Lymphotherapy (lymphatic physiotherapy) is a method by which pressure applied on specific lymph nodes alters lymphatic response. Proponents state it can be used for lymphedema[1] and breast cancer.[2]


Lymphotherapy was first suggested in 1918 by Dr. S. Artault de Vevey in the Paris Therapeutic Society as a treatment for infectious diseases, though it had many fans as well as opponents.[3][unreliable medical source?] This treatment was popular in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s.[4] Currently, lymphotherapy practice has been documented in complementary and alternative medicine.[5][6]


Complete decongestive lymphatic physiotherapy demands substantial time and effort from patients to maintain the benefits; treatments are not always well-accepted, and patients may suffer from a deterioration in quality of life or develop enhanced anxiety. Sudden loss of bowel control was reported,[4] especially with lymphatic physiotherapy applied on the lymph nodes in the lower back.


  1. ^ Avrahami R, Gabbay E, Bsharah B, et al. (December 2004). "Severe lymphedema of the arm as a potential cause of shoulder trauma". Lymphology. 37 (4): 202–5. PMID 15693538.
  2. ^ Tidhar D, Katz-Leurer M (March 2010). "Aqua lymphatic therapy in women who suffer from breast cancer treatment-related lymphedema: a randomized controlled study". Supportive Care in Cancer. 18 (3): 383–92. doi:10.1007/s00520-009-0669-4. PMID 19495810. S2CID 13646360.
  3. ^ "The Paris Therapeutic Society" (PDF). The British Medical Journal: 308. March 13, 1919.
  4. ^ a b Moore E, Gerner RE, Minowada J, Mizrahi J, Woods LK (September 1970). "[Clinical experiences with lymphotherapy]". Giornale di Clinica Medica (in Italian). 51 (9): 683–94. PMID 5517785.
  5. ^ "Boutique brings Brazilian flair to Birmingham". Detroit News. September 7, 2005.(subscription required)
  6. ^ "Benefits of Lymphatic Massage". August 18, 2010.

Further reading