What Is Pressotherapy Lymphatic Drainage?

Similar to manual lymphatic drainage massage, pressotherapy is a non-invasive aesthetic treatment that may help to slim the arms and legs since they carry less fluid, reducing inflammation and pain, and helping the lymphatic system detoxify the body.

The main difference is that pressotherapy is not administered with hands like a manual lymphatic drainage massage (link to lymphatic drainage white paper), rather an air pressurized machine is used to inflate a suit to perform the treatment that then squeezes the arms, legs, and abdomen in a rhythmic motion switching between compression and decompression offering both medical and aesthetic benefits.

Why Is Pressotherapy Performed?

Some evidence suggests that lymphatic drainage massage and similar therapies like pressotherapy can help release fluid buildup in the body after surgery or cancer treatments.

Pressotherapy offers an alternative to manual lymphatic drainage, which in most states requires specific training by a licensed practitioner to be performed. Pressotherapy on the other hand is typically performed by licensed estheticians in wellness centers or spas.

Like manual lymphatic drainage massage, pressotherapy stimulates the body’s lymphatic system, which when functioning optimally transports lymph, a fluid that contains white blood cells and other immune cells that both monitor and destroy invaders that may enter the body like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. While the lymphatic system is still somewhat of an anomaly, it is known that it plays a crucial role in immune health and is considered to be part of the immune system.

Potential Benefits Of Pressotherapy

So, what kind of benefits could pressotherapy offer your clients? Below are some of the possibilities:

  • Reduction of stiffness and swelling in the limbs
  • Smoother, more toned looking skin
  • Reduction in the appearance of cellulite
  • Stronger immunity due to lymph flowing properly

Other potential benefits of pressotherapy include reduced inflammation and removal of toxins, although these claims need more research to be validated by science.

What Should You Expect During A Pressotherapy Treatment?

As stated above, pressotherapy involves the use of a machine that inflates a suit worn by the person receiving the treatment that delivers controlled compression and decompression to parts of the body. Once you arrive at your treatment location, an esthetician will help you get into what looks like an astronaut’s space suit, which can be wrapped around the arms, legs, abdomen, or all three areas. There is no need to remove your clothing as the treatment doesn’t require them to be removed.

Once the suit is situated, it is inflated with a computerized air pressure machine that moves between compression and decompression. Sessions typically last 30-40 minutes depending on the treatment area. How many treatments are needed to see visible results will also be dependent on why pressotherapy is being utilized.

While pressotherapy is considered to be a relatively safe procedure, redness and muscle pain are possible in the treatment areas if the pressure on the machine is calibrated too high. If your clients recently had surgery, have health conditions like an infection, diabetes, heart disease, or recently had surgery, they will want to talk to their doctor first before getting this non-invasive treatment. Furthermore, if your clients have osteoporosis or another bone condition, they should check with their doctor to make sure that pressotherapy won’t worsen their injury or health condition before setting the appointment.

It is important to note that there are several different manufacturers of this type of device and they are all slightly different when it comes to how many chambers are in the suit. Balancer Pro, for example, has more chambers in the suit than other brands, which may lend itself to delivering a more efficient lymphatic drainage treatment.

Bottom Line

Pressotherapy is a non-invasive therapy that can assist with lymphatic draining. It utilizes a specialized suit that is then filled with air to deliver controlled compression and decompression to areas of the body like the arms, legs, and abdomen for both medical and aesthetic purposes. The treatment may help with cellulite, stiffness, and lymph flow.

Pressotherapy is considered to be relatively safe and painless and can be performed up to two times a week. Results will vary depending on what your client is trying to achieve. However, if there are preexisting health conditions or any concerns about safety, have your client check with their doctor first to get clearance.

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