Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage is a procedure that has been performed by qualified physical therapists for decades. The manual draining of lymph fluid is primarily used to decongest swollen tissue by reactivating the reduced pumping function of the vascular system. It is one of the most essential parts of the complex process that is decongestion therapy.

Both individual extremities and the trunk of the body can be treated using this therapy. Lymphatic drainage is typically prescribed to address excessive water retention in individual regions of the body – i.e. after surgery or trauma. The treatment consists of gentle grips that are executed in a very specific order to apply the necessary pressure to the affected areas. This highly sensitive application of pressure leads to the decongestion of the tissue and thus to the relief of pain and swelling. This procedure successfully promotes regeneration of tissue and accelerated healing in addition to an overall improved sense of well-being.

Breathing exercises and additional stimulation of the body’s’ lymphatic system creates a suction effect that results in the removal of excess tissue fluid. After manual lymph drainage, the relived tissue often becomes looser and softer to the touch with can greatly increase the ease of mobility.

Manual lymph drainage is often a two-phase therapy. The goal of the first phase being complete decongestion which requires regular lymph drainage treatments, skin care, and compression therapy with bandages.

In the second phase, manual lymph drainage incorporates compression with a custom-made compression stocking and supportive exercises for further decongestion. Manual lymph drainage is part of the complex therapy to remove fluid buildup throughout the body. We typically recommend patients wear a compression stocking immediately after each session to ensure the benefits of the therapy last as long as possible. In addition, we give our patients further advice on how they can continually promote healthy tissue free from fluid buildup.

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