What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage or MLD?
MLD originated in Europe during the 1930s. It was first used on patients as an effective way to detoxify the body and later to help people with swelling or edema. MLD is a very effective, non-invasive, gentle therapy that improves the activity of the lymph vessels and can re-route the lymph flow around any blocked areas into lymph vessels so it can drain into the venous system. The therapist uses very light skin stretching techniques to stimulate lymph movement.
What does a session look like?
The client will be given time to privately undress, then will rest under a sheet or towel on a comfortable massage table. MLD massage is done on bare skin with no massage oil or lotion in order to maximize the techniques and effects of the treatment. The therapist will use slow gentle strokes that will lightly stretch the walls of the lymph vessels and encourage lymph drainage. The therapist might focus on specific areas or treat the entire body, depending on the client’s needs. A client might be given simple exercises to do at home to aid the treatment. Sessions run from thirty minutes to an hour.
What are the benefits?
- Reduction in edema (swelling) and lymphedema
- Detoxification of the body
- Decrease post surgical swelling
- Faster healing time from surgical or injury bruising
- Decrease in Migraine Headaches
- Faster healing time of burns, wounds, and damaged tissues (from surgery or general activities)
- Anti-aging effects
- Relief of numerous chronic and sub-acute inflammations, including sinusitis, bronchitis and ear infections
- Relief or decrease of chronic pain, depending on origin
- Reduction in the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
- Antispasmodic actions to relieve conditions like tight or contracted muscles, plus a decrease in some forms of constipation
- relaxation to aid insomnia and stress
- Decrease of cellulite
Manual Lymphatic Drainage would NOT be advised for people with:
- Lymphatic Cancer
- The beginnings of a cold or flu
- Most bacterial infections
Always consult your doctor and your therapist to see if massage or specific massage types are right for you.