What role does Manual Lymphatic Drainage play before surgery?

Receiving Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD). treatments before any surgery helps to prepare the area of the body about to undergo an operation. It does this by stimulating the lymph vessels of the lymphatic system to remove cellular waste products, bacteria, viruses, excess proteins, excess fluid and any other unwanted substances from the spaces between your cells. Essentially, cleaning the tissues. The lymph vessels then move the unwanted substances to lymph nodes where they are cleaned and filtered by the Lymphatic System.

Though this process happens naturally, receiving an MLD treatment can stimulate the pulsation of lymph vessels to contract up to about 30 times per minute; therefore, accelerating this natural process. This optimises the cellular environment in the area of the body being treated.

What benefits does Manual Lymphatic Drainage deliver in a pre- and post-surgical setting?

Having an MLD massage prior to surgery encourages a deeply relaxing effect on the Nervous System. Helping to shift the Nervous System into a more relaxed state supports the entire body in adjusting to the physical and traumatic changes which will be caused by any surgical operation.

MLD treatments have also been proven to reduce the risk of post-surgical complications which may include: infection, excessive swelling, bruising and scar tissue that can later potentially restrict mobility.

How many treatments are needed?

Three or more consecutive treatments of MLD prior to surgery have shown to yield best results, but even one or two treatments can still be beneficial.

What impact can Deep Oscillation have when combined with Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

Deep Oscillation can play a vital role in post-operative rehabilitation from day one, with daily treatments significantly speeding up recovery. Deep Oscillation enables patients to rehabilitate in a far quicker timescale than has previously been possible. Bruising, swelling and pain reduce as the daily treatment works on shuffling and transporting the excess inflammatory matter (which is in evidence after surgery) to the lymph system for removal. Once it is drained it is able to regenerate.

As part of Post-operative rehabilitation, I offer MLD using the Hivamat 200 Deep Oscillation machine. During the treatment, electrostatic pulses create pleasant, deeply effective oscillations in the skin, connective tissue, subcutaneous fatty tissue, muscles, blood and lymph vessels. In contrast to externally applied mechanical forms of therapy, the therapeutic effect of the Hivamat 200 occurs in the tissue itself; penetrating the entire tissue down 8-12cms. It is especially gentle, making it an unmatched treatment option for fresh trauma, post-operative treatment, acute pain and the area around open wounds.

Even therapists need treatments from time to time, too…

Speaking from personal experience following knee surgery in 2020, I found the Hivamat 200 to be fantastic in helping with not only pain relief, but also bruising and reducing oedema. Both my traumatologist and physio were very impressed with my Range of Movement and knee strength. Within two weeks of having surgery on my knee, I was treating clients again!

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