[This interview series is continued from Part IV: Lymphatics and Cardiovascular Disease]
Dr. Chikly built on his award-winning research on the lymphatic system to develop a manual approach to lymph drainage. Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT) is a gentle technique where practitioners use their hands to feel the specific rhythm and direction of the lymphatic fluid and use this information to manually enhance lymph circulation.
I was first introduced to LDT when I consulted a lymphatic specialist regarding my problem with cystic acne. Like most first-time LDT clients, I was surprised such a light-touch therapy could yield immediate results. Dr. Chikly reveals how this is possible.
“Most medical professionals and therapists think you have to squeeze the lymphatics like a tube of toothpaste,” Dr. Chikly explains. But the lymphatic vessels have a peristaltic movement —an inherent contraction of the muscles which propels the fluid forward. This is similar to the mechanism that propels food along the digestive tract.
“You don’t have to squeeze the vessels,” Dr. Chikly explains. “You have to naturally re-stimulate them so they will do the contraction themselves.” Lymph Drainage Therapists use minimal pressure –less then one ounce per square centimeter –to simulate wave-like movements along the line of lymphatic flow. This action stimulates the small muscular units along the walls of the lymph vessels, known as lymphangions, to activate the flow of lymph.
Dr. Chikly cites a study by Terrance Ryan, MD, a Professor of Dermatology at Oxford University. Dr Ryan’s research shows the relationship between fat tissue and lymph –the rate of blood flow and lymph flow through adipose tissue is inversely related to its growth. Slow circulation promotes lipogenesis (creation of fat) while fast circulation promotes lipolysis (release of fat).1
Treating cellulite with lymph drainage therapy employs a specific technique to release the collagen (scar) fibers that trap the lymph vessels. This technique takes under 20 minutes and can be self-applied. It is then followed by regular LDT strokes. [We’ll learn more about this technique in our upcoming interview with Mya Breman, a leading lymph drainage therapist.]
Lymph Drainage Therapy is now practiced by thousands of therapists throughout the world. Check out www.ChiklyInstitute.org to learn the technique for yourself at an LDT workshop or to buy Dr. Chikly’s book. Or, click here to find a lymph drainage therapist near you.
Bruno Chikly, MD, DO, is the author of Silent Waves: Theory and Practice of Lymph Drainage Therapy. His book is the first comprehensive text on the lymphatic system and lymphedema in North America. Dr. Chikly is also the developer of Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT), a hands-on method of lymphatic manipulation now used by thousands of health care professional throughout the world. Learn more at www.ChiklyInstitute.org.
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