by Shannon Goins
Most of us have had some form of swelling in our lives, whether it is from stubbing a toe or spraining a wrist. Some people must deal with swelling on a daily basis. Oftentimes it’s a result of problematic veins, sometimes due to lymphedema (a disease caused by a damaged or improperly formed lymphatic system), or pregnancy, or some other cause. Help is available.
What Causes Swelling? We have 2 circulatory systems in the body. The first is the one we all know about: the one that includes the heart, arteries, veins and blood. The other is the Lymphatic System.
The heart pumps blood through the arteries and out to our tissues. Once the blood reaches its destination, tiny food bits come out of the blood stream to feed the cells. The food is carried out by fluid. The cells eat the food and then “poop” out waste.
The job of the lymphatic system is to pick up this fluid that delivered the food along with the “cell poop” and return it back to the bloodstream. When there is too much fluid delivered to the cells and not enough fluid removal, the fluid builds up and that is when we notice swelling.
What Can Be Done to Help Swelling? Lymphatic Drainage is a gentle, non-invasive technique similar to a massage, (but not a massage), which is performed by a lymphatic specialist such as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. This highly specialized technique moves fluid away from the affected area, immediately providing relief from stiffness and an achy/heavy feeling.
Another technique for removing swelling is Electro-Lymphatic Therapy (ELT). ELT is also gentle and non-invasive. It uses a machine made up of Tesla coils to help move lymph. Whichever method you choose, you are sure to see marked improvement.