I’ve tried many different lymphatic drainage modalities for both myself and my clients. First I learned the Vodder method. It’s a very gentle technique. Then I learned deep tissue manual lymphatic drainage. But the technique that I felt got the biggest results for both myself and my clients is manual lymphatic drainage with cupping. It not only assists in draining the lymphatic system but also breaks up Fascia restrictions which can be like a kink in the hose of the lymph.
The lymphatic system in your body is responsible for carrying away toxins and bacteria bringing in white blood cells (lymph fluid) that act as our immune system. The white blood cells are responsible for attacking viruses and cancer cells, keeping the body free from invaders that threaten our health. The veins and arteries of the circulatory system are close in proximity to the lymph channels and assist in the flow of lymphatic fluid since the lymph system has no individual pump to carry the fluid throughout the body. The only other means of circulating the fluid is through body movement or muscle contractions.
It takes approximately 24 hours for the body to process about three quarts of lymphatic fluid. When you add an injury, infection or surgery where lymph nodes are removed, the flow of fluid is hindered, hence you get edema (swelling). Lymphedema is the chronic swelling of tissues due to blockages and lack of flow within the lymphatic system.
With the combination of Deep Tissue Manual Lymphatic Drainage and massage cupping, the effectiveness of the lymphatics can be enhanced by manually assisting the flow. Most of your lymphatic system is below the surface of the skin and there are valves that allow the fluid to flow only one way. The practitioner uses deep tissue techniques and distinctive manual strokes to open closed drains and ducts. Their hands and cups are used to open drain pathways toward the vessels to clear lymphatic stagnation and reestablish overall circulation to drain old congested toxic filled body fluid stagnations.
These tried and true techniques provide instant relief and immediate results. During treatment, the practitioner works on sections of the body. In some cases, they may devote an entire hour to target one or two sections in order to drain excessive edema (swelling). Each quadrant of the body has its own drainage pattern and ducts that the interstitial fluid is directed to drain toward. For example, the head and the upper chest drain into the Right Lymphatic and Left Thoracic Ducts which are under the clavicle. The arms and lateral half of the breast drains into the armpits. The armpits are generally very congested if you have used commercial deodorants in the past, and these sites tend to be very sensitive to pressure. As these ducts open and drainage occurs, the area under the armpit can appear concave, whereas before treatment it may have had a convex or golf ball appearance. For women, underwire bras tend to block or inhibit the drainage flow pattern of the breasts both toward the middle as well as to the outside of the breast.
Compared to the tediously slow compression work of Manual Lymphatic Drainage, Cupping Therapy does the opposite. Cupping stretches open the lymphatic vessels, rather than closing them. This action actually increases the movement of lymph locally and systemically with cumulative treatments. Increasing Lymphatic output increases the immune systems ability to detoxify the body and respond to stressors put onto it from disease, chemicals, stress, and electromagnetic fields. Lymphatic Drainage using Cupping helps to speed regeneration of tissues and cells.
It is my policy that Post-surgery, a person should wait at least 6 weeks before getting any massage or lymphatic cupping session, or until a doctor clears the patient to receive one. Massage Cupping is not contraindicated unless a person has a rash, fever, or open wounds. However, my experience is to wait 6 weeks while the body rests and heals.