Lymphatic massage (LM) is a specialized massage therapy technique used to reduce edema or swelling by facilitating the transport of excessive soft tissue fluid into the lymphatic system. During a lymphatic massage session, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) techniques are applied by the therapist to mobilize fluid from a specific body area into the lymphatic outflow system. Through repetitive strokes over swollen soft tissue, the therapist promotes the transport of extra tissue fluid into lymphatic vessels, nodes, main lymphatic trunks, and eventually into the systemic bloodstream for further excretion by the kidneys.
Originally developed for the treatment of acute and chronic lymphedema, LM has found success in facilitating postoperative body recovery after cosmetic surgical procedures. By reducing edema following surgery through fluid mobilization, significant benefits have been observed. The specific MLD techniques utilized for postoperative recovery after plastic surgery are commonly referred to as "postoperative lymphatic massage" or "lymphatic drainage."
NOTE: It is important to note that the term "lymphatic massage" in this context refers specifically to MLD techniques related to postoperative recovery after plastic surgery procedures, particularly liposuction. While the term "lymphatic massage" is widely used to describe postoperative manual lymphatic drainage techniques, it may not comprehensively reflect the complex pathophysiological changes impacted by MLD techniques. Postoperative soft tissue fluid congestion is multifactorial due to injury, and therefore the term "manual decongestive therapy" more accurately depicts the therapeutic effects of this massage modality.
Tip: To learn more about the differences between traditional and postoperative lymphatic massage, visit: www.lymphaticmassage.com.