Lymphedema Massage

Written by Zachary Zerries
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Lymphedema massage is a treatment that has proven to most helpful for those individuals who suffer from lymphedema. Also referred to as manual lymph drainage (MLD), lymphedema massage is one of the few ways through which the afflicted can find relief. When performed by a certified therapist, lymphedema massage will reduce the abnormally painful swelling that is associated with this condition and let you get on with active life.

The Benefits of Lymphedema Massage

The lymphedema massage was first developed in the mid 1800s and then improved in the 1930s. Most commonly associated with Dr. Vodder and Dr. Foeldi, this massage was created as a non-invasive way to help relieve the swelling that affected those with lymphedema. Prior to the massage, most doctors would surgically remove the infected or malfunctioning lymph nodes, a decision we now know is about as helpful as bloodletting.

If the lymph nodes are malfunctioning due to some sort of trauma or condition, protein rich edema fluid can accumulate and cause the afflicted area to swell. Sometimes the swelling can reach drastic heights and be quite painful. A lymphedema massage will redirect the fluid away from the malfunctioning lymph nodes in order to reduce the swelling.

If you're suffering from lymphedema and are afraid by the idea of someone putting pressure on the affected area, don't fear. A certified therapist will use some pressure but rely more heavily on rhythmic motions in order to redirect the lymph flow. Do be sure, however, to visit a certified therapist; if you see someone who isn't properly trained, they could do serious damage.


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