What is Lymphatic Drainage?
The lymph system in our body is our “rubbish-removal-system”. When we carry too much rubbish, too many toxins and waste products and/or do not exercise our body sufficiently to flush these out – we begin to feeltired easily, we may feel exhausted, don't have a lot of energy and become prone to catching colds easily.
In times like these, lymph drainage is very helpful. The Lymphatic System has filter stations much like sponges, called "Lymph Nodes". The lymph fluid flows through these and the nodes retain "bits" that need to be dealt with and broken down, e.g. bacteria, waste products etc. When the nodes become congested, they need to be cleared. In the laundry we would squeeze a sponge to clean it. In Bowen Therapy many of the Bowen Moves are made near those lymph nodes. The moves work on structural realignments of the body and, at the same time, placed in a particular sequence, they initiate lymphatic drainage.
Lymphatic Drainage helps us to "get up and going" again.
Who can benefit from Lymphatic Drainage?
Most people can derive some benefit from lymphatic drainage. Those with lymphedema can experience great reductions in swelling. As the lymphatic system also forms the basis of the immune system, the treatment can provide a welcome immune boost, especially for the immune-suppressed or those who have been ill for long periods as in glandular fever.
The treatment can aid in chronic acne and painful cellulite, after cosmetic surgery to reduce swelling. As well as alleviating pain associated with swelling and joint inflammation, such as arthritis and MS. Some hormonal and menstrual imbalances can improve with lymphatic drainage and pregnancy related swelling could also benefit. The treatment is very relaxing and is great for high blood pressure and stress heads.
Who cannot be treated?
There are conditions for which lymphatic drainage would be contraindicated or precautions exercised. Some of the more serious of these conditions include:
- Acute infections and acute inflammation (generalized and local)
- Circulatory problems
- Cardiac conditions
- Malignment cancers
- Thyroid problems
- Acute phlebitis (inflammation of vein/s)
What to expect during a Lymphatic Drainage session?
A little time is taken at the start of a session to take a history and perhaps perform some observations. The treatment itself is very light and relaxing, so during a treatment it is not uncommon to fall asleep, and for blood pressure to drop. It is a good idea to not plan to drive afterwards. As the treatment returns fluid to the blood, anincrease in urination is often noticed. This is positive, as the toxins are leaving your body.
The downside to this cleansing is that sometimes skin outbreaks are experienced, so it is best not to have a treatment before a big date or function. It is also possible to feel some nausea and discomfort as the liver copes with the increased load. Afterwards though, you should feel a little lighter with a greater sense of wellbeing.
Treatment is usually complete within 40 minutes.
How often should I have Lymphatic Drainage?
The number and frequency of sessions required will depend on the severity and duration of the condition you are seeking help with. Maintenance visits may be required for long-term benefits, or you can come as the need arises.
Each session lasts approximately 40 mins.
Bowen Therapy and Cancer
Armed with the latest information on how cancer is spread, and knowing what we do about the function and action of the lymphatic system it becomes my ‘duty of care’ to inform clients who have lymphatic cancer or cancer of any form that there is no apparent added risk of me spreading the disease through having treatments. Clients naturally still have the right to refuse treatment if they have any concerns.
A lot of treatments by Bowen Therapists globally have been carried out on cancer patients and most report an overall improvement in the health of the patient. Until such stages as substantial research has been carried out Bowen Therapists are not in a position to treat without informed consent.
What about rebates?
Rebates are available for lymphatic drainage from most funds that pay for remedial massage. Check with your fund the exact rebate.
For more information on Lymphatic Drainage click here