Manual Lymphatic Drainage
What Is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a specialized massage technique that is particularly beneficial for post-surgical and post-injury swelling, people who have lymph nodes that are damaged or removed, and chronic lymph conditions, such as lymphedema.
Is MLD For Me?
Some situations where MLD is beneficial:
- Before and after cosmetic surgery
- Liposuction and BBL procedures
- People in palliative care
- Pregnancy edema
- Hip or knee replacements
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Toxic poisoning
- Muscle and ligament tears (acute and chronic)
- Bruising or hematoma
How does MLD work?
Your lymphatic system cleanses the body by circulating lymph – a clear fluid rich in white blood cells, oxygen, and nutrients – through the tissues. Along the way, it removes toxins, metabolic waste, and excess fluid. This process encourages cell regeneration and is an important function of the immune system.
When the lymphatic system has extra work to do, as in the case of surgery, injury, or a compromised system, the process works less efficiently and the movement of lymph slows down.
Think about a fleet of garbage trucks. When all the trucks are running, garbage gets picked up the day it is supposed to. If the trucks get full, or some of them need maintenance, some garbage might not get collected and start to pile up. Receiving MLD is like scheduling a pick up for missed garbage collection. It helps get the body’s healing process back on track.
Does It Hurt?
MLD is light touch, gentle and pain-free. It uses circular massage strokes to manually open the one-way valves the lymph moves through. This increases the rate of fluid moving through the system, enhancing its efficacy. When applied to your body’s overtaxed lymphatic system, MLD helps keep things running smoothly, clearing bottlenecks and preventing blockages.
When Should I Start Receiving MLD?
In the case of post-surgical recovery, studies suggest that the biggest decrease in swelling occurs in the initial stages of healing. We find the body responds well when treatment starts between 48-72 hours post-surgery. For the first 2 weeks, 3-5 sessions per week are recommended . Then, depending on the client’s progress, they are spaced out further. In most cases, plan to allow 75-90 minutes for the first session and 45-60 minutes for subsequent sessions.
Treatment plans for other conditions depend on the client’s needs. For instance, sessions may take place only during acute flare-ups, or at regularly scheduled intervals as part of an ongoing care plan. We will discuss your situation and develop a plan tailored to your individual needs.
If you want faster healing from surgery, injury, or dis-ease and/or wish to enhance your body’s natural cleansing processes with a series of Manual Lymphatic Drainage, get in touch and we will help you rediscover your flow.