The technique of manual lymphatic drainage increases lymphatic flow. This boosts the effectiveness of the lymphatic system, which plays a role in the immune system. By stimulating immunological functions, lymphatic drainage helps to treat certain immune deficiencies and rheumatic disorders, as well as many other conditions.
The technique is also used as preparation for and early treatment of colds and sports injuries. Targeted lymphatic drainage reduces healing times.
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Useful information about the therapy
In comparison with other types of therapy, manual lymphatic drainage is a relatively new treatment. The healing effects of lymphatic drainage were discovered by chance in the 1930s by Danish physiotherapist and masseur Dr Emil Vodder. He continued to develop the method and, in 1958, taught his first courses in Germany. This form of therapy is now in widespread use in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
During lymphatic drainage, the lymphatic flow in the body is stimulated. The lymphatic system consists of the lymphatic organs and lymphatic vessels. Alongside the blood circulatory system, it is the most important transport system in the human body. It carries nutrients and waste products and is an essential part of the immune system. The lymphatic vessels transport a total of 2 litres of fluid every day.
The most common condition affecting the lymphatic system is lymphoedema. When the lymphatic vessels become blocked, it can lead to fluid retention between cells. Typical symptoms include swollen ankles and impressions (e.g. from clothing) that remain visible for a long time.
The basic motions of circles, pump technique, rotary technique, scoop strokes and different pressing motions are used to activate the lymphatic system. This means that excess fluid in the tissue can be transported out of the body more easily. As well as offering health benefits, lymphatic drainage is very relaxing and calming.
Manual lymphatic drainage is an excellent complementary therapy for all injuries that involve swelling, such as sprains, bruising and pulled muscles. In particular, it accelerates recovery after major surgical interventions (e.g. total hip replacements). It is also effective at treating any other vascular problems or swollen legs during pregnancy.
Lymphatic drainage should not be used on anyone who has oedema due to heart failure, deep vein thrombosis, or fever. We would be happy to advise you as to whether this treatment is suitable for you.