Lymphedema is a health condition that developed when because of a dysfunctional lymphatic system.
It presents disproportional swelling in 1 or more of the body’s limbs.
As stated above, what’s behind the swelling is a malfunctioning lymphatic system that leads to an increased amount of protein below the skin (lymph liquid).
As already discussed in a previous post about MLD, the lymphatic system has the function to take away the lymph liquid and pass it on to the bloodstream.
Indeed, from the bloodstream, it will all get filtered from the organs such as kidneys and liver to be disposed of.
The lymph liquid is mainly made of water, protein and dirt.
The Manual Lymphatic Drainage technique stimulates the lymphatic system that can also be boosted by muscular movement.
Indeed a 30 minutes to 1 hour walk, can speed up the Lymphatic System to double speed.
This happens due to the capillary (pre-collector) of the lymphatic system, which constantly opens and close to suck away the lymph. Faster is the opening and closing of the doors of the capillary, faster would be the suctions.
Where things can go wrong is when the lymphatic system stop working or doesn’t work strong enough in one or more than one area of the body.
The reason why the LS stop working and cause lymphodema are as follow:
- Missing lympho nodes As can happen after surgery for cancer removal
- Genetics missing lymph nodes as per genetic
- Surgery damaging the pre collector/collector or lympho nodes with invasive surgery.
- Radiation due to cancer treatment
Said so there are also some risk factors that we should look into:
- Older age
- Excess weight or obesity
- Rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis
When a Lymohodema starts developing an intervention of a professional carer is essential.
Here is a link where you can find a Manual Lymphatic Drainage therapist worldwide that can help you with that.
Seeing a GP is also recommended.
For intervention I refer to MLD as a manual technique to boost the lymphatic system, compression bandaging and garments wear.
The consequence of letting go of Lymphodema are quite severe.
As the skin would keep swelling, soon or later it will stop receiving oxygen from the bloodstream.
As per result, the skin would start drying out, cracking, and possibly getting infected.
Said so, the consequence can be even more severe and lead to Cancer too.
In regards to my training as an MLD therapist, I can’t treat yet clients with Lymphodema.
My skills within the MLD technique are limited to working with a patient who has an intact and fully functioning Lymphatic System.