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L'intérêt de réaliser un drainage lymphatique

The importance of performing a lymphatic drainage.

Adopted in both medicine and aesthetics, lymphatic drainage is a massage that provides numerous benefits. It is used to enhance comfort, health, and well-being. Here, we focus on the importance of engaging in lymphatic drainage.

What are the lymph and the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that run parallel to those of the blood system. These channels allow the circulation of lymph throughout the body. This colorless fluid transports and eliminates the body's waste. It also plays a crucial role in the immune system. While blood circulates in the blood vessels due to the pulsations and thus the contractions of the heart, lymph moves within the lymphatic vessels due to the contraction of other muscles in the body. It can also circulate due to the pulsation of the blood system.

What does lymph contain? Its composition is similar to that of blood plasma. The lymph contains numerous lymphocytes, white blood cells responsible for defending the body against external aggressions such as viruses and bacteria. It also carries waste, germs, and damaged cells away from the body's tissues.

The lymphatic vessels are located within the various tissues of the body and are connected to the lymph nodes. These can be likened to filters; they produce antibodies which are released into the blood in case of infection. The lymph, once purified in the nodes, drains into the venous system.

In sedentary individuals or those immobilized for various reasons, lymph tends to accumulate, particularly in the lower limbs, due to gravity. This can lead to swelling of the arms or legs and cause a feeling of heavy legs. Therefore, lymphatic drainage is essential to restore lymphatic circulation.

What exactly is lymphatic drainage?

Often likened to a gentle massage technique, lymphatic drainage helps to stimulate the flow of lymph. It can be performed on a specific part or the entire body. This massage technique is carried out by a physiotherapist or specialized practitioners operating in beauty centers.

Lymphatic drainage detoxifies the body while strengthening the immune system. It can be performed using either the Vodder method or the Leduc method.

The first technique, known as Vodder, was introduced in France in the 1930s by Dr. Emil Vodder and his wife Astrid. It involves performing circular movements that are gentle, rhythmic, and pumping with the hands on the body according to varied pressures. The skin is thus delicately moved over its underlying tissue towards the lymphatic drainage, promoting the decongestion of the connective tissue and lymph nodes.

Furthermore, the Leduc technique is named after the Belgian Albert Leduc, a doctor in physical education and a graduate in physiotherapy and rehabilitation. It draws inspiration from the Vodder technique and complements it with theuse of pressotherapy devices (long inflatable boots connected to a compressor that applies appropriate pressure to specific areas). The skin is manipulated in such a way that the movements converge towards a single, so-called concentric, center.

What are the benefits of lymphatic drainage?

Generally, lymphatic drainage is used to alleviate disorders of the system such as varicose veins or heavy legs. In the aesthetic context, it is used to eliminate cellulite, water retained in the tissues, or accumulated fats.

Furthermore, it is also possible to use lymphatic drainage for reducing edema that manifests after a cosmetic surgery. The lactic acid responsible for muscle soreness after exertion can also be eliminated through lymphatic drainage.

Lymphatic drainage is not just limited to the lower limbs! It also has benefits for the face. Indeed, it softens features and marks. This massage also helps to reduce swelling of the face and eyes by activating micro-circulation. Moreover, by boosting lymphatic circulation, the skin fights against inflammations that occur in the skin tissue. These can be eczema, acne, or rosacea. Healing accelerates quickly. Furthermore, it is also adopted in the context of slowing down skin aging.

What contraindications exist for lymphatic drainage?

Despite the benefits provided by lymphatic drainage, this technique is contraindicated in certain situations, particularly in individuals who suffer from:

  • Of certain cardiac disorders;

  • Of severe asthma;

  • Of low blood pressure;

  • Of hyperthyroidism;

  • On thrombosis;

  • On phlebitis;

  • Of renal insufficiency;

  • Of heavy menstrual cycles.


  • David Doubblestein & al., Effects of Manual Lymphatic Drainage Techniques on Conditions Affecting the Musculoskeletal System: A Systematic Review, (2020)


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