Lymphedema Management & Massage for Lymphatic Drainage

The lymphatic system is considered part of the body’s immune system. Some types of injuries, surgeries and other medical conditions can result in a dysfunction of the lymphatic system that allows fluid to build up in the interstitial spaces within the body. This fluid buildup causes localized swelling and pain, and the medical term for this condition is lymphedema. Some cases can be due to genetic disorders. While there is no cure for lymphedema, there are some effective treatments which include lymphedema management and massage for lymphatic drainage.

Common Symptoms & Side Effects of Lymphedema

In general, the main symptom seen in lymphedema is soft tissue swelling known as edema. This occurs most often in the arms, hands, legs and feet but can occur elsewhere. Other symptoms include worsening swelling (edema) with skin related changes like skin discoloration, bumpy wart-like skin growths, feeling of heaviness in affected area, decreased range of motion or limited movement, aching or other discomforts.

Lymphedema may also result in fibrosis or hardening/thickening of the skin dermal layers, itching of skin, rashes, skin ulcers and recurring skin infections among many other symptoms. Since lymphedema dramatically decreases the normal body immune system and bodily waste removing processes, complications like organ swelling, adverse changes and even liver, kidney or other organ failure may occur as the body builds up waste toxins.

Possible Lymphedema Management Measures

Since there isn’t a cure for lymphedema, lymphedema management becomes crucial. Possible lymphedema management measures include:

  • Antibiotics if Infection Develops
  • Compression Garments & Treatments/li>
  • Skin Care & Treatments
  • Other Measures to Reduce Swelling Including Compression Drainage Pumps
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) Massage for Lymphatic Drainage
  • Supervised Exercise Regimen
  • Surgical Interventions
  • Diet Management

About Massage for Lymphatic Drainage

One of the most effective measure to help improve lymphedema is to undergo professional lymphatic drainage massages. This lymphatic drainage management measure should be performed by a highly trained and experienced physiotherapist or occupational therapist familiar with the process.

The goal of this massage is to gently apply pressure to the affected region using longer and light strokes that are rhythmic in nature to aid the body in draining out the excess interstitial fluid from the lymphatic system. This process also helps the body to naturally remove built up toxins through urination and other means.

What To Expect When Undergoing Massage for Lymphatic Drainage

Clients meet with a seasoned occupational therapist or physiotherapist prior to the massage session. A complete medical history and assessment will be completed, and a suitable plan of action will be discussed. Most people report little to no discomfort as this massage requires a lighter massage technique. Afterwards, a detailed plan will be made for ongoing lymphedema management.

Good Candidates for Massage for Lymphatic Drainage

A number of conditions that respond well to massage therapy for the goal of lymphatic drainage include the following individuals:

  • Post-Surgery Inflammation or Infections
  • Swollen Legs due to Flying Pressure
  • Migraine Sufferers
  • Congestive Heart Patients
  • Kidney or Liver Problems
  • Post-Injury or Surgery Patients Experiencing Swelling

Contact Perth Wellness Centre via for details.

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