Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:
- Decreased anxiety.
- Enhanced sleep quality.
- Greater energy.
- Improved concentration.
- Increased circulation.
- Reduced fatigue.
Massage can also help specifically address a number of health issues. Bodywork can:
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
- Ease medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body's natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body's largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body's natural painkiller.
- Relieve migraine pain.
Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage
In addition to the blood circulation system, our body has a second, equally important transport system –the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a large portion of your immune system and it is the system that keeps your body’s fluid in balance.
The lymphatic system helps protect the body from infections and diseases. While removing toxins and debris, it also transports proteins and nourishment throughout the body. It does this by transporting fluids from the tissues to the heart in an independent vascular system.
Another element of the lymphatic system is the lymphatic organs (spleen, tonsils, thymus, bone marrow, lymph nodes, etc.). These form part of our immune system and have the task of finding pathogens and unchanged cells in the body and rendering them harmless.
Most inflammation in the body can typically be helped or reduced by Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD).
MLD is a light technique that stretches and pumps the lymph vessels in order to maximize fluid intake. This helps move the lymph forward and drain the connective tissues of the excess fluid. The normal pumping rate of the lymphatic system is 6-10 beats per minute. Manual Lymph Drainage done properly increases that rate to 25-30 beats per minute thereby speeding up the cleansing of the tissues.
This process strengthens the immune system, minimizing the possibility of the illness recurring, and helps the tissues get the nutrients they need faster while removing the cell waste, resulting in healthier tissues and a healthier body.
Dr. Vodder’s method of MLD has several specialized techniques for working with problems in the face, eyes, ears, & nose. Chronic bronchitis and migraines have also benefited from MLD.
MLD for Surgery patients:
Many benefits can result from lymphatic drainage before and after surgery. Lymphatic drainage seems to promote tissue regeneration therefore reducing the formation and severity of scars, which can be unsightly and sometimes painful.It can also reduce bruising as it speeds the removal the dead blood cells.
Treatment can begin as soon as 24 hrs after surgery, with approval of the doctor and as long as there are no contra-indications. After surgery the lymphatic pathways will be very different. Studies have shown that it takes between seven and ten days for the natural and functional continuity of the lymphatic vessels to be re-established. Perhaps the most significant benefit of applying lymphatic drainage post surgically is to prevent or alleviate edema or swelling. Swelling can cause pain and create a predisposition to infection.
The lymphnodes are dispersed throughout the lymph vessel system. They are found in different sizes, shapes, and numbers (600-900) in many parts of the body. They process the fluid the lymphatic system transports and perform a number of different tasks. Lymph nodes are often removed as part of cancer treatment and so the fluid (also called lymph) can’t get processed as it normally would.
MLD for Lymphedema patients:
When the lymphatic system is damaged, whether it is due to surgery, injury, obesity, or malformation at birth, then lymphedema can occur. Lymphedema is swelling due to a damaged or malformed lymphatic system.
Having Lymphedema puts you at greater risk for local immunity problems so getting therapy for it quickly is very important.
There are 4 key steps to managing lymphedema:
- Manual Lymph Drainage
- Skin Care
- Compression bandaging
- Light Exercise in compression bandaging