Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a specialised form of treatment which is designed to attain and sustain proper functioning of the lymphatic system. A treatment involves gentle movements of the skin, stretching and circling in a rhythmical manner, helping to stimulate the contraction of the lymphatic vessels. This results in excess fluid and waste products being removed from the body’s tissues and into the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system forms part of our immune system, helping us to cope with infection by cleansing/detoxifying. Unlike the circulatory system where the heart pumps blood around the body, lymph vessels rely on the flow of the fluid through the vessels to stimulate a muscular impulse by lymphangions – tiny muscular units within the vessels, to propel the fluid. This enables the transport of proteins, dead blood cells, toxins, fatty acids, hormones and immune cells to the lymph nodes which produce lymphocytes to destroy and remove cellular debris and foreign, unwanted cells.

History of Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Dr. Emil Vodder, a Danish physical therapist, developed Manual Lymphatic Drainage in the 1930’s. He created the movements we use today and initially used these techniques to clear facial acne and catarrh. His intensive study of the lymphatic system led him to develop treatments for the whole body and to conclude that MLD could be applied to almost any condition because of the importance of the lymphatic system to our overall health. Modern research has shown that his groundbreaking work was, and continues to be, effective in influencing the lymphatic and nervous systems.

Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Due to the nature of the lymphatic system, lymphatic drainage can prove beneficial in the correction of numerous conditions as well as the maintenance of good health. One of the biggest benefits of MLD is as a cleanser of the skin. Because MLD helps to remove waste products and fluid in the tissues, the skin benefits from this and will start to look clearer, brighter and fresher in just a few treatments. Other benefits include:

• MLD can assist in the treatment of acne, eczema, wounds, burns, the appearance of scars and has been used to successfully treat skin ulcers.
• MLD can help with cellulite.
• MLD can help as part of a weight loss/detox regime.
• MLD can help with post-operative swelling and bruising, especially recommended following Liposuction and other aesthetic surgery.
• MLD can help with chronic inflammatory conditions for example, sinusitis, arthritis and rosacea.
• MLD can alleviate fluid congestion such as swollen ankles and tired puffy eyes and swollen legs due to pregnancy and excess heat.
• MLD promotes the healing of fractures, torn ligaments, sprains, strains and reduces all kinds of pain including dental pain.
• MLD enables deep relaxation to aid insomnia, depression and stress. Due to the gentleness of the treatment, individuals who find other forms of bodywork too strenuous may enjoy MLD, especially those who suffer with M.E or Fibromyalgia.
• MLD is an important component in the treatment of lymphoedema and lipoedema.

I always look forward to my treatments with Patricia for the simple reason: she is so good. I have lymphatic problems which will never get better or go away, so sometimes I do have the ’poor me’ feelings. Patricia works, not only on the physical symptoms, but encourages me to be positive about myself. Following a session with Patricia, not only does my physical appearance change, I feel relaxed and can I say, ‘pampered’, which is a great feeling.

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