What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
Also referred to as lymphatic drainage massage, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a technique that improves the flow of the lymphatic fluid in our body and is a popular treatment for lymphedema.
MLD is an advanced technique that involves moving the skin over the underlying tissues in repetitive circular and spiral movements. Pressure applied during the massage increases and decreases, following the direction of lymph flow. The pressure creates a pumping effect, helping the lymphatic fluid flow and remove excess fluid from tissues. Lymphatic drainage massage is safe for people with sensitive skin as no oils are used.
Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage
- Immune System Health
The lymphatic system is closely linked to the immune system, which defends the body against infections and supports healing. MLD can stimulate immune cell activity, facilitating the removal of pathogens, reducing inflammation, and supporting the body’s immune response
- Relaxation and Stress Relief
The gentle and rhythmic massage techniques used in MLD induce a state of relaxation. By reducing stress and promoting relaxation, MLD can have a positive impact on overall well-being.
- Cell Regeneration
MLD enhances lymphatic circulation, which facilitates the delivery of nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to the cells. By improving circulation, MLD helps maintain a healthy environment for cells to function optimally.
- Waste Removal
Effective lymphatic drainage assists in removing metabolic waste products and cellular debris from the interstitial spaces around cells. By reducing the accumulation of waste materials, MLD creates a healthier environment for cells to function optimally and regenerate efficiently.
- Post-Surgery Recovery
MLD plays a crucial role in post-surgery recovery. It aids in reducing pain, bruising, and swelling by enhancing the body’s natural healing processes. MLD also helps prevent scarring and promotes better overall tissue regeneration, facilitating a faster and smoother recovery.
When used as part of a comprehensive lymphedema treatment plan, manual lymphatic drainage can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals living with lymphedema and other conditions.