Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage (or MLD) is a profound technique to help increase the movement of lymphatic fluid, which carries cells that help fight infections and other diseases. It is a very light pressure massage.
Common reasons for receiving this type of work are generally to reduce swelling after surgery, or major injury (with your physician's prior approval.)
This type of work is most often recommended after cosmetic surgery procedures like liposuction, BBLs, and breast augmentations, as well as after breast cancer surgeries and for lymphedema. But Lymphatic Drainage can also be used to maintain overall health & wellness by those who find it beneficial.
Videos Answering Your Questions About MLD
For now, here are some basic written FAQs and answers.:
FAQ About Lymphatic Massage:
Q: What exactly is the Lymphatic System and what does it do?
A: The lymphatic system, like the circulatory system, is a vital system of vessels that removes cell wastes, proteins, excess fluid, viruses, and bacteria. However, lymph vessels are mostly located just below the skin, so little pressure is needed to affect them.
The lymph system picks up fluids and waste products from the spaces between the cells and then filters and cleans them.
Like the roots of a tree, the lymph system starts as tiny vessels--only a single cell wide--that eventually branch into larger and larger tubes that carry these fluids back to the bloodstream. This network of delicate vessels and lymph nodes is the primary structure of the immune system. The lymph nodes act as checkpoints along the pathways of the vessels. They filter the fluid (called lymph) and serve as the home for lymphocytes—little Pac Man-like cells that attack and destroy foreign bacteria and viruses and even abnormal cells, like cancer cells.
Q: Tell Me More About Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage; What is an MLD treatment like?
A: The atmosphere is the same as a massage treatment room with dim lighting and soft music. Although you are in a massage setting, it is important to understand that MLD is a specific form of bodywork designed to efficiently move lymph fluid in your body.
MLD is completely different from a deep tissue, Swedish, or relaxation massage that you may be expecting or have had in the past. Treatments involve a very light touch that (though it may not seem so) is extremely effective in reducing swelling and discomfort.
Gentle rotating, pumping motions with the therapist's hands and fingertips begin at the collarbone area, then focus on areas where there is a concentration of lymph nodes...the underarms, abdomen, groin (crease of the legs), and back of the knees.
Much of the session is performed with you lying in the face-up position because all of the areas of lymph nodes that need to be decongested are located on the front of the body. Starting on the back (even for fat injections to the buttocks) would not be indicated because it is necessary to open up the major lymphatic areas on the front of your body before the backside of the body can drain.
It is very important to decongest the areas of drainage in the groin, abdomen, underarms, and collarbone areas before sending extra lymph fluid to them. Directing lymph fluid to nodal areas without opening the lymph nodes up first increases the discomfort and overwhelms the nodes, leading to increased recovery time.
Increasing the blood circulation with deep massage and heat can actually inhibit the movement of lymph fluid by changing the permeability of the lymph and blood vessels.