LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Since the 1930s, the lymph massage style has been used to treat people with blockages in the lymph vessels. These blockages can lead to discomfort, infection and decreased mobility, but through the lymphatic massage the body's innate healing mechanisms can be awakened.
When Jane Dufrene completed her radiation treatments for breast cancer last summer, she had an unexpected side effect. "It showed up like a puffiness in the hand and around the wrist and elbow," says Jane, "it just felt heavy and clothes fit differently."
Her swelling condition, known as "lymphedema" is common for people who have undergone radiation or had damage to their lymphatic system - which is responsible for immune system regulation and fluid waste and removal. Massage therapist Diane Majestic with The Chiropractic Center says, "That causes the part of the body that normally feeds to those lymph nodes to swell."
Through lymphatic massage and manual lymph drainage, Majestic is able to gently push the fluids that have been trapped back to functioning lymph nodes in other parts of the body. "Once they do that, they're able to be processed through the body as they normally would've been," says Majestic, "after the treatment we will do a multi-layered bandaging system to help keep the swelling down and promote more drainage."
If the lymphedema is not treated, not only will the physical effects of swelling worsen, but a person will also be at an increased risk for serious complications. "It puts them at risk for infection and it could be a mild infection or as threatening as something that puts them in the hospital," says Majestic.
Typical treatment for lymphedema lasts about one month, with three visits each week. Jane began getting lymphatic massages in early March and has already seen a change in the way her clothes fit. "This is actually my fifth week and I've come just about every day," says Jane, "she massages me and wraps me and we saw good results the first week."