What is the lymphatic system?
“The lymphatic system is a closed, independent system which works alongside our circulatory system, as well as our immune and digestive systems,” explains Flavia. “It is our body’s first line of defence and is also responsible for regulating the amount of liquid in our bodies.” The lymph (the fluid that circulates through the lymphatic system) helps to eliminate toxins and excess fluids by carrying them back to the circulatory system and helping our body to eliminate them through urine.
What are the symptoms of a sluggish lymphatic system?
In short, there are many (some fairly unpleasant) tell-tale signs. “A sluggish lymphatic system will demonstrate signs such as fatigue, bloating, constipation, oedemas, heavy legs, headaches, skin irritations, cellulite, skin breakouts, inflammation, difficulties losing weight, joint pain and many others,” shares Flavia.
What is lymphatic drainage?
Unlike our circulatory system where the heart moves blood throughout the body, the lymphatic system doesn’t benefit from an in-built pump – and so requires some extra assistance to get things flowing. “Manual lymphatic drainage is a form of massage that guides the collection of lymph through the lymphatic pathways, towards the closest lymph nodes, where it will be processed and redirected back to the circulatory system via the heart,” describes Flavia. “It will stimulate the lymph nodes, allowing them to process these lymphatic fluids faster.”
What are the benefits of a lymphatic drainage treatment?
You can expect a wealth of benefits throughout the body, from improved immunity to a more efficient metabolism. “Manual lymphatic drainage is important because it facilitates the flow of water retention and toxins out of our bodies, helping to improve our immune system and metabolism. This elimination of toxins reduces the chances of blocking up our lymphatic system, and helps to maintain this system’s efficiency.
“In the Flavia Morellato Method, we work specifically to promote gut health and to fight bloating and constipation, helping to reduce chronic inflammation and leading to a lighter feeling overall from the very first session,” explains Flavia. It can also aid your mental health: “A good lymphatic drainage can reduce inflammation and promote relaxation at the same time,” she says.
Regular treatment is best to reap the most from the technique. “We recommend having sessions once a week if you want detoxification and to maintain all of the wonderful benefits. However, in specific cases such as post-partum and post-surgery it can be performed up to three times per week.”
How can lymphatic drainage help with pre- and post-operative care?
If you’re planning on undergoing surgery in the near future, Flavia recommends booking in for a pre-operative assessment and treatment. “We will offer specific advice and recommendations as well as performing a pre-operational manual lymphatic drainage to prepare the body to recover better.”
After an operation, lymphatic massage can help reduce possible complications (such as oedemas) as well as accelerating recovery. “Its main purpose is to control the inflammatory process after the surgical trauma, because the higher the inflammatory response, the higher the chances of complications,” Flavia adds.
In Flavia’s native Brazil, manual lymphatic drainage was considered standard practice post-surgery, and while today, it’s no longer the only post-operative care procedure that is recommended, it is still used alongside other physiotherapeutic techniques to control this inflammatory process in a preventative way, eliminating a large percentage of post-surgical complications.
And if you’re looking to optimise your recovery, there are a range of other treatments that can be used in tandem with lymphatic drainage. “There are innovative techniques that have just arrived from Brazil, such as taping, lower-level laser (which is a lower intensity) and ozone therapy, which we will be offering very soon as part of our treatments,” she shares.