Your Lymphatic System
Your body has two circulatory systems, one of them is your bloodstream and the other is your lymph system. It runs throughout your body, and has two pathways, one deep and one superficial. Lymph fluid itself is clear and colorless. It contains white blood cells that bathe your tissues in nutrients and drains them of toxins. Your lymphatic system fights against infections as it courses through its pathways draining into your bloodstream.
What Is Lymphatic Drainage Therapy?
Developed by Dr. Bruno Chikly (MD/DO), Lymphatic Drainage Therapy (LDT) is a light, gentle touch therapy. The therapist uses this very precise technique to help reduce inflammation, swelling, and congestion. The purpose is to help flush stagnant lymph fluid out of your body. Draining lymph will help to re-route the flow around scars, adhesions or damaged/missing lymph nodes. This helps your body eliminate toxins and allows the proper nutrients to circulate aiding in recovery. It is very useful after accidents, surgeries and illness. In addition it is helpful for acute pain, scars, restrictions and adhesions in the tissues (fascia).
Fascia is the sticky web that binds us, it wraps around and goes through every cell in your body. When fascia is healthy, it is pliable and fluid, allowing your body to function properly thereby giving you the shape and definition you crave. When fascia is unhealthy, it can become bound, compressing not only nerves and blood vessels but also chunks of flesh and fat. This can cause dents and ripples in your body. Aside from being aesthetically unpleasant, bound fascia can also reduce your range of motion and cause lymphatic flow to be stagnant. Bound fascia can increase inflammation, sensitivity and cause pain, making it more difficult for you to lose fat and gain definition.
Fascial adhesions (tangles in the fiber) are often caused by accidents, surgery or tightness brought on by repetitive movement. These adhesions sometimes create a “traffic jam” underneath, making it difficult for the superficial lymphatic flow to work properly. As a result, you may notice tight areas that are very sensitive or ticklish and can’t handle much pressure. Having damaged fascia may cause you to be reluctant to have that area worked on during massage.
This is where Lymphatic Drainage Therapy and lympho-fascial release techniques will work wonders to painlessly restore proper circulation and movement to your body.
About Alexandra Lopez, LMT
Alexandra’s background in massage is mainly clinical and therapeutic. Due to having worked in rehabilitation and physical therapy, her approach is very specific and delicate. One of the biggest challenges she had in working with patients who had suffered a trauma (motor vehicle accidents, multiple surgeries, joint replacements etc.) is something called guarding or body armor. This is how your body attempts to cope with the injury by forming a protective barrier around it. Sometimes this leads to the nerves and blood vessels being restricted and causing elevated levels of sensitivity as a result. Other times there is a dis-connect between what your mind perceives and what the body is feeling and these areas will be numb. Unfortunately, in either case there are restriction in movement and circulation which slows down recovery.
She was able to use Lymphatic Drainage Therapy to reduce the inflammation and sensitivity successfully in these patients but that still left the adhesions in the fascia. That’s when discovered an effective way to release these restrictions PAINLESSLY. By integrating various techniques, along with the GENTLE application of a commercially used tool, known as the FasciaBlaster. When Alexandra employs the use of the FasciaBlaster in combination with LDT, she is able to have the most therapeutic impact.