Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a very gentle, ‘light touch’ form of treatment based on pumping, circular and spiral shaped movements, which encourage the lymph fluid to flow more freely around the body.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
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Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage: What does it involve?
A Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage is a gentle treatment option. Unlike a deep tissue massage, this massage treatment only targets areas just below the skin’s surface, where your lymphatic system can be found.
Naturally, your lymphatic fluid should drain into fine tubes, commonly known as lymph vessels. These drainage points are very close to your skin’s surface and need to be handled my extreme care by a qualified professional. In order to assist the lymphatic system, your skin needs to be warmed and gentled massaged using particular techniques so as not to damage your deep tissue below.
Book yourself an appointment today to feel the benefit. We offer a full-body Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage or one that targets a specific are. The treatment is approximately one hour long but will vary with the treatment option you choose.
Unlike our blood, lymph fluid is not pumped around the body by a particular muscle. Instead, our daily muscle movement helps to pass this fluid along and into the necessary vessels. The problems arise, however, for those of us who are not particularly mobile. This may be from an underlying health condition or from having a desk job; even if you have an injury that affects your mobility, your lymphatic systems will suffer. Unfortunately, high fat and high salt diets will also enhance the problem.
In these situations, lymph fluid can build up in particular areas, and others will be deprived. As this results in a weakness in one of your body’s immune defence systems, you will be more at risk of falling ill and feeling lethargic. A Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage can help overcome any build-up of lymph fluid and can help to increase its movement.
Our Manual Lymphatic Drainage massages follow the techniques developed by Emil and Estrid Vodder. Vodder massages consist of a variety of sweeping hand motions, which vary depending on the area being treated.
The technique was developed in the 1930s by two Danish physicians as a treatment for Lymphedema, a condition recognised by the build-up of lymph fluid in the patient’s soft tissues. Lymphedema is often caused by infections, certain injuries, cancer treatment, surgery, or particular genetic disorders targeting the lymphatic system.
However, now the benefits of the Vodder massage technique are known to go much further. Keep reading to find out more.
The Dr Vodder massage technique involves very gentle motions, creating a ‘light touch’ massage with pumping, circular and spiral-shaped movements. There needs to be a pressure increase and then a decrease in pressure, creating a pressure-less phase inducing deep relaxation. This change in pressure creates a pumping effect, specially designed to encourage lymph fluid to move more freely around the body. Whilst also draining excess fluid out of the connective tissue.
This advanced form of massage moves the skin over its unlying issue without damaging the deep tissue below. However, it is crucial this massage is carried out by a specially trained clinician as there needs to be a deeper understanding of what the massage is doing beneath the surface.
A Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage aims to encourage lymph fluid into the correct vessels. The massage works with the skin; therefore, the increase in pressure must move with the direction of the lymph flow. This is why the Dr Vodder technique always begins with the lymph nodes and lymph vessels on the neck, as well as the large lymph channels located in the body’s venous arc.
Our lymphatic system plays an important role in our body. Not only is it involved in our immune system, protecting us from pathogens and disease, it also manages the level of fluid in our body. In addition, it filters out bacteria and toxins from entering our bloodstream and creates and store lymphocytes – these are a type of white blood cell that fights disease. And, if that wasn’t enough, the lymphatic system also absorbs and transport fatty acids and fat to our circulatory systems.
A flowing lymphatic system helps prevent and remedy many chronic conditions, including pain, skin conditions, fluid retention, respiratory conditions, digestive problems, immune conditions, and stress-related issues. Our Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatment can potentially aid symptoms of the following conditions and ailments.
What can Manual Lymphatic Drainage treat?
- Treating Peripheral Edema
- Migraines and Chronic Headaches
- Tissue Swelling and Fluid Retention
- Recurring Cold and Flus
- Inflammation and Infection
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency
- Post-surgery Care
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Systemic Sclerosis
- Chronic Constipation
- Immune System
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Aids Weight Loss
- Chronic Fatigues
Manual Lymphatic Drainage, also known as Post-Liposuction Lymphatic Drainage
Many surgeons recommend Manual Lymphatic Drainage as part of a post-liposuction treatment plan to assist their patient’s recovery. This is not a surprise as this massage treatment is additionally recognised in treatment plans after plastic surgery, traumatic events, breast or prostate cancer, treatment of lipoedema and phleboedema, as well as other forms of operative inflammation. The reason behind this is the connection between Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatment and reducing pain, inflammation, bruising, swelling and even scarring.
After surgery, many of us will experience a build-up of hardened areas of scar tissue (fibrosis) and an accumulation of fluid. Lymphatic drainage involves a particular sequence and direction of massage strokes which allow this fluid to be released by the lymphatic system.
By reducing the swelling, a result of a fluid build-up, a risk of post-operative infection as the body’s immune cell transportation is optimised. In addition, the massaging movement helps to break down hardened scar tissue, reducing the severity of post-operative scarring.
All of these factors help to reduce any twinges of pain and complications in your recovery, leading to a shorter period of rest and recuperation.
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