Manual Lymphatic Massage is a form of alternative therapy, which is intended to encourage the natural flow of lymphatic fluid. It is a gentle form of massage utilizing a specific light pressure of rhythmic circular motions as well and gentle pumping and flushing strokes in a certain direction with the natural flow of lymphatic fluid within the system. Light jostling of the area may also be used.
Lymph is the fluid that circulates throughout the lymphatic system, which is part of the circulatory and immune systems. It is transported through lymph vessels to lymph nodes then back to the blood via the left or right subclavian vein. There is no pump like the heart but rather a series of ducts that work by the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle as well as the compression caused by contraction of skeletal muscles. For our purposes, it is important to note that if too much pressure within the system develops and causes a backup of fluid and leads to Edema, or excess accumulation of fluid in the interstitium.
This is manifested as "swelling" to a region. This is why we use Lymphatic Massage to stimulate the normal flow and proper drainage of this accumulation of fluid back into the system so that the body may process it. The byproduct is that the swelling and any pain associated with it is relieved. For Scott Zelensky at Proactive Health Therapeutic Services, this is utilized often in sports injury as well as other injuries.
Proactive Health Therapeutic Services Sports Massage