What is the Lymphatic System?
The lymphatic system is part of our immune system; it carries debris of various kinds. Excess proteins, bacteria, waste and toxins are carried to lymph nodes. The material is filtered and is either expelled from the body or re-introduced to the blood stream. The Lymphatic System consists of tissues and organs. They include the bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes and spleen, as well as the channels called lymph collectors, ducts and trunks, that carry lymph. There is a series of vessels and glands that comprise the lymph system and they are spread throughout the body similar to blood vessels. Many are found in very superficial tissue, making Manual Lymphatic Draining an effective way to influence the system. A disruption of the lymph system can eventually undermine its ability to drain fluid properly, resulting in excess fluid in parts of the body, which creates great risks of infection. This condition is called lymphedema and it sets itself apart from other edemas by being high in protein molecules.
There are two main types of lymphedema:
Primary Lymphedema: This type of lymphedema is usually evident at birth or before the age 35. It can also manifest later in life. It is caused by hereditary malformation (faulty genes) of the lymph system. This type of lymphedema is rare, affecting approximately 1 in every 10,000 people. It is typically divided into 3 types: Aplasia, Hypoplasia and Hyperplasia. This refers to where and how the lymphatic system is affected. Secondary Lymphedema: This lymphedema occurs as a result of an outside instigation such as infection, injury, trauma, cancer or cancer treatments, which damages the lymphatic system. The most common causes in the US are cancer treatments, such as radiation or the removal of lymph nodes, both during biopsy and surgery. These may disrupt or damage the lymph system. Other causes are: chronic venous insufficiency, phlebolymphedema, obesity and filariasis. For more information go to www.lymphcareusa.com
Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is the most common and doctor recommended treatment for lymphedema. It has two phases. Phase I: Decongestion and Phase II: maintenance which includes home care. Each phase includes variations of the following 4 components. 1. MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) – uses special techniques to move fluid into working lymph nodes, where they are then drained. It is crucial that this is done by a fully Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) for patients with lymphedema. The therapist needs a thorough knowledge of the lymphatic system for this to work. This is mainly because the direction and location of draining is crucial not to flood fluid into a compromised region. Manual lymphatic draining can also be done for a non-compromised lymphatic system. This can benefit immune function and detox. For this you can see a therapist with less extensive training. 2. MLLB (multi-layer lymphedema bandaging) or compression bandaging – when muscles surrounding lymph vessels and nodes contract and release, the fluid moves through the lymphatic system. Unlike the circulation of blood, there is no pump (heart) for lymph fluids. Breathing exercises and muscle movement are what cause valves to open and close and thus move fluid through the different vessels. Bandaging creates a barrier with a specific pressure that helps the tissue not expand further. This prevents fluid backlogging and creates interstitial pressure that is beneficial for the system to function. 3. Exercise – light exercises can encourage movement of the lymph fluid out of the affected limb. It is important not to overdo it and follow the directions of your therapist and doctor. 4. Skin Care – is KEY to this condition as waste levels are high under the skin. Due to movement of the fluid, any small breakage can lead to complications such as cellulitis. Using low pH-level lotion and soaps is best. Lotions are always applied before bandaging. Meticulous nail care is also key. Hang nails can be an easy place for infection.
What Does Lymphedema Treatment include?
Treatment options at Nordic House Spa
Complete decongestive Therapy to reduce Limb size Phase 1
We offer a 3 treatments a week Program. Treatments include Bandaging, MLD and guidance on how to manage bandaging at home, skin care and more. All first time Lymphedema patients gets 1 hour free consultation at their first visit. To find the right treatment plan, access home care options and availability to treatment, as it takes commitment to show up 3 times a week. We highly recommend that you add a 4th and 5th session a week to your care and these 2 additional sessions are discounted even more to encourage participation. However we understand that not everyone can commit that much time, between, work, kids and other engagements. Therefore, 3 times a weeks is the minimum we require for you to start lymphedema treatment. You will Need a Physicians release form from your doctor to start treatment with us. We do not take insurance We recommenced that you CONTACT us before booking any treatments online as we can create induvial packages designed for you and your needs.