Lymph Drainage Therapy
Lymph Drainage Therapy uses a technique called Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT), a gentle massage which encourages the natural circulation of the lymph through the body including compression wrapping (CDT).
Lymph Drainage Therapy was pioneered by Dr. Emil Vodder
in the 1930's for the treatment of chronic sinusitis and other immune
disorders. While working on the French Riviera treating patients with
chronic colds, Dr. Emil Vodder and his wife Dr. Estrid Vodder noticed these
patients had swollen lymph nodes. In 1932 they began to study the lymph
system, and developed careful hand movements to cause lymph movement.
In 1936, after four years of research, they introduced this technique
in Paris, France.
Lymph Drainage Therapy is now recognized as a primary tool in Lymphedema management. Therapists receive certification through special classes conducted by various organizations (including Dr. Vodder School International) specializing in MLD/CDT.
Treatment for Lymphedema requires a referral from your
doctor as it is a medical condition.
The initial assessment involves measurement of the limbs, to compare volume of the affected and unaffected limbs. It also includes teaching about Lymphedema and the precautions to reduce the risk of infection and/or swelling as well as skin care and exercise.
Treatment is most successful if administered on a regular basis. Treatment along with compression wrapping is provided to reduce volume to the affected limb.
After the limb volume is stabilized, it is essential to be fitted for a compression garment to control the volume. Custom garments are measured specifically for the client and the limb that is being treated. Whether you are fit for a prefabricated or custom garment you should be measured and fit by a certified garment fitter. As a rule, garments need to be replaced every 3 - 6 months to control volume.
Garments should be worn daily but are not for night time use unless it is an actual night garment. There are several options for night garments that can replace the need for self-wrapping and can be ordered and measured by a qualified fitter.