It has been 10 years since we started doing lymph drainage and complete decongestive therapy at our practice. 10 years and, although we have been perfecting our techniques and tweaking things here and there, we have largely been following the same blue prints and protocols.
2019 rolled around and have been introduced to another way of doing things. Finally lymphatics have caught up in the imaging arena and we are now able to map the lymphatics. Not just static pictures like X-ray, but more what the lymph is doing and where it is flowing. And we need to keep up with this game changing innovation. We need to go with the flow, not stick with the static pic!
Thanks to Jane Wigg and Professor Belgrado, we are now able to inject fluorescent dye into the affected area and using a high spec, specialized camera(not yet available in South Africa), the lymph can be monitored and what we are seeing is not what we thought. For instance the Belgrado pathway demonstrates that lymph fluid from one leg might not be draining into the inguinal nodes at all but to the popliteal nodes in the OPPOSITE leg. Say what? So which direction should we push the lymph?
Also, while doing case study after case study, the researchers found more effective ways of moving the lymph. Let me tell you seeing is believing. On our training we did the usual mld techniques and then we did the FG-MLD method. While the traditional MLD moved the lymph, the FG- MLD moved it much faster. It’s like seeing fireworks through your vessels on a computer screen. And while it probably won’t matter to most people, seeing that made my heart skip a beat.
These discoveries are new and more studies are needed but already this new way of doing things has certainly changed the way we see lymph drainage and the way we are implementing our therapies.
Let the patients be our guides.
Until next time....keep the lymph flowing.
Lymphatic Ladies at LTC