Lymphatic drainage is a process carried out by the lymphatic system. This system involves lymph nodes and the human body’s immunity to disease. The process of lymphatic drainage will move fluids in the body from the different lymph nodes in order to keep the body healthy. This process is typically carried out automatically, but certain health conditions can cause issues. Manual lymphatic drainage is an option in this case.
The lymphatic system is made up of two major parts – lymph vessels and lymph nodes. Lymph nodes collect fluid from the body, including blood and plasma. The fluid travels through the vessels to the nodes, where any diseases are filtered out. The fluid collected by the lymph nodes, typically called lymph, is then drained from the nodes into the vessels by the process called lymphatic drainage.
There are many conditions that can be caused by or that contribute to issues with lymphatic drainage. Lymphedema is an issue where fluid cannot move due to problems with the vessels and nodes. This condition can cause the fluid to pool in one area, leading to a swollen and painful condition. It can also cause serious bacterial infections. Issues with the lymphatic drainage system may also be related to lymphoma, a type of cancer.
If someone has an issue with their lymphatic system, they can receive manual lymphatic drainage. This process involves some physical movements that will gently move the lymph throughout the body. It is most often used to help people with lymphedema. A manual lymphatic drainage session will usually include light massage, which is done on the areas where lymph nodes exist in the body. Specific movements will be done to encourage the lymph to move, bringing relief to people experiencing lymphedema or other conditions.
Other treatments for lymphatic drainage issues include moving to increase and promote circulation in the body. This can help lymph move. Anti-inflammatory drugs or ice packs can help some people who have lymphatic drainage issues due to swelling or inflammation in the body. Compression therapy can also be an option, but this remedy should be taught by a professional.