Manual Lymphatic Drainage - Therapeutic Applications
MLD involves light, rhythmical massage that aids the body in collecting and moving lymphatic fluid, which plays a key role in delivering nutrients, antibodies and other immune constituents to the tissue cells of the body and removing debris such as toxins, cell waste and dead particles which are then cleansed by clusters of lymph nodes. MLD also works on the nervous system, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and improving sleep patterns.
The tissue fluid, or prelymph, can become static due to toxic or mucus overload, a blocked lymph passageway as a result of surgery or injury, or certain congenital problems. This leads to the puffy appearance of certain parts of the body, a slow healing process, and problems such as allergies, headaches, sinusitis, low energy and frequent infections.
Lymph Drainage Therapy TM – A New Conception Of Lymphatic Drainage
Lymphatic Drainage is a specialized massage technique designed to activate and cleanse the human fluid system. Because the lymphatic system itself is responsible for optimum functioning of the water circulation and immune system, Lymphatic & Energetic Drainage is a key to maximizing our ability to rejuvenate and to establish resistance to stress and disease.
Lymphatic drainage was initially developed in Europe in 1932 by Dr. E Vodder. By the late 60’s it established the credibility necessary to be taken seriously by the medical profession. Dr. Johannes Askonk, a prominent German physician, then successfully tested 20,000 patients in hospitals in order to verify its credibility, measure its efficiency and find its indications and counter-indications.
Today this technique is widely spread throughout Europe and is so highly recognized in the medical field that doctors now commonly prescribe these treatments which are used in hospitals and reimbursed by Social Security. This work is facilitated by physiotherapists, chiropractors, nurses and body workers.
Concisely we can say that the three main actions of lymphatic drainage are:
- Stimulation of body fluid circulation. It activates lymph function and lymph circulation. Indirectly stimulate the blood circulation of the Body (enhance blood capillaries resorption, increase pulsation of capillaries, activate venous circulation, . . .).
- Stimulation of the immune system: the passage of lymph in the lymph nodes stimulate the immune system (the humoral as much as well as the cellular immunity). The stimulation of lymph circulation activate antigen/antibody presentation and immune reactions.
- Nervous system: stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation effect, anti-spastic effects, muscle tonus, etc). The constant stimulation of the C-fiber mechanoreceptors has inhibitory effects (analgesic anti-pain-action).
Lymphatic & Energetic Drainage is an original method of Lymphatic Drainage developed by a French physician, Dr. Bruno CHIKLY. Today, lymphatic drainage has reached a new level of effectiveness and efficiency. The enhancements we have made to the original Vodder technique is by incorporating the most advanced scientific data on lymphology with whole-body healing values and direct listening techniques. As in CranioSacral Therapy, we can easily develop and teach the skills to identify the very specific rhythm, then direction and quality of the lymphatic flow. Dr. Chikly was the first in the world to make this breakthrough. The method, Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT), offers patients a myriad of benefits. Advance practitioner can really assess their patients (lymphatic mapping), monitor their work and check the result of their work at the end of the session. If needed (lymphedema, surgery, obstruction), they can finally find the best alternate pathways to reroute the lymph flow to a healthy area of the body.
The manual maneuvers employed are very subtle (e.g. cranio-sacral movements). The work is done with flat hands using all fingers to simulate aquatic, wave-like movements, which enables the practitioner to deeply listen to the rhythm of the body fluids. A heightened awareness opens one’s ability to attune to the exact pressure and rhythm necessary to enter into the flow of the lymphatic system.
The Lymph : an “Elixir of Life”
Lymph in its flow actually takes away the toxins, the germs, and the large molecules that the venous system can’t regain. It can, in particular, remove “trapped proteins” and fat molecules in the tissues.
Finally as it passes through the lymphatic nodes, small centers of filtration, it also manages our immune defenses. Lymph leaves the waste and germs in the lymphatic nodes, and transports lymphocytes, specialized white corpuscles that produce antibodies.
It is easy to understand, therefore, its importance for the strength of our immune system, the state of our tissues and our general well-being.
However, the lymphatic flow can stagnate or even stop for many reasons such as fatigue, stress, emotional shock, lack of physical activity, certain food additives, etc. If the lymphatic circulation slows down, the supplying and regeneration of cells is poorly carried out. Consequently, toxins accumulate, hastening the aging process and opening the gates to various physical problems.
We use our hands to aid in Nature’s work assisting the recirculation of the lymphatic flow. The wave-like movements of the fingers restimulate the contractile movements of the lymphatic channels.
The Water Element And The Liquids In The Body – The Liquid Environment Of The Organism
Life is unthinkable without water. It is the most abundant element of living beings. We have learned that through evolution animals left the water to become mammals. They developed a respiratory tract, and from there it seems we became a “dry” species. Yet the gasses that we breath are transported in water, and communication throughout the cells is also done through water. It is then interesting to realize that our own cells in fact never left the water!
Coming in contact with lymph is to connect with the liquid dimension of the organism. Many civilizations have symbolically associated the water element with different aspects of life: the subconscious, the moon, woman, emotion, the inner child, purity, love. Like our own subconscious or our inner child, we can easily deny or overlook our own water element. Our society specifically doesn’t acknowledge the water element nor does it encourage awareness of the more subtle aspects of ourselves. Through Lymph Drainage Therapy we will try to come in contact again with these dimensions of our body and look towards integrating more sides of ourselves.