Lymphatic drainage: what is it for?

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Lymph is a liquid that circulates throughout the body through a network of small vessels parallel to the blood system: the lymphatic system. The primary role of the lymph is to transport wastes that must be eliminated from the body. In addition, the lymphatic system plays a big immune role. Many white blood cells circulate in the lymph; and lymph nodes, distributed along the network, trap and destroy microbes.

Lymphatic drainage: why is it sometimes necessary?

Although the lymphatic system is closely related to the blood system, there is one major difference between them: the blood circulates through a pump, our heart, when the lymph has none. Without a pump, how can the lymph free itself from the effect of gravity and circulate throughout the body? Mainly thanks to the contraction of our muscles, and the pulsation in the blood network. Thus, in immobilized or sedentary people, lymphatic circulation is not favored and the lymph accumulates in the lower limbs. In this case, manual or mechanical lymphatic drainage makes it possible to simulate a pump effect to restart the circulation of the lymph.

What is lymphatic drainage? Lymphatic drainage, whether performed manually or with a device, is based on two principles. It is first necessary to create a call of the lymph, on the same principle as the call for air, to make the liquid go up towards the top of the body, by applying pressure variations to various places of the lymphatic system. Then, to stimulate circulation throughout the lymphatic network, gentle, long and regular massages are carried out in the direction of the circulation.

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The aesthetic effects of lymphatic drainage

The fight against cellulite, here is the most famous indication of lymphatic drainage. Whether the cellulite is watery or fatty, drainage helps to unclog cells and eliminate their content through the lymphatic system. By improving venous and lymphatic circulation, cellulite is gradually reduced in size. It can also relieve the phenomenon of “pole legs” in people with mild water retention.

A less obvious effect of lymphatic drainage is to help improve wound healing. The toxins are eliminated better, the functioning of the cells is optimized and they can more easily regenerate. On the same principle, results can be observed on stretch marks.

The therapeutic effects of lymphatic drainage

Initially, lymphatic drainage was created for its therapeutic and non-aesthetic effects. The main medical indication remains the relief of edema. Edema is an accumulation of lymph in an area of ​​the body. The realization of a drainage therefore makes it possible to evacuate this excess lymph to relieve the edema. The use of this method can follow a surgical operation, an injury (strain or sprain for example) …

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Breast cancer is a particular indication for lymphatic drainage. Indeed, the removal of the breast requires the removal of many lymph nodes present in this area. Part of the network is then destroyed which causes swelling of the arms by accumulation of lymph. Although lymphatic drainage does not definitively treat this symptom, its usefulness has been shown in conjunction with other types of treatment.

Lymphatic drainage: can it be done at home?

Performed by a masseur-physiotherapist, lymphatic drainage remains a professional gesture: it is reimbursed up to 60% by Social Security if there is a medical prescription, or even 100% (i.e. is fully taken care of) for Long Term Disease (ALD).

In case of slimming goal, we can bet on other techniques to get rid of his rebellious cellulite:

  • The suction cups. Used since Antiquity in traditional Chinese medicine, suction cups reactivate the circulation of liquids (blood, lymph …) in the targeted areas (saddlebags, cellulite of the thighs …), which allows the destruction of stubborn fat and elimination of toxins.
  • The palpate-roll. The flagship anti-cellulite technique, the palpate-roll is a gesture that accentuates lipolysis, that is to say the burning of fat in the body. It can be done manually (ideally: with a slimming massage oil with essential oils)
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