What You Should Know About lymphedema Massage
When the lymph nodes and pathways are damaged or removed during surgery, the fluids cannot progress through the body. Hence, there is an accumulation of these fluids leading to a swelling in the area, particularly in the hands and legs. A lymphedema massage therapy is considered to be beneficial to the patient because the massage helps to stimulate the flow of the lymph and move it to the blood stream. The excess fluids are disposed off along with cellular waste and other harmful elements by the body.
The term massage is used to describe the traditional forms of massage where the strokes are applied with pressure. This kind of traditional massage increases the arterial blood flow in the massaged area because it is aimed at loosening out the muscles, tendons and ligaments. In case of lymphedema, the technique of manual lymph drainage is also described as a massage. Here however, the massage is a gentle and rhythmic movement to stimulate the lymph flow. The massage is performed with a light touch and is used in combination with other forms of treatment for lymphedema, like bandaging, using compressive garments, skin care and exercise.
Manual lymph drainage should be done in a proper manner so as not to exert pressure on the skin and inadvertently increase the arterial blood flow in the process. If this happens, it may lead to accumulation of more water in the tissues and further complications for the patient. A normal massage therapy may have a negative impact on a lymphedema patient so lymphedema massage in the form the manual lymph drainage should only be carried out by a professional therapist trained in the technique.
Lymphedema massage performed by a trained therapist can be highly beneficial to the patient. However, one must take care to select a therapist who has had experience in lymphedema treatment and is aware of how to direct the excess fluids to the blood stream. The patient can even learn the art of self-massage in order to keep lymphedema under control. It is essential to make note of the improvement or the decline of the condition due to the massage therapy. If there is discomfort or the situation worsens, it is advisable to review your options. You could either change the therapist or the massage technique.
Can massage prevent lymphedema? This is a question in many minds. In fact, a massage therapy is very soothing to the patient and may alleviate swelling and pain, post surgery. It helps the patient to relax and be able to deal with the stress of the trauma. It also helps the body to heal faster because a massage is therapeutic. There are practitioners experienced in lymphedema massage and patients may well make use of their services. Early treatment and preventive measures are absolutely critical in managing lymphedema, so persons who have had treatment for cancer should remain alert and not ignore any symptoms of lymphedema.