Our lymphatic system plays an important role in keeping us healthy. This system contains lymphatic tissue, lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, and a fluid called lymph. Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a form of gentle massage that keeps fluid moving from your tissue into the lymphatic system.
MLD, developed by Dr. Emil Vodder and Dr. Estrid Vodder, has a wide range of benefits. Along with improving blood flow, lymphatic flow, and intestinal motility, MLD can boost your immune system by moving lymph throughout the body and removing toxins. Additionally, this treatment is used to aid wound-healing after surgical procedures.
During an MLD session, your practitioner will use gentle pressure and rhythmic movement to stretch your skin, along with guiding you in breathing techniques that stimulate the lymph nodes in your abdomen. Since lymphatic vessels lie approximately 1 mm under your skin, MLD only requires very gentle pressure to stimulate them. You can expect a lighter touch than traditional massage techniques. This work begins on the healthy parts of your body (the areas without fluid build up), preparing them to take in some of the fluid from the backed up areas. Then, the rhythmic movement will start redirecting backed-up lymph fluid.
The lymphatic system typically relies on natural body and muscle movement to keep this flow going. MLD provides a way to manually stimulate the lymphatic system by opening the vessels, so lymph can move throughout the body.
Lymphatic vessels pick up lymph and move it up to the heart. Before getting to the heart, lymph passes through the lymph nodes, which filter out toxins. This process can get backed up for people with impaired lymph node functions and for anyone who has had lymph nodes removed, such as cancer treatment patients. MLD is a good way to stimulate the lymphatic system and reduce the swelling that accompanies this fluid build-up.
If you are unsure if MLD is right for you, text us at 347-836-5442 to set up a 15-minute complimentary phone consultation.