Great question! Among other things, your lymphatic system is responsible for cleaning the fluid in your body. It's like having hundreds of little filters all over your body that destroy harmful substances like bacteria and other cell waste/ debris. It is basically your body's immune system.
In addition, your lymphatic system serves the vital function of returning proteins to the blood from the interstitial spaces (spaces between your cell walls). Without this, we would swell up like balloons!
When our body experiences trauma, the lymphatic vessels can become compromised and can no longer transport this fluid and we experience edema (swelling). These areas then become congested. It's like when you're floating down a river, and you come to a place where the water is no longer flowing. This stagnation becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses to thrive. This edema can also cause pain by compressing nerves and restricting range of motion. This is why it is so important that we take care of our lymphatic system and keep it flowing freely.
The truth is, most people could really benefit from a lymphatic massage. It’s similar to changing the water in a flower vase after a few days or cleaning out your nasty fishbowl water. Basically, it’s going to create a cleaner and healthy environment for your cells to thrive!
At Austin Lymphatic, most of our clients we see are recovering from surgery. Many of Austin’s best surgeons put their trust in us. Lymphatic massage can help reduce swelling, prevent fibrosis, and improve physical therapy progress.
But Lymphatic Massage can also be incredibly helpful for people who have autoimmunity. This particular patient population has always had a soft spot in my heart and I wish more people knew how much Lymphatic Massage can benefit them and their loved ones. You see, lymphatic massage calms inflammation which helps lower the frequency and intensity of flair-ups. Anyone struggling with autoimmunity knows what a big deal this is. However, these cases can at times require more frequent visits and regular maintenance to be effective.
As you can imagine, calming inflammation is beneficial for many ailments; truly, anything from dental procedures, RA, or endometriosis.
More frequently we are starting to see people come to visit us because they have heard about the benefits of lymphatic massage and are interested in preventative measures. This is so exciting to us that the word is getting out, not just in the medical community, but to the general population.
Your lymphatic system is responsible for evacuating fluid and cleaning up cell waste, and debris in your tissues after your cells have used the nutrient-rich content of this interstitial fluid. We now have this leftover waste that needs to be absorbed, processed, and recycled.
This occurs when a lymphatic vessel is pulled open and fluid from the interstitial space flows in. This is now lymph fluid and will be transported to a lymph node where it can be filtered, cleaned, and processed. Now that this fluid has been filtered, it can return to the cardiovascular system (heart) for the process to start all over again. Essentially, this is the process of cleaning your blood. This is a vital function that is so important to your overall health.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage helps to speed this process along so that fluid can be filtered at a more rapid pace. This helps to clean your tissues and create a more healthy environment for your cells.
We do this by gently manipulating the lymphatic vessels that lay just beneath the skin’s surface. By doing gentle, rhythmic skin stretches in the appropriate direction and with just the right amount of pressure, those vessels are pulled open and fluid from the interstitial space can come flooding in. We are doing this at a much more rapid pace than your body does on its own, exponentially increasing the amount of lymph that is being drained from your system.
This allows for cell waste, toxins, and fats to be evacuated from your tissues and allows for fresh, nutrient-rich fluid to flow in. This is incredibly important for anyone who has an overactive immune system or if someone is recovering from an injury or surgery.
You see, when an injury site gets a fresh supply of oxygen and nutrients, we can heal better and faster. This allows for swelling to go down and for tissue regeneration to occur more rapidly.
Lots of reasons! To put it simply, you can heal more quickly, with less pain, bruising, and swelling. Lymphatic massage can also help to avoid potential complications associated with surgeries such as infection and abnormal scar tissue formation. If you are experiencing areas of tightness and hard lumps, working these areas and the surrounding tissue can make a drastic difference. Furthermore, lymphatic drainage helps stimulate tissue regeneration. I can not express how important this is after any procedure. Lymphatic Drainage Massage can greatly reduce your swelling, bruising, and discomfort and have you back on your feet more quickly.
This is really decided on a case-by-case basis. For normal healthy systems, we recommend coming in about once a month. This can help keep your system flowing optimally so there's not as much build-up or congestion in your body. Many of our clients find that they feel better, their joints don't hurt as much, their allergies are better, they don't get sick as often, their menstrual cycles are easier, etc. There are so many benefits to keeping your inflammation down and doing this regularly.
If you are coming to visit us due to a recent surgery, it's ideal if we can get going as soon as your doctor allows, and again a few days later. From there, our practitioners can work with you to create a specific care plan moving forward. Some require many more sessions than others, to address swelling and scar tissue formation. There are many factors that contribute to this so it is best to create these plans on a case-by-case basis. We always like to see surgical patients about six months after their procedures to follow up and make sure everything has healed properly, and no stubborn scar tissue has formed. It is much easier to address scar tissue during its formation rather than having to "break it up" farther down the line.
For our clients coming to us due to an autoimmune condition, again, we try to space these sessions on a case-by-case basis according to your symptoms, severity, frequency of flare-ups how long you've had this condition, and how you respond to your first Lymphatic Drainage Session. Typically, we like to see you at least weekly for the first several sessions. From there, we can better assess a care plan moving forward. It is our goal to get you to a place where you would only be coming in on an as-needed basis. We love achieving this goal!!!
Generally, we recommend drinking plenty of water before and after you come in. People can feel a little loopy after their session, and it is recommended that you take it relatively easy for the rest of the day and allow your body to change.
If you have a particularly slow or sluggish system, lymphatic Drainage Massage can have some minor, short-term side effects. Because lymphatic therapy is aiding the detoxification process, you might experience body aches, headaches, or be more tired than usual for a day or so after your Session. Drinking plenty of water afterward to help flush, should keep you from experiencing these symptoms altogether.
If you do have any of the above side effects, please let us know so we can augment for next time as necessary. It is also an indicator that you could really benefit from this work and that we should see you again soon. Usually after the first few sessions, people no longer experience these side effects due to their system being cleaner/healthier!
We are not set up to take insurance at this time. As a small business, we simply can't afford to fight with the insurance companies all day and would much rather put our efforts towards giving you the care you deserve.
We are able to provide you with a Superbill that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. But please note: these superbills usually require a diagnosis code that we are not allowed to provide. You will need to get this from your Doctor and attach it along with our superbill provided. If you have any questions on this, don't hesitate to reach out.
HSA cards are accepted.
There are a few clinics in town that do take insurance for lymphedema patients. Give our office a call and we are happy to provide you with resources so you can get the most out of your insurance. We know that lymphedema is an expensive disease and want to help support you as best we can.
In an effort to ensure superior care and attention to each and every one of our patients, we are a private pay practice. This allows us the freedom to take care of you as we see fit instead of being locked into what your insurance company thinks is "medically necessary." This also allows us the capacity to dedicate the full hour to your individualized care. Our clinic is not a mill. We truly pride ourselves on having the best patient outcomes.
Absolutely!! Women retain more fluid while pregnant to soften their bodies and allow for expansion (cool!!). Expecting mothers also get swollen when they are pregnant due to their growing uterus putting more pressure on their veins and not allowing as much blood flow to return to their hearts. While this is not generally a cause for concern, it can be uncomfortable. Lymphatic Drainage Massage can help with the swelling, allowing you to be more comfortable during your pregnancy. We generally will not do lymphatic massage until you are through with your first trimester and have clearance from your doctor. We also recommend talking with your practitioner about how Lymphatic Drainage can help after your little one is born.
If you feel strongly one way or another about wearing a mask during your session, please give our office a call so we can place you with the best practitioner for your requirements. We fully understand that not everyone is able to wear a mask and there are others who need to be very careful and are trusting us to keep them safe. At this point, we feel going about this on a case-by-case basis is the best way to go. Of course, if you are opting to wear one, we will follow suit. Basically, if you want us to wear a mask, just ask! We may do the same. All of our practitioners are more than happy to mask up if you prefer. We are still maintaining other Covid Protocols. We try to stagger our appointment times to avoid crowded waiting rooms. We clean surfaces between clients and have air purifiers running frequently throughout the day. We kindly ask that if you feel symptomatic, you stay home until you can get tested. We will do the same. We continue to be appreciative and humbled by everyone's cooperation in this matter.