treatment will make a huge difference to your quality of life.

Who would benefit from lymphatic drainage?

As well as helping in the above situations, lymphatic drainage is often used purely as a relaxing treatment. The deeply relaxing effect occurs because it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. It can also help if you are feeling sluggish as after an infection or illness.

What can you expect after the treatment?

You may feel very tired and if so it is important to rest, some patients feel thirsty, others pass water a lot or may feel dizzy. This is due to your newly unblocked lymphatic system flushing toxins out of the body. After a day or so patients tend to feel refreshed and alert. In cases of joint restriction, lymphatic drainage can improve mobility.

Cancer patients

I offer some free treatments to cancer patients. To enquire about availability please send an email with your contact number.

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