Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

Within us all there is a silent system working to keep us healthy – the lymph system. The lymph system’s impact is so far reaching that many of us don’t even realize that minor aches and pains, low energy or susceptibility to colds and flu may be due to a sluggish lymph system and a compromised immune system.

If the lymph system is sluggish or damaged by surgical removal of the lymph nodes or radiation, edema can develop. Edema consists of proteins with accumulated fluid in the interstitial spaces.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a type of gentle massage which is intended to encourage the natural drainage of the lymph that carries waste products away from the tissues back toward the heart. It uses a specific amount of pressure and circular movements to stimulate the lymph flow. By performing lymphatic drainage massage, we can stimulate the opening of the initial lymphatic and increase the volume of lymph flow by as much as 20 times. With an increase of lymph flow, immune function is increased.

The aim of MLD is to move fluid from the swollen area into an area where the lymphatic system is working normally. To do this the therapist massaging you first massages your chest and neck if you have lymphedema in your arm. It means that the fluid has somewhere to drain to when they massage your arm or leg. When you have this massage, you will be feeling a gentle pressure where the movements are slow and rhythmic so the lymph vessels open up. If it is a deep massage, it will not work because it flattens the small lymph vessels so that the fluid can’t drain.
After the massage your specialist may bandage the area. They use a special bandaging technique called multi layered lymphedema bandaging. You may also wear compression garments.

There are different types of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) including Vodder, Földi, Leduc and Casley-Smith. You should only be having MLD from someone who has been trained in one of these types.

Indications:

Therapeutic

  • Extreme amount of edema (swollen extremities or trunk)
  • Sport injuries
  • Improving scarring process
  • Removed or damaged lymph nodes

Aesthetic

    • Simple acne
    • Stretch mark prevention
    • Cellulite
    • Improving scar tissue healing after cosmetic surgeries
    • Weight loss cure (diet)

Contraindications:

  • Acute inflammation or infection on the swollen area (wait for a couple of days until the body has had the chance to clean up the area)
  • Active malignant tumors: wait until the malignancy is treated
  • Thrombosis
  • Major heart problems

Our therapists are doing Vodder and Földi MLD.