Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a type of gentle massage which is intended by proponents to encourage the natural circulation of the lymph through the body. The lymph system depends on intrinsic contractions of the smooth muscle cells in the walls of lymph vessels (peristalsis) and the movement of skeletal muscles to propel lymph through the vessels to lymph nodes and then beyond the lymph nodes to the lymph ducts which return lymph to the cardiovascular system. Manual lymph drainage uses a specific amount of pressure (less than 9 ounces per square inch) and rhythmic circular movements to stimulate lymph flow.
In a manual lymph drainage session, the therapist uses a variety of massage strokes to gently stimulate the lymphatic system, usually working with a nude and draped client, although clients can also wear undergarments if they feel more comfortable that way. If the client has lymphadema, the focus will be on the affected region, but the whole body will be treated so that circulation is increased. Special attention is often paid to the lymph nodes, with the massage therapist looking for early signs of blockage.
Clients are encouraged to drink water before and after manual lymph drainage, and people should be aware that many people feel the need to urinate during and aftermanual lymph drainage, as excess fluid is processed by the kidneys. If a client does need to urinate during a session, a robe can be provided so that the client can use the bathroom.
Who Manual Lymphatic Drainage is for
- Pregnant women
- People with lymphedema
- People with acute injury causing edema
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is Not Recommended for
- People with cancer and malignant tumors
- People with cellulitis
- People with thrombosis or phlebitis
- People with major heart problems
- People dealing with acute inflammation caused by bacteria, viruses, poisons or allergens
If you have any of the above conditions, please contact us a t416-461-8688 for further information or alternate treatment options.