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Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT)
First, please note that in this treatment "drainage" refers mostly to "flow" or the interior movement of fluids. Inside our bodies, we all have a major component of our immune systems coursing through us to keep us healthy — the lymph system. Without it our bodies would swell up like balloons, swamping our cells with stagnant fluid.
The lymph system's impact is so extensive that it can be hard to fathom how minor aches and pains, low energy or susceptibility to colds and flu may be due to a sluggish lymph system and a compromised immune system. The proper functioning of the lymph system is critical to our body's ability to drain stagnant fluids, detoxify, regenerate tissues, filter out toxins and foreign substances, and maintain a healthy immune system. By addressing the lymph system directly, your massage therapist can help significantly increase the immune system function.
Pioneered by osteopathic physicians and massage practitioners in the 1920s and 1930s to treat chronic sinusitis and other immune disorders, lymph drainage is a very specific massage technique. Lymphatic Drainage Massage can go where Deep Tissue and Swedish massage treatments cannot — into swollen areas. This form of massage stimulates the lymph system with very light pressure in a series of rhythmic, circular strokes to avoid any increased blood flow. The paradox is that such a superficial technique has such a deep impact.
The Benefits of Lymph Drainage Therapy
Lymph vessels create an intimate meshwork that covers every inch of your skin and surrounds each organ. The lymph vessels start very small in what are called the "initial lymphatic". Over 70% of those initial lymphatics are within and just under the skin. The initial lymphatic is a very delicate structure, one cell thick. Those cells are supported within the connective tissue by collagen and elastin fibers that help to anchor them in place.
When the lymph system degenerates through illness, surgery, injury, infection or inflammation, then our cellular function is compromised. This can lead to slower recovery and sometimes profound swelling. With new levels of precision in Lymph Drainage Therapy developed in recent years, massage therapists have methods to achieve more precise outcomes and provide you with a deeply relaxing and effective treatment experience.
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