An important part of the circulatory system is the lymphatic system and its job is to eradicate fluid build-up and waste products from the body. It comprises of lymph nodes that are present in several parts of the body such as the neck, under the arms and groins. After a cancer surgery, these nodes often have to be removed which causes a buildup of fluid that causes discomfort and pain. Proper lymph drainage, hence, becomes a matter of substantial importance in reducing the swelling.
One of the ways of maintaining optimal lymph drainage is to perform gentle self-massages in some specific parts of the body. Theses highly specialized massages remove excess fluids from the affected parts to the ones where lymph nodes are functioning normally, thus reducing the swelling caused by the buildup of the fluid.
It is important to make sure that you don’t cause yourself pain while performing these lymph drainage massages. Consult a Lymphedema specialist beforehand to know the proper method of doing these massages. There are over 500 points in the body where lymph nodes are located. Most of them are found near the abdomen, groin, armpits and the neck. Self-massages should focus mainly on these easily accessible areas without overstressing any sensitive area.
Lymph drainage self-massages have several other benefits apart from them being a revitalizing and soothing experience:
1. It improves the fluid carrying capacity of the lymphatic system and enables it to circulate more lymph, in addition to improving your blood flow. These massages cause the blood vessels to dilate, hence increasing oxygen absorption in the bloodstream.
2. An increase in lymph flow through lymph nodes causes better filtration of toxins, dead cells and surplus proteins from the body. Since more lymph is processed by the lymph nodes due to the massages, more unwanted material gets cleaned out of our body as a result.
3. The body’s immune system becomes stronger due to an increase in lymphocyte count. Lymphocytes, or immune cells, are responsible for attacking and destroying foreign substances that present a danger to our body’s internal organs.
4. They initiate a response from the parasympathetic nervous system, which induces a relaxation effect through out the body. This part of the nervous system is active during rest and relaxation periods and decrease heart rate and blood pressure while enhancing digestion. These therapies, hence, can act as a natural stress reliever.
5. These lymph drainage self-massages help reduce many types of chronic pain that might otherwise require heavy medication. Many studies have indicated that the inflammatory elements, such as prostaglandins and cytokines, continue to maintain their presence even after the initial trauma has passed. Lymph movement causes the removal of these agents from the tissue and hence relieves pain.
6. It is effective in treating edema and lymphedema at the comfort and convenience of your home. Although no cure for lymphedema is currently known, massages and compression garments along with exercises and a healthy diet are effectual in containing and preventing it.
Make lymph drainage self massage a part of your daily routine to achieve remarkable and positive results and don’t forget to visit our Bioflect Compression Therapy Garments site in order to find appropriate fitting lymphedema compression garments.