The Swedish massage
Swedish massage is the common basis of sportsmassage that therapists are trained to perform on muscle injuries. The technique applies deeper pressure than other kind of massage and is known to increase oxygenation of the blood and release metabolic waste such as lactic and uric acids from the muscle tissue.
This can be particularly important for athletes who build up lactic acid in their muscles, because the massage can dislodge the build-up and replace it with fresh oxygenated blood.
Swedish massage technique can also assist in alleviating emotional stress and has other therapeutic uses.
The 5 main Swedish massage techniques were developed by Swedish doctor Per Henrik Ling, a physical therapist, developer, and teacher of medical gymnastics.
Long sweeping strokes that alternate between firm and light pressure and can be performed using the palm of the hand or the fingertips. The knots and tension in the muscles tend to get broken down with this technique.
Kneading strokes on the muscles of the body to attain deeper massage penetration. The thumbs and the knuckles of the fingers are used to knead the muscles and to squeeze them to prepare them for the further treatment.
- Tapotement or Rhythmic Tapping
Rhythmic tapping are strokes that use the fists of the cupped hands. This helps to loosen and relax the muscles being manipulated and also helps to energize them. The sides of the hands are also used.
These strokes create heat to bring about relaxation of the muscles. The palms of the hands are rubbed together vigorously and placed on the skin, or they are rubbed directly onto the skin of the patient. This technique can be used as a warm-up for preparing the relevant muscles of the body for deeper massage.
- Vibration or Shaking
Strokes loosen up the muscles through a back and forth action of the fingertips or the heel of the hand over the skin. The muscles of the body are literally shaken up to cause them to loosen and relax. The sides of the hand, and any part of the hand such as the tips or heel, can be used by the masseuse to shake up the muscles of the patient.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage was developed in the 1930's by Dr. Emil Vodder.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a gentle and effective way to address post mastectomy concerns when lymph nodes have been removed or radiated.MLD is a crucial component in the reduction and maintenance of lymphedema, manually re-routing lymph to new drainage areas that have not been damaged. MLD effectively de-congests the tissue by removing excess fluid, metabolic wastes, foreign substances, and large protein molecules all of which contribute to poor tissue health, lead to more swelling (protein attracts water) and are risk factors for serious infection. It encourages the natural circulation of lymph through the lymphatic system MLD is used daily during the intensive phase of lymphedema therapy as a reduction tool followed by the application of compression bandaging.
This combination is known as Combined Decongestive Therapy.
In addition to its practicality for managing lymphedema, MLD is a useful tool in easing the discomfort of over 60 conditions. As MLD removes metabolic waste, excess fluids and toxins from the body, the treatment can support the immune system and speed up the recovery from surgery or trauma. It will also help break down tough scar tissue that may have formed.
MLD is best suited to:
- Mastectomy patients (‘chording” after mastectomy/ node removal) *myofascial release with MLD*,
- People experiencing chemotherapy side effects (ie constipation, stress ,skin conditions, pain),
- People with achy/ swollen legs, varicose veins (due to venous insufficiency).
- People who have had lymph nodes removed or radiation,
- People with lymphedema,
The benefits of a Compassionate Beauty MLD Massage are far reaching for the treatment of lymphedema. Some of these benefits include:
- encourages post-surgical healing,
- loosens mastectomy scar tissue,
- educates patients at risk of lymphedema,
- decreases leg swelling in venous edema.
- increases lymphatic flow,
- by encouraging new drainage pathways following lymph node removal,
- gentle, rhythmic, deeply relaxing,
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema can be a hereditary condition, known as primary lymphedema; or it can also be as the result of some sort of trauma like an accident, a burn, or a surgery involving lymph nodes. Lymphedema is a condition characterized by localized swelling resulting from the accumulation of protein rich interstitial fluid, it happens when the lymphatic system has been damaged in some way. You may be at risk of lymphedema following a mastectomy or hysterectomy especially if any lymphnodes have been removed or damaged. This is known as secondary lymphedema. Lymphedema is never curred but it can be maintained by manual lymphatic drainage massage, compressions therapy (wearing of garments, stocking or bandages) correct exercise and skin care.
Here are some tips to assist you in managing you lymphedema:
- It is very important to avoid all types of infections
- Watch for signs of infection and call your doctor if you notice redness or increased warmth, especially if accompanied by a fever.
- Keep the limb clean and moisturized
- Avoid Cuts and Burns, if you do break the skin, clean the cut and use an antibacterial cream.
- Avoid sunburn- avoid direct sunlight and wear sunscreen on your arm and chest
- Wear insect repellent to avoid bug’s biting you.
- Don't cut cuticles or allow them to be cut when having a manicure
- Don't allow blood samples or injections on the affected limb
- Wear gardening gloves and Dish gloves to avoid any kind of injury
- Avoid heavy repetitive lifting on the affected side of the body or with affected limb.
- Avoid narrow bra straps or tight fitting bras if arms are affected
- Avoid Saunas and Hot tubs
- Exercise regularly but break in slowly and increase gradually. Exercise is very important in assisting the lymphatic system
- Maintain a healthy body weight, being overweight increases your chance of developing lymphedema
- Wear a compression sleeve when taking long flights