What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?
Manual Lymph Drainage is a gentle type therapy used to drain excess fluid from the body and improve the overall functioning of the lymphatic (immune) system. It uses light touch and is primarily focused on the superficial skin structure. Swelling can occur if the body is unable to move naturally produced lymphatic waste towards the neck where it enters the subclavian veins before ultimately being processed by the liver and kidneys. This specific massage technique uses very light hand pressure and movement to sweep the superficial layers of tissue in the direction of the upper chest and neck.
What Conditions can it treat?
Manual Lymph Drainage is most commonly used to treat Lymphoedema. Lymphoedema is a swelling of tissue due to blockage or absence of lymph drainage channels. It can also assist in the successful healing of bone breaks, torn ligaments, sprains, swollen legs and ankles, and headaches. It is particularly beneficial in cases where pain may prevent the use of deeper pressure massage techniques.
How long will the benefits last?
The benefits of MLD will last for varying amounts of time, depending upon the health condition, level of activity and lifestyle of the recipient. Physical movement is the primary stimulator of the body’s natural ability to drain lymphatic waste. People who exercise regularly and who enjoy a healthy diet of foods that produce less toxic waste can usually experience the effects of lymphatic drainage massage for a longer period. People who suffer from underlying health conditions which contribute to the build-up of lymphatic waste.
Does muscle tension and posture impact lymphatic waste removal?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage will not deliver long lasting benefits of swelling and lymphatic build-up in situations where it is caused by muscular tension or misalignment of the posture. Tense muscles and postural twists in the connective tissue cause kinks which inhibit blood flow and waste removal. Where such causes exist, it would be more beneficial to receive a course of deep tissue remedial massage treatments. Deep tissue massage can break down adhesions in soft tissue and a skilled therapist can myo-fascially realign the connective tissue to enable lymph channels to function naturally.
Do all types of massage improve lymphatic drainage?
All massage, no matter what technique, aid lymphatic drainage. In fact a deep tissue massage which releases restrictions to the flow of bodily fluid would in theory create longer lasting benefits to the removal of toxins. There may be a reason to use MLD if a light touch is required or if the recipient chooses to have a relaxing treatment. Only a select few therapists will be qualified in Manual Lymphatic Drainage. Consider having a free phone consultation with us if you want the benefits of lymphatic drainage, to see if other massage modalities may be of better service.
What to Expect during MLD?
MLD is applied in gentle strokes towards the heart. Your therapist will gently massage you in the direction of lymph flow in order to unblock any obstructed lymph vessels, and allow lymph flow to transport waste from the body freely, resulting in a general detoxification of the system.
To find out more and book a treatment, please call us on 020 8166 8958