At the end of the cellular activities of our body, lymph fluid, which is formed normally, is collected through the tissues by lymph vessels. Lymph fluid filtered from the lymph nodes enters the bloodstream. The purpose of this circulation is to remove and prevent bacteria from the environment that can lead to skin and subcutaneous infections. Lymph fluid, rich in protein, carries bacteria, viruses and other waste it collects through channels to the lymph nodes, and in these nodes, waste and microbes are destroyed by cells. Lymph fluid begins to accumulate in the tissue if the circulation that should be this is interrupted due to disorders caused by various causes in the lymph nodes or lymphatic pathways. It’s called” lymphedema.” After breast cancer and abdominal surgery, damage to the lymph nodes due to surgery or radiation therapy can lead to the development of lymphedema in the arm, as well as lymphedema in the legs due to congenital lymphedema or insufficiency of the lymphatic pathways. This edema can reach advanced dimensions (popularly known as elephant disease). Lymphedema mostly occurs in old age, but can also occur from birth. Lymphedema is a chronic disease just like diabetes and hypertension, which can be controlled by early diagnosis, approach and regular follow-up protocol, and the quality of life of a patient with lymphedema increases.
In lymphedema, a protocol called” Complete decongestive treatment ” is applied. This treatment includes: manual lymph drainage massage, bandaging, compression, pressure suit, personalized exercise protocol, kinesiological banding and electrotherapy. Although treatment varies depending on the severity of the disease, lymphedema treatment lasts an average of 20-30 Sessions, 2-8 weeks.
Lymph drainage massage is the most important application, especially to reduce edema. It is a massage that is extremely light, monotonous, slow, rhythmic and performed on the surface of the skin. It accelerates the flow of lymph fluid and provides comfort by minimizing bloating. Lymph flow is supported by lymph drainage massage and swelling caused by edema can be reduced. Lymph drainage massage cleans our body of toxins, bacteria, microbes, chemical waste and excess liquid and strengthens our resistance system.