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Integrative Physiotherapy & Manual Lymphatic Drainage

1. Is it essential to feel pain or any symptoms to book a physio?

No! On the contrary, nowadays, the concept of visiting the physio for muscle or joint pain is shifting more toward awareness. You must consult a physiotherapist for treatments from a preventive point of view before you acquire symptoms like stiffness, muscle tension, lack of mobility, injuries, and headaches show up.

Integrative physiotherapy helps a person to have a better understanding of their ability to move better in sedentary jobs, identify the signs of muscle or joint pain, move optimally for the prevention of injuries, and adapt to workouts. Eventually, learning how our body moves through physiotherapy treatment before the symptoms appear is essential to have a better quality of life.

We still need time to realize that it is not essential to go to the physio only when there is pain, but before would be recommended.

2. Is it essential to have lymphedema or lipedema or symptoms of water retention to book a manual lymphatic treatment? Or could it be included as a part of an integrative treatment?

Not at all. It is not essentially necessary to have lymphedema, lipedema, or any vein problem to have a Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) treatment.

Those are indeed the key pathologies for MLD. But the reality is that a lymphatic drainage treatment can be included in our daily routine therapy with either a curative or a preventive purpose.

We live in a "rush" society, with very high chronic levels of stress, poor sleep, or a lack of optimal levels of physical activity. These factors lead to a chronic systematic inflammation stage, related to digestive disorders, chronic pain, obesity, low energy levels, constant fatigue, cravings, metabolic disorders, weight gain, cravings, and hormonal problems.

Manual lymphatic drainage through manual techniques with a specific direction and pressure helps to regulate the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. A well-regulated functioning vagus nerve (the nerve that connects the gut-brain axis and which helps in regulating the immune function, inflammation process, normal fluctuation of cortisol levels serotonin, and melatonin levels), is essential to have better management of stress, better sleep, and energy levels.

In short, manual lymphatic drainage can be beneficial for preventive treatment to regulate gut function, immune function, stress levels, and sleep quality.

3. What is integrative physiotherapy, and why is it different from conventional physiotherapy?

Integrative physical therapy focuses more on the origin of the pain or injury, and less on treating the symptom as compared to conventional physiotherapy.

Nowadays, people spend long hours sitting in the same position, which makes them lose optimal movement capacity, which might lead to injuries and muscle or joint pain. Integrative physiotherapy seeks to restore functional human movement by understanding and assessment in finding the specific motion restrictions that are the cause of pain or discomfort. This fact, at the same time, could lead to a nerve dysfunction which could affect other systems and organs that are supplied by those affected nerves, such as the gut leading to digestive or immune disorders.

In short, a better quality of movement for a better quality of life.

4. The more you wait with pain, the longer takes to go.

The chronicity of the symptoms depends on how long we suffer the symptoms. Initially, it could just be a mechanical or structural problem (muscle pain, stiffness). Still, in due time, it could become a more complex disorder affecting not only tissues and functions but affecting the emotional and social components that could aggravate the intensity of the pain. Therefore, it is crucial to identify when you are not feeling great and visit your physiotherapist or doctor before these symptoms become chronic.

5. Why is it important to understand, identify or easily recognize pain?

It is essential to identify the information about our body functions. When we notice something is not working well, like food, digestion, breathing, and circulatory functions, it would be beneficial to have information about it.

In addition, being aware of how the information affects us every day, is another point to consider. The more we are aware of the external and internal information the better decisions and actions can be taken to prevent the situation before it could worsen.

When we talk about chronic musculoskeletal or visceral pain, it is essential to have an understanding of the information that comes from external factors. Some of these factors include people, objects, work, and traffic which could activate our alarm system, making our brain believe there's danger. It plays a part in activating the sign of pain in different areas of our body even in the absence of any structural injury.

In short, receiving the optimal information that our body gives us to identify the origin of pain and the individual factors that can trigger it is the best remedy to avoid overmedication, poor quality of life, or even the onset of any chronic pathology.

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