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Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is an advanced therapy where the practitioner uses a range of specialised and gentle rhythmic pumping techniques to move the skin in the direction of the lymph flow. (taken from MLD UK).
The name describes some of what the treatment does. Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a very gentle form of massage aimed at moving the lymph under the skin, however it does not involve draining the whole of the lymphatic system away. It aids the formation and transport of lymph around the body.
The lymphatic system has many functions in the body. It forms an important part of our immune system and is also designed to assist in the removal of waste products from the cells of the body.
The circulation of the lymphatic system is not mechanically controlled by the body, therefore this system has to rely on muscular movement, blood circulation and the nervous system to assist circulation around the body.
The lymphatic system can become very sluggish and doesn’t work at it’s best due to a variety of reasons, including lack of muscular movement, poor diets, disease and infections. A sluggish lymphatic system can lead to the body not eliminating it’s waste efficiently, and this can lead to the body suffering from a build-up of lymph which shows as an oedema, or water retention.
This gentle massage technique is designed to activate the musculature of the lymph vessel system so that they contract more often, there by increasing the rate of absorption of fluid and waste products from the surrounding tissues. It is a non-invasive way to remove excess fluid and waste products more quickly.
Manual Lymph Drainage was first developed in the early 1930s by Dr.Emil Vodder and Estrid Vodder in France. They premiered it to the world in 1936 in Paris and from this they went on to teach it around the world.
Since Vodder's pioneering work, MLD has spread world wide and has become a popular treatment in many European hospitals and clinics. It is now beginning to gain acceptance in the UK as a part in the treatment and control of lymphoedema and oedemas.
At Calm and Clear Complementary Therapies® a full consultation is taken before the massage, checking for any contraindications to treatment. Details about general health, medication, diet and hobbies will be discussed.
The treatment itself is held in a warm, comfortable room where you will be asked to undress down to your underwear, and lie on the couch. You will be covered with towels throughout the massage, and only the parts of the body being massaged will be uncovered.
A massage, tailor made for your needs, will then commence. Each treatment can be from one hour to one and a half hours, this can vary depending upon your personal needs. The client often sleeps during the treatment as it is so relaxing. Unlike other massages no oils or powders are normally used during the treatment.
Usually, the treatment will focus on just a few relevant body parts at each session as opposed to a full body massage. The areas that will be treated will be discussed with you at the time of your appointment.
After the massage you will be given some follow up and after care advice. General lifestyle advice will also be given related to your individual needs, including some dietary advice and muscle stretching. Some information about using natural products at home may also be given if appropriate.
There have been many benefits reported from receiving Manual Lymph Drainage, and a lot of research has been done for this (see below for some projects). MLD has been used both as a preventative and as a remedial method.
Some of the conditions clients have used MLD for includes:
If you suffer from any of the following then please contact us prior to booking a session of Manual Lymph Drainage:
Effects of manual lymph drainage on cardiac autonomic tone in healthy subjects.
Kim SJ, Kwon OY, Yi CH.
Int J Neurosci. 2009;119(8):1105-17.
Department of Physical Therapy, Kangwon National University, Kangwon-do, 245-711, Republic of Korea.
Manual lymph drainage efficiently reduces postoperative facial swelling and discomfort after removal of impacted third molars.
Szolnoky G, Szendi-Horváth K, Seres L, Boda K, Kemény L.
Lymphology. 2007 Sep;40(3):138-42.
Department of Dermatology and Allergology (Phlebo-Lymphology and Wound Care Unit), University of Szeged, Hungary. email@example.com
Lymphangiomotoricity and tissue pressure.
[Article in German]
Hutzschenreuter P, Brümmer H.
Z Lymphol. 1986 Dec;10(2):55-7.
Does medical treatment of lymphedema act by increasing lymph flow?
François A, Richaud C, Bouchet JY, Franco A, Comet M.
Manual lymph drainage in migraine treatment--a pathophysiologic explanatory model.
[Article in German]
Abteilung Neurologie, REHA-Klinik Damp.
Z Lymphol. 1989 Jul;13(1):48-53.
Treatment of leg edema and wounds in a patient with severe musculoskeletal injuries.
Cox Regional Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Springfield, MO 65807, USA.
Phys Ther. 1998 Oct;78(10):1104-13.
Phys Ther. 1998 Dec;78(12):1338-9.
Chronic tension-type headache non conventional therapy with manual lymphatic drainage.
[Article in Italian]
Longo C, Rizzo R, Inzitari MT, Scumaci G, Caroleo S, Iocco M.
Recenti Prog Med. 2006 Sep;97(9):462-5.
Cattedra di Medicina Fisica e Riabilitazione, Università degli Studi Magna Graecia di Catanzaro. firstname.lastname@example.org