The lymphatic system is a complicated network of vessels, ducts, and nodes that move fluid between the cells and tissues. It is the most underrated part of the circulatory system in the human body and has a crucial role in preventing sickness and keeping us healthy.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is an advanced therapy which uses a range of specialised and gentle, rhythmic pumping techniques to move the skin in the direction of the lymph flow. This stimulates the lymphatic vessels, which carry substances vital to the defence of the body, and removes waste products, excess fluid, toxins and bacteria.
MLD has numerous applications. The effects are preventative, remedial and deeply relaxing.
MLD and Lymphoedema
Lymphoedema is a swelling that can affect any part of the body, although it is seen most commonly in the arms and legs. This condition develops when the lymph system can no longer function effectively, either because it has been damaged or has failed to develop properly. As a consequence, there is a build-up of fluid, protein, and toxins which, if left untreated, can lead to changes in the skin and surrounding tissues, and an increased risk of infection (cellulitis).
Where there has been damage or removal of lymph nodes the practitioner is able to re-route the lymph fluid to the nearest healthy lymph nodes for cleansing and removal.
MLD is an effective way of managing lymphoedema. It may be advisable to commit to a 3 or 4 week intensive program, which would involve daily MLD and CDT (Complete Decongestive Therapy consisting of; MLD, multi-layered bandaging, exercise and skin and nail care instructions, and a compression garment once the intensive phase is over).
MLD and Surgery (including Cosmetic Surgery)
Prepares the immune system for optimum response in order to decrease swelling and speed up the healing process.
Swelling, bruising and pain are very common signs after surgery. Sometimes the healing period takes so long that patients become homebound for weeks.
MLD opens up the lymphatic channels and encourages the fluid to flow through its pathways; this aids the elimination of excess fluid from the swollen tissues, therefore relieving pain and speeding up the healing process.
MLD is a light and repetitive massage-type technique, which can relieve pain and improve mobility and scars.
Other conditions that Manual Lymphatic Drainage can help with:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- ME / CFS
- Bellís Palsy
- Pain Control
- Fibrocystic Breast Change
- Sports Injuries
- Post-Dental Work
- Palliative Care
- Reduces post-operative bruising and swelling
- Promotes healing of wounds and improves appearance of scars
- Follow-up treatment to deep tissue work
- Suitable during pregnancy
- Relieves fluid congestion: due to pre-menstrual syndrome, painful breasts, swollen ankles & legs, tired puffy eyes.
- Relieves stress symptoms by calming the central nervous system
- May strengthen the immune system and help with general detoxification