Lymphatic drainage therapy (LDT)
The lymph or lymph tissue or lymph fluid can be compared to blood minus the red blood cells and the platelets.
The composition of the lymphatic fluid can be variable (for example, whether you measure it before or after eating) but contains water; fats; proteins; enzymes; minerals; hormones; gasses; immune cells; toxins; bacteria; body waste and cell debris. So as you might imagine, it is an important system to have functioning correctly.
The lymphatic system is present everywhere in the body, except where there are no blood vessels, like the cornea and lens of the eye or in cartilage.
Even though the lymphatic system was anatomically identified several hundred years ago, we are only now starting to fully understand the way lymph behaves and the role it plays in health.
The circulatory system, or blood, leaves the heart via the arterial system but returns via one of two pathways - the veins (or venous system) and the lymphatic pathways. One of the ways in which the lymph differs from blood is that its circulation is slower, with less velocity and less pressure.
In order for your cells to thrive they need fluid, nutrients and oxygen that is filtered from the blood. Once it leaves the blood vessels and surrounds the cells, this exudate is called interstitial fluid. It is in this interstitial fluid that cells receive their nutritive substances and also deliver their damaging waste products.
It is the job of the lymphatic system to recover this fluid between the cells which the venous system cannot. This fluid, containing pathogens, foreign bodies, and proteins is moved to the lymph nodes which act as a filtering and purification stations. These substances are broken down and then eliminated.
When working with the lymphatic system it is possible to identify the rhythm, direction, depth and quality of the lymph flow. The flow of lymph can be mapped in the body (Manual Lymphatic Mapping) using light touch. This allows the precise identification of areas where there is fluid retention or fibrosis, and then discover the most appropriate pathways for drainage of these areas.
At a deeper level, it is possible to work with the lymph circulation of the bones, muscles, tendons, organs, eyes, intercellular fluid, blood vessels and fascia.
Why is this important?
At a liquid and blood level, treatment activates circulation. This reduces the effects of swelling and congestion in the tissues.
The movement of lymph fluid into the nodes stimulates the immune system.
Lymphatic treatment decreases the sympathetic nervous system response and increases parasympathetic tone which induces relaxation, anti- spastic effects, and pain modulation/reduction.
As a result, LDT is indicated for:
- Dental and orthodontic work
- Metabolic conditions
- Gastric conditions
- Liver conditions
- Gynaecological problems
- Infectious diseases
- Neurological conditions
- Eye issues
- Orthopaedic surgery
- Ear/Nose/Throat problems
- Lung issues
- Rheumatological concerns
- Cosmetic surgery
- Sports conditions