Lymphedema is a health condition that develops when the lymphatic system gets dysfunctional.
Compared with lipoedema, Lymphoedema presents disproportional swelling in 1 limb per side.
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 of taking 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.
How MLD works?
The Manual Lymphatic Drainage technique stimulates the lymphatic system that can also be boosted by muscular movement.
Indeed a 30-minute 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 closes to suck away the lymph. The faster the opening and closing of the doors of the capillary, the quicker the suctions would be.
How may lymphedema develop?
Where things can go wrong is when the lymphatic system stops 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 is as follow:
- Missing lymph nodes can happen after surgery for cancer removal
- Genetics missing lymph nodes as per genetic
- Surgery damages the pre-collector/collector or lymph nodes with invasive surgery.
- Radiation due to cancer treatment
Are there risk factors?
- Older age
- Excess weight or obesity
- Rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis
When Lymohodema starts developing, an intervention of a professional carer is essential.
Here is a link to 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 is quite severe.
As the skin keeps swelling, it will stop receiving oxygen from the bloodstream sooner or later.
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.
MLD at Melbourne Massage and Treatment
Regarding my training as an MLD therapist, I can’t treat clients with Lymphodema yet.
My skills within the MLD technique are limited to working with a patient with an intact and fully functioning Lymphatic System.
But don’t hesitate to contact me if you need more information about Lymphodema, as I can put you in touch with a therapist who can help.