Within this site you will find information on the history of Lymhatic Drainage Massage, how Lymph Drainage Therapy compliments breast care, pregnancy and the elderly. How following surgery Lymphatic Drainage Therapy promotes tissue regeneration thus reducing the severity of scars and general healing process. We also make references to various reading and information material which you may find of particular relevance and interest on each subject page.
Definition of Lymphatic Drainage Massage..
Lymphatic drainage is a therapeutic method that uses massage-like manipulations to stimulate lymph movement. Lymph is the plasma-like fluid that maintains the body's fluid balance and removes bacteria. Combined with other techniques of complete decongestive physiotherapy, it is used to treat lymphedema, swelling in the limbs caused by lymph accumulation.
History of Lymphatic Drainage Massage..
The history of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) dates back to the early 20th century and the therapy's origins derive from the work of Canadian osteopath Frederic Millard and a Danish massage therapist and philosophy doctor Emil Vodder. Frederic Millard first used the term 'lymphatic drainage' when he proposed an osteopathic technique that involved palpating the lymph glands to diagnose disease.
Dr Emil Vodder and his wife Estrid pioneered 'lymphology' medicine while working in the French Riviera. When treating people with chronic sinusitis and diffuse acne, Vodder observed patients had swollen nymph nodes and was inspired to try and help drain the lymph fluid.
Taking Frederic Millard's work and research on the structure of the lymphatic system, the Vodders then developed careful hand techniques to cause movement in the lymph nodes helping to cleanse the lymphatic fluid system. By 1936, and after four years of research, the Vodders introduced their technique in Paris.
At the time, the medical profession frowned on tampering with the lymphatic system due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. However, by the 1960s lymphatic drainage established credibility due to a comprehensive study by German physician Dr. Johannes Askonik. His successful tests on 20,000 patients helped to verify the credibility of MLD by measuring its efficiency and finding its indications and contra-indications.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is now a recognised technique used throughout the world by physiotherapists, chiropractors, nurses and massage therapists. Practitioners typically use Dr. Vodder's Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) method although you may be treated using the Veltheim Method of Lymphatic Drainage (VMLD) developed in 2004 by Dr John Veltheim or the Leduc, Földi, Casley-Smith or Asdonk methods.
The Origin of Lymph
Lymph originates as plasma, which is the fluid portion of blood. The arterial blood that flows out of the heart slows as it moves through a capillary bed (see figure above). This slowing allows some plasma to leave the arterioles and flow into the tissues where it becomes tissue fluid.
Also known as extracellular fluid, this is fluid that flows between the cells but is not found within the cells. This fluid delivers nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to the cells.
As this fluid leaves the cells, it takes with it cellular waste products and protein cells.
Approximately 90 percent of this tissue fluid flows into the venules. Here it enters the venous circulation as plasma and continues in the circulatory system.
The remaining 10 percent of the fluid that is left behind is now known as lymph.
The bloodstream is pumped by the heart. It circulates throughout the body and is
cleansed by being filtered by the kidneys. The lymphatic system does not have a
pump, instead this system is designed so that lymph only flows upward
traveling from the extremities and up through the body toward the neck.
As it travels through the body, lymph passes through lymph nodes where it is
filtered. At the base of the neck, the lymph enters the subclavian veins and
again becomes plasma in the bloodstream.