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What is the Lymph System?
The lymphatic system is a system of vessels along side the blood vessels in the body. The vessels carry lymph fluid which is responsible for eliminating toxins and bacteria from the body; continually flushed out by feeding back into the circulatory system and being processed through the kidney and liver.
Lymphatic Drainage Therapy (LDT) is a gentle, rhythmical treatment rather than a massage, which improves the activity of the lymph vessels by mild mechanical stretches on the wall of the lymph collectors. LDT re-routes the lymph flow around blocked areas into more centrally located lymph vessels or gently clears the congestion of the lymph vessels and nodes that eventually drain into the venous system.Through LDT the lymph system is stimulated, promoting a strong flow ensuring efficient removal of wastes. If the lymph system is sluggish, toxins hang around in the body creating more potential for inflammation and therefore illness and weakness to invading virus’ and bacteria.
Oedema and Lymphodema
In an acute injury where inflammation is present e.g. sprain or burn and there is an excess of fluid present the lymph system can be overloaded, and swelling occurs (Oedema). However this swelling is usually temporary, because the tissues heal and the blood vessels no longer leak excessively.
In this situation the lymphatics are essentially normal. However if the lymphatic system is blocked or damaged due to surgery, radiation, or too few vessels, protein amino acids continue to enter the tissues from the blood capillaries in the normal way and a build up occurs in the tissues where the lymphatics should be draining. The accumulation of protein in the tissues causes excess fluid to enter them and the tissues to swell (lymphoedema). The excess protein also acts as a stimulus for chronic inflammation.
One of the results of this is the formation of much excess fibrous tissue. Chronic inflammation causes more blood capillaries to form and dilate. This makes the limb feel hot. This heat combined with the stagnant protein provides a perfect site for bacterial growth.
Main contraindications include:
- Acute inflammatory illness
- Acute thrombosis
- Recent thrombosis
- Varicose veins
- Deep abdominal during menstruation
- Deep abdominal after surgery to the area
- Bronchial Asthma
- Low blood pressure
- Thyroid gland
- Renal insufficiency
- Gynecological infections, cysts, uterus conditions.