Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

11 Conditions That Benefit From Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

lynnemurfinmd Blog Posts

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, or LDT, is a gentle and non-invasive treatment that benefits the functions of the human body in many ways. The main system that reaps rewards from LDT is the immune system. LDT gives the immune system a boost, which benefits a myriad of symptoms and conditions that can plague the human body. Conditions such as congestion, swelling, inflammation, infections to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, nerve pain, and IBD, will see incredible relief from their symptoms. Even persons suffering from chronic illnesses such as Lymphedema, Lipedema, and Cancer have seen healing results from Lymphatic Drainage Therapy.

The lymphatic system is another one of the body’s delicate and complex systems. Let’s learn a bit about how the lymphatic system works and how it can cause conditions that may require the help of Lymphatic Drainage Therapy.

How the Lymphatic System Works

Like the digestive or circulatory systems, the lymphatic system is as intricate as any one of these more familiar systems of the body. The functional medicine approach recognizes that these systems work together in congruence with each other ensuring the optimal performance of a healthy body.

Lymphatic vessels and the initial lymphatic exists throughout the entire body. The majority of lymph fluid is just underneath the skin. Connective tissue, collagen, and elastin surround it, holding it in place. Abnormal fluid buildup stretches the skin and deforms the lymph vessels, opening it up through the body. The lymphatic system only allows 2-3 liters (70-100 oz.) of lymph to filter through per day. The natural flow of this fluid is necessary to flush out the overabundance of protein that can build up. It is this protein in the lymph vessels that absorbs water and begins to cause swelling. It will also collect fats and cell fragments of toxins, viruses, and bacteria. This is where Lymphatic Drainage Therapy becomes crucial for overall body wellness.

Conditions That Benefit from Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is an integrative medicine approach that understands the flow of the Lymphatic System and uses Lymphatic Drainage Therapy to draw out the fluids. The conditions below will benefit greatly from Lymphatic Drainage therapy because they naturally arise from the buildup of fluid.

Swelling or Edema

Edema, the medical term for swelling, occurs when your small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues. This swelling can occur from many different sources. Whether you are pregnant, have an infection/inflammation, are on medication, or have an injury, swelling can be localized or affect or the whole body.


Lymphedema results when swelling occurs in one or more areas in the body. This can including the head, arms, legs, abdomen and genitals. It is most likely from trauma to any area of the body, can also be genetic, and from the removal or damage to lymph nodes. The most common reason in North America is from breast cancer lymph node removal. It is a very painful condition and hinders circulation, so much so, that fluids cannot return to the body’s core. Similar to reflexology, Lymphatic Drainage Therapy can help.


Fatigue is a state of being where a person experiences extreme tiredness, both physically and mentally. Although they are different and can occur at different times, they can be experienced together. The causes of chronic fatigue can be a congested Lymphatic System weighing you down. This can be remedied by Lymphatic Drainage Therapy.


Fibromyalgia is a perplexing chronic condition with musculoskeletal pain and fatigue symptoms. It also causes sleep, memory, and mood issues. The Fatigue and the Fibromyalgia Solution by Jacob Tietelbaum MD offers some incredible insight on the subject.

Swelling or Edema

Edema, the medical term for swelling, occurs when your small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues. This swelling can occur from many different sources. Whether you are pregnant, have an infection/inflammation, are on medication, or have an injury, swelling can be localized or affect or the whole body.

Skin Disorders

As the skin is the largest organ, functional medicine sees skin disorders as the surfacing of an internal issue. Regardless of the condition or where it occurs, the root cause is the concern. Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is a great way to remedy skin disorders, everything from acne to rashes and lesions.


Insomnia is a debilitating sleep disorder. Those that suffer have trouble falling asleep, wake up often at night and have a difficult time falling back asleep. Because patients don’t’ sleep well at night, insomnia truly can cripple their day. The Sleep Foundation says insomnia causes are allergies and asthma, gastrointestinal issues, hyperthyroidism, and endocrine issues, arthritis, back issues, neurological conditions, and overall chronic pain.


Stress causes a fight or flight hormonal response releasing cortisol into the bloodstream causing an inflammatory response also know as CIRS. Lymphatic Drainage Therapy soothes the body’s stress response, which can help with mental and physical stress. When it comes to physical stress caused by postoperative symptoms, the therapy can reduce swelling, pain, and tension, which can allow for more activity during recovery time.

Digestive Disorders

According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, each year, over 20 million Canadians suffer from some type of digestive disorder. There are almost 20 different types of digestive conditions which usually starts with constipation, bloating and swelling and can lead to a more serious disorders like Crohns and cancer.

Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is a disorder that occurs from the wear and tear of the joints of the body. A predisposition or genetics can accelerate the condition. General symptoms include joint pain and stiffness but do not exclude inflammation, redness, and warmness. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This disease causes white blood cells to attack the joint’s healthy cells and will continue to deteriorate the joints. With regular lymphatic drainage, you will flush old white blood cells replacing them with healthy white blood cells which will slow the progression of the disease.

Migraine Episodes

Migraines are recurrent headaches range from moderate to severe. Typically, migraines can last from a few hours to days. The headache throbs or pulsates and can cause light, sound or smell sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. The causes remain unknown but it seems that family history and environmental factors could play a part.

Who can benefit from Lymphatic Drainage Therapy?

Anyone can benefit from Lymphatic Drainage Therapy. It serves to remove toxins from the body and allows systems to flow better and the immune system to function optimally. In fact, the therapy is a perfect preventative measure to ward off potential illnesses before and after surgeries. LDT will give your immune system a boost, so your body can more effectively fight off hospital viruses and infections that you may come into contact with. As well, it can help manage symptoms of chronic conditions like Lipedema and Cancer.

If you want to know if Lymphatic Drainage Therapy or LDT can help you and your symptoms, please contact Lynne Murfin MD and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.

In Health,

Kelly Ashton

Lynne Murfin MD