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Lymphatic drainage is a particular technique of massage, exercised in the areas of the body characterized by excessive reduction of the lymphatic circulation. Lymphatic drainage, as the word itself announces, favors the drainage of lymphatic fluids from the tissues: the manual mechanical action is exerted at the level of areas that affect the lymphatic system (composed of spleen, thymus, lymphatic nodules and lymph nodes), in order to facilitate the outflow of stagnant organic liquids.
it is a manual technique, which is part of the therapeutic massage and, as such, requires specific training on the part of the operator who wants to perform it correctly, professionally and


The creation of this technique is due to the brilliant intuition of dr. Emil Vodder, Danish kinesiterapist with good scientific training (studies in medicine, biology and philosophy).
He, together with his wife Estrid, worked as a massage therapist in the years '32 -'36 in a physical care institute in Cannes specialized in the treatment of chronic forms of catarrh. Here, Vodder was able to treat a young British patient with chronic tonsillitis. Using gentle rotary movements of the fingertips along the lymphatic outflow pathways of the skin of the neck, throat and shoulders, he managed to obtain an extraordinary improvement of the patient's health conditions, resolving the pathology.
The use of the same type of manual skills on numerous other patients suffering from chronic sinusitis or similar otorinolaringoiatric pathologies, with the comparison of the same result, led, little by little, to the codification of a precise technique, which was presented to the public, for the first time, in 1936, receiving considerable success.
Despite skepticism and difficulties, amplified by the fact that Vodder was not a doctor, the technique spread to Paris (1936), to Copenhagen and later, to Austria (Walchsee) where, in the '70s, Vodder opened the dr. Vodder Schule with the Wittlinger spouses.
Currently, all the effects of manual lymphatic drainage (LDM) according to Vodder have been scientifically proven (except for the immunological effect).
From the collaboration with different doctors (such as Foldi, Asdonk, Kuhnke and others) came the current Complex Decongestion Therapy (TDC), which is the conservative technique of choice for the treatment of lymphedema.


According to my experience, gained over 18 years of teaching, I found that the greatest difficulty that the students are facing is the extent of pressure to be made in the execution of the LDM according to Vodder. The courses are strictly aimed at health professionals (physiotherapists and doctors) or aesthetics (beauticians), professionals accustomed to "touching" patients ... all this would imply an immediate perceptive understanding of the quality of touch .... Often, this is not the case. The LDM is very different from the classic massage that you are used to performing. Usually, I immediately clarify the concept of "pressure" in the LDM. I prefer to talk about "Moving the skin on the floors below": only this must be done, nothing more. By performing a classic massage, the skin becomes red, the depth of the maneuvers can cause annoyance, if not even pain. On the contrary, LDM causes a palpation of the skin, it is sweet, slow, rhythmic, pleasant. The patient relaxes, many fall asleep. In physiological situations, the amount of pressure does not exceed 30/40 mmHg. It should be clarified that, in the case of hard lymphedema, fibrotic or even elefantiasico, a touch too light would be absolutely inadequate .. The hand of the operator must therefore be a hand that does not impose, but that listens, perceives and adapts. Among the scientifically proven effects of LDM, there is the so-called "Simpaticolitic Effect", a technical term that indicates that a treatment performed correctly is extremely relaxing and anti-stress. Personally, I know very few people immune to stress, this sort of "disease typical of our times. , with all its nefarious consequences ranging from insomnia, nervousness, constipation to colitis, and the list could be very long. Without being a panacea, the LDM according to Vodder is of considerable help. A comfortable environment, soft light or, better yet, natural, silence or soft background music, a comfortable position on the massage table, the use of towels to cover the areas of the body on which we are not working, the absence of external disturbances, our hands that, with rhythmic and gentle movements, move the skin without attacking it, the duration of the session (at least 45 minutes) are all factors that, in my opinion, have a therapeutic value not to be neglected as determinants for the purpose of achieving the desired result. The touches of the LDM according to Vodder continually alternate a phase of active movement of the skin to a phase of non - pressure. In this way, skin contact receptors are stimulated, which are antagonists of pain receptors: the result is a good analgesic effect, according to the gate theory, elaborated over 40 years, but still valid. Furthermore, the LDM according to Vodder acts on the skeletal musculature (relaxing the painful muscular contractures and removing toxins and lactic acid which can stagnate in the tissues) and on the smooth one. The intestinal peristalsis can find its physiological rhythm (both in the case of atony and of the spastic intestine); the lymphatic vessels, the wall of which is surrounded by smooth muscle cells, respond to the manual skills of the LDM with an increase in their frequency of contraction. LDM helps to maintain our connective tissue (ie the environment in which the metabolic exchanges that make up the microcirculation occur), healthy and clean, with a good draining effect. The products of cell catabolism, thanks to this technique, reach faster the lymphatic structures dedicated to their reabsorption. Usually, patients report feeling lighter and urinating more; the limbs appear slimmer and a general well-being is perceived. Finally, regular sessions help the body to maintain the best health conditions, supporting the immune system: this effect, not yet scientifically validated, however, is confirmed by the daily experience of thousands of therapists who, all over the world, use the method


Multiple are the fields of application of the LDM according to Vodder.
In particular: primary lymphostatic edema (= lymphedema). secondary lymphostatic edema (= lymphedema):
in the field of oncology, traumas (haematomas, sprains, dislocations, tendon injuries, ligaments, meniscales, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, thumb ski, snap finger, muscle tears, fracture injuries, Sudeck dystrophy); postoperative (in the orthopedic, odontostomatological, aesthetic, stripping, skin grafting, scars ...); rheumatological affections (rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis, chronic polyarthritis, Bechterew's disease, arthropathies ...); systemic diseases of connective tissue (lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, polymyositis, dermatomyositis ...); osteoporosis; Local edema of central and peripheral SN (apoplexy, migraine and headache, concussion, Menière's syndrome, tinnitus and hearing disorders, trigeminal neuralgia, facial paresis, multiple sclerosis, herpes zoster neuralgia, Down's disease, lymphatic children ", etc…); venous edema (intermittent claudication, venous, arterial and diabetic ulcers); local chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract (chronic cold, asthmatic and chronic bronchitis, chronic sinusitis, chronic otitis and tubaric catarrh, chronic tonsillitis); constipation; ulcerative colitis (chronic forms); dermatological affections (acne vulgaris, rosacea, perioral dermatitis, allergic and chronic eczema, ...); stress, vegetative dystonia, premenstrual syndrome and idiopathic cyclic edema; gestation; edemato-fibrosclerotic panniculopathy (cellulitis); in association with slimming diets for the maintenance of skin elasticity. In some cases, the LDM and / or the TDC (Complex Decongestion Therapy) still represent elective treatment, in others they can be used to support and optimize the results obtained with other therapies (physical, pharmacological or rehabilitative).
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