Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage is a technique used to boost the movement of lymph fluid in the body. It’s a soft and mild skin-stretching massage which originated in in Paris in 1963. It stimulate movement of lymph fluid out of the swollen limb. It’s designed to especially focus on lymph vessels and the therapy begins from the unaffected areas of the body to excrete the fluid out from the affected area.

Manual lymphatic massage is not only for persons who are affected with lymphedema and is available for anyone because of its benefits. The following is detailed information about the manual lymphatic drainage massage.

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Manual lymphatic drainage massage is a specialized massage technique that helps the lymphatic system in maintaining the body fluid, blood circulation, and immune system. The human body contains vessels and nodes that involve lymph, proteins, water, waste products, and other cell metabolism. Lymph nodes are prepared all around the body and especially found in the groups at the neck, armpits, and groin. Lymph nodes filter out the debris and their presence in groups ensures that lymph passes through as many nodes as possible before returning to the circulatory system.

MLD massage is done by a professional and trained massage therapist because it follows a series of sequences over the body and the therapist takes care that there should be any trap in the way of lymph and every area is treated carefully. During your manual lymphatic drainage massage session, your therapist will use a series of stretching, compressing, gliding, and cupping over your body. The movements will be done without applying oil and it will boost up the lymphatic system which then allows lymph to move easily through the tissues and lymph nodes.

Who can benefit from Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Many of you may be thinking about why you should use this massage technique or is the manual lymphatic drainage massage is right for you and how you can benefit from it. Some may also think that why shouldn’t go for a conventional massage like a deep tissue massage. No doubt! A deep tissue massage is best for your muscles, deep tissues, joints, and nervous system but selecting MLD massage will be your forward step.

If you want to cleanse your body after an injury or illness then MLD will purify and re-energize your body. Moreover, it will also protect you from many harmful diseases and you will feel a sense of confidence within your body to face anything. If you are experiencing fibromyalgia, lymphedema, skin disorders, insomnia, stress, fatigue, edema, migraine, and arthritis then selecting the manual lymphatic drainage massage will be one of your best decisions.

Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage massage is very beneficial for acne, stress, acute pain, constipation, and many other pathologies. MLD is a completely safe and powerful technique if done by a licensed or professional massage therapist. It can be used to treat specific parts of the body or to reduce swelling of the ankle and post-surgery swelling.

According to studies, MLD massage is very beneficial for everything from scar rehabilitation to reducing swelling. This technique is also used for skincare after cosmetic surgery to bring a healthy skin appearance effectively and quickly. Don’t forget that MLD is contraindicated for persons suffering from cancer, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac or pulmonary edema, acute skin infections, and renal failure.

How Does it Work?

The manual lymphatic drainage massage is done by different techniques including Leduc, Vodder, Földi, or Casley-Smith method. Usually, doctors recommend MLD as a component of an entire treatment plan but it may also be used as a separate treatment. MLD is usually performed with the patient in a lying position and deep diaphragmatic breathing is its starting and ending point. The technique starts by treating the unaffected part of the body first which allows the fluid to drain out of the body from the affected parts. The therapists apply slow and gentle pressure but rhythmical movements to carry out the technique.

If you are getting manual lymphatic drainage massage especially for lymphedema then there will be four stages of the process and each has a different impact on the body. The stages can be categorized or the duration of treatment may vary depending on the stage of lymphedema. Treatment may be for 2-4 weeks or can last for months to years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Manual lymphatic drainage massage is a non-invasive therapy that promotes tissue health and is not painful. But you may feel some discomfort during the massage but it will be better after some time. If the level of discomfort exceeds the limits, you can talk with the therapist and he can try some different methods that come in your comfort zone.
Be prepared to get the feeling of work as it’s the deep massage. But don’t panic, you will feel more relaxed and lighter when the massage session is over and you will feel many changes in you.

You may feel a change of color in the body may be slightly pinkish, which is directly related to an increase in blood flow. As the pressure and slow stroke will be applied to your body, so you may feel soreness after the massage, don’t be surprised, it’s only for two to three days and then you will feel more relaxed.

You will also feel an increase in mobility at certain joints and muscles that you didn’t previously have. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water after the session and it will also be suggested by your therapist. To get the proper benefits of MLD you need to stay hydrated. You may need to pee more and it will happen because your lymph is moving efficiently.

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