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It is a particular massage technique exercised in areas of the body characterized by excessive reduction of the lymphatic circulation.
"Metedo Vodder" Lymphatic drainage Massage
What is lymphatic drainage Lymphatic drainage is a particular massage technique, exercised in areas of the body characterized by excessive reduction of the lymphatic circulation.
Lymphatic drainage favors the drainage of lymphatic fluids from the tissues: the manual mechanical action is exercised at the level of areas that affect the lymphatic system, in order to facilitate the outflow of stagnant organic fluids.
Indications The purpose of lymphatic drainage is to drain the lymphatic fluids. For this reason, this particular massage technique is indicated and successfully exploited for:
Promote the reabsorption of edema;
Regulate the autonomic system; Promote the healing of ulcers and sores in diabetics. Lymphatic drainage is also widely used in the field of aesthetic medicine.
There are many women who resort to this type of massage to combat cellulite blemishes.
Lymphatic drainage treatment is often recommended for patients who have undergone cosmetic surgery, such as liposculpture and liposuction.
Given its ability to eliminate the stagnation of liquids favoring the reabsorption of edema, lymphatic drainage is a particularly useful technique and also indicated in pregnant women.
History The "discovery" of lymphatic drainage is ascribed to the Danish physiotherapist Emil Vodder and his wife Estrid Vodder.
However, the foundations of this massage technique go back to earlier times.
It was Dr. Alexander Von Winiwarter at the end of the 19th century who was the first to introduce a particular and new method of massage in order to counteract lymphedema. This method involved the execution of a light massage, followed by compression and, finally, by the elevation of the patient's extremities in order to favor the outflow of lymphatic fluids.
This type of massage was not very successful, until it was perfected by Dr. Vodder who made it public in 1936. From this date and for the next 40 years, the Vodders continued their activity as physiotherapists, carrying out demonstrations and teaching their method.
Over time, the number of doctors, masseurs and physiotherapists interested in this innovative massage technique increased more and more, until - in 1967 - the "Society for Manual Lymphatic Drainage of Dr. Vodder" was founded. .
Effects and Benefits Lymphatic drainage performs its functions and benefits according to three methods: Draining action of liquids: favors the elimination of interstitial and lymphatic liquids; Relaxing activity of muscle fibers; Ability to introduce leukocytes and immunoglobulins (produced in the organs of the lymphatic system) into the bloodstream.
All this translates into an improvement in lymphatic circulation and the consequent well-being of the patient.
Techniques Lymphatic drainage is a difficult technique to perform.
The operator, in fact, must perfectly know the lymphatic circulation and the areas to be treated: only in this way, the drainage of interstitial fluids and lymph can be favored by the right manipulations.
The purpose is to direct the lymph towards the lymphatic areas closest to the massaged area: in this way, the superficial circulation of the lymph and its flow is facilitated.
Over time, various techniques have developed in order to perform effective lymphatic drainage.
In any case, we can affirm that the main methods used are essentially two: the Vodder method and the Leduc method. The methods differ mainly in the type of movements performed, however, they are based on the same fundamental principles.
The lymphatic drainage technique is implemented by applying a slight pressure movement on the skin, which must be slow and delicate, taking care to apply tangential thrusts.
Lymphatic drainage must follow the path of the lymph: in this regard, the massage requires starting at the level of the neck, the area where the lymph nodes are located where the lymph mixes with the bloodstream.
Only later, the technique proceeds in the other areas of the body.
Vodder's method The Vodder school involves the execution of four typical movements: circular thrusts, rotatory, pumping and dispensing movements.
The circular movements must always be applied in a light but at the same time consistent way, generally they are carried out at the level of the neck and face: the lymphatic drainage, frequently, begins precisely with this circular massage, due to the fact that, as mentioned, at the level of the neck the blood and lymphatic circulation are mixed by means of lymph nodes present in the aforementioned area.
The massage continues with rotational movements, in which the expert performs movements with the wrist, raising and lowering it, rubbing the hand on the skin in a circular way.
Subsequently, lymphatic drainage involves pumping movements: the pressure of the tissues is altered to allow better circulation of the lymph.
These movements are alternated with a dispensing clutch, which consists in the rotational movement of the wrist on the patient's skin.
Leduc's method The Leduc method involves the execution of a smaller number of movements falling within therapeutic protocols that vary according to the type of disorder that needs to be treated.
The movements envisaged by the Leduc method for performing manual lymphatic drainage are two: The recall maneuver; The resorption maneuver.
The recall maneuver must be carried out downstream of the area affected by the disturbance and has the purpose of emptying the lymphatic collectors.
The reabsorption maneuver, on the other hand, is carried out in correspondence with the areas affected by retention and has the aim of favoring the reabsorption of liquids within the superficial lymphatic vessels. In the Leduc method, the area affected by the stagnation of liquids must be bandaged. The bandage must not be compressive and must be carried out starting from the periphery of the body towards the center.
The experience of the masseur The dexterity of the masseur is certainly a very important factor.
With experience, in fact, the specialist refines the ability to apply lymphatic drainage: the massage must follow the lymphatic flow and the friction on the skin must not be too heavy, to prevent the patient from perceiving pain; the skin, moreover, must not redden after the session (lymphatic drainage is also defined as gentle massage).
Only in the event that the masseur applies these basic rules, the lymphatic drainage will be able to carry out the desired therapeutic effects.
The masseur must put into practice some small but effective measures, so that the subject can benefit even more from the lymphatic drainage: The masseur's hands must be warm; The environment must be suitable: the temperature must not be excessively hot or cold; The patient must be comfortable, the muscles must not be tense, the areas of the body not affected by the lymphatic drainage must be covered; The pressure of the massage should gradually increase and, at the end of the massage, the subject should rest for about 15 minutes.
Furthermore, it is essential that the lymphatic drainage is carried out directly with the hands, without the aid of oils or creams, because the contact with the patient's skin must be direct.
The creams would favor the sliding of the hands along the body, while the friction is essential to push the skin and the stagnant liquids in an appropriate way.
The pressure exerted by the hands of the specialist on the patient's skin must not be excessive, to avoid increasing the passage of liquids from the tissues to the blood vessels but instead favor the drainage of lymphatic liquids.
Duration of treatment Generally the patient has to undergo several treatments to obtain good lasting results.
Obviously, the frequency and duration of the sessions will be established according to the patient's disorder.
Contraindications and advice Like all therapies, since lymphatic drainage is a therapeutic method, there are contraindications: lymphatic drainage is strictly not recommended in subjects suffering from acute inflammation, malignant tumors, cardiac edema.
Those suffering from blood pressure changes should also not undergo lymphatic drainage, as well as people with asthma and women during their menstrual cycle.
It is advisable to practice sports and follow a healthy and regular diet, free of excesses and rich in liquids (water), in order to stimulate the metabolism, reactivate circulation and reduce fat accumulations, favoring water exchange. Through the implementation of these simple precautions, lymphatic drainage is certainly favored and can give good results in a short time.