Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Lymphatic massage is a manual therapy technique with a long history of usage in treating specific medical conditions. It was developed by Emil Vodder in the 1930s. The Vodder method is still in wide usage. It uses four basic motions to stretch the skin and encourage the flow of lymphatic fluid.
Different motions are appropriate for different parts of the body.
Lymphatic massage is often used as a treatment for post-surgery or post-traumatic edema or lipedema. It is a common treatment for post-mastectomy patients who are at risk of swelling, and it may provide symptom relief for patients with other conditions including autoimmune disorders. There is some research backing up its efficacy with fibromyalgia.
Lymphatic massage, or manual lymphatic drainage, may be provided as part of a comprehensive treatment program. However, this is not always the way it is practiced.
The technique is lighter than what is employed in traditional Swedish massage, focusing on the upper subcutaneous tissue as opposed to the underlying muscular structure. Therefore it appeals to some people who are very pain-sensitive. Like other forms of bodywork, it can promote relaxation. Some individuals seek the therapy for general wellness and report feeling better after their sessions; it has been hypothesized that this is because it helps move toxins and inflammatory agents out of the body.
In short, there are many reasons people may seek the therapy.