In this blog, our expert physiotherapy team answer some key questions about Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage:

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a unique and effective technique that helps promote the health of the lymphatic system. This system is a network of small ducts and nodes that collect and remove waste products from the body. It is also responsible for enhancing the immune system. The technique requires a more subtle approach and a good knowledge of the morphology of the lymphatic system.

A very light pressure and rhythmic hand movements promote lymph flow, instead of forcing blood through the system.

How does MLD massage work?

Normally, the lymphatic system collects lymph fluid and returns it to your heart through the lymph vessels and nodes. But when there’s a disruption to your lymphatic system’s process, such as the removal of lymph nodes during surgery for breast cancer, the fluid can collect in your arms and legs, which leads to swelling or oedema.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage follows a specific sequence, starting with the main drains in the body, including the lymph nodes in the neck, groin and armpits. The idea is that by massaging an area with no swelling, the blocked lymph fluid will be absorbed in the space you’ve created by stimulating the skin with each stroke.

How do you know if you would benefit from MLD massage?

All our cells rely on lymph fluid to boost immunity and transport waste products. So theoretically, a blocked lymphatic system can compromise your immune system. The most obvious sign of a compromised lymphatic system is swelling. If your rings feel tight or your clothes begin to feel a bit snugger, that could be a sign that you’re holding on to excess fluid. You might also experience pain and a feeling of heaviness.

Most of the time, lymphatic vessels become congested as a result of surgery, infection, trauma or diseases like cancer. So, chances are good that if your lymphatic system is suffering, you’d know it. Infection and tight muscles may also be signs of congestion.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is beneficial for a wide range of health concerns including:

  • Lymphedema.
  • Post-surgery (such as liposuction or a tummy tuck).
  • Fatigue.
  • Stress and anxiety.
  • Skin disorders.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Chronic venous insufficiency.
  • Digestive problems.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is not recommended for people with active congestive failure, renal failure and Infection. For this reason, it is best to consult with your physician before beginning the procedure.

Speak to our team today to find out if you could benefit from MLD massage or another of our physiotherapy services.

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