08 Oct Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a relaxing massage with many benefits, including increased immunity and detoxification.
Did you know?
Our bodies contain almost twice as much lymphatic fluid as blood. In a 24 hour period, thousands of litres of blood are pumped through the heart, yet only 2 litres of lymphatic fluid will be. However in the 24 hours after a lymphatic drainage massage, 20 litres of lymphatic fluid will circulate through the heart- MLD massages are relaxing but powerful.
What is the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system is one of our body’s major systems, and is a huge part of your immune system. It is made up of lymphatic fluid and lymph nodes (or “glands”). It is the front line in our body’s ability to fight disease and infection, and remove toxins. Lymphatic fluid contains immune cells, which circulate around the body, mopping up toxins and transporting them to the lymph nodes. It is in the nodes where these toxins are broken down, and the lymph fluid is filtered so it can continue to circulate around the body and collect more toxins. Toxins include viruses, bacteria, pollution, food additives, drugs and metabolic waste. A healthy lymphatic system is vital for immunity.
It is slow-moving and can easily become sluggish. Unlike the circulatory system (where the heart pumps blood around the body) your lymphatic system does not have a pump. The only thing that gets lymphatic fluid circulating is muscle contraction.
Image found here.
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?
MLD is a very specific massage technique- it involves clearing the lymph nodes (which are located throughout the body) and directing the lymphatic fluid towards these nodes, so the fluid can be filtered and refreshed. The fluid can then continue to circulate and effectively clean up more toxins.
The sequence needs to be performed in a very specific order for MLD to be effective. The pressure used is very light (the opposite of a myotherapy treatment!) because the majority of the lymphatic fluid is located directly under your skin. MLD is not a muscular massage.
What does MLD help with?
- Increasing our body’s ability to rejuvenate
- Increased immunity
- Increased rate of toxin removal (detoxification)
- Increased rate at which vital immune cells are transported to where they are needed, thus improving healing time (after injury, illness or surgery)
- Fluid retention
- Sinusitis/hay fever
- Breast surgery
- Pain relief & anti-inflammatory effects
- Digestive disorders & IBS
- Carpel tunnel syndrome due to fluid retention
- Pre & post surgery (increased healing)
- Post sporting injury (the fluid that swells around injured joints is excess lymphatic fluid)
- Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
- Oedema during pregnancy
Is there anyone that MLD isn’t suited for?
MLD is not an appropriate treatment if you are currently experiencing any of the following:
- Malignant tumours
- At the beginning of a cold or flu (however it is very effective in aiding recovery once things are settling down)!
- Acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis where infection is present
- Asthma due to heart problems
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Within 72 hours of a long plane flight (risk of DVT)
MLD treatments are 90 minutes in duration. Please make sure that you let reception know that it is an MLD treatment that would like to book (rather than a regular myotherapy visit). If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
A note about breast cancer:
- Lymphatic drainage is beneficial for people who have had several lymph nodes removed as a part of mastectomy surgery.
- If you have had all of your lymph nodes removed from under one arm, we can refer you to another lymph drainage specialist who can re-train your lymphatic fluid to drain to other lymph nodes instead. It’s amazing what our bodies can learn to do!
- If you are currently in remission but are receiving chemotherapy, MLD can be very beneficial. However MLD is not an appropriate treatment with all types of chemotherapy, so it is vital that you contact us and speak to your doctor first.