The Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a type of specialized massage in which light, rhythmical hand movements are used to apply pressure and sequence to the lymphatic system. The primary purpose of this massage is to move fluid from a swollen area (one in which lymphedema exists) into an area where the lymphatic system is working normally. Primary lymphedema is caused by insufficient or weak vessels that have difficulty dealing with their load, leading to swelling in the lower limbs starting with feet and ankles. Secondary lymphedema occurs after damage to the lymphatic system, often after surgery or cancer treatments. Both types of lymphedema can be improved with MLD.
Because the lymphatic system plays a huge role in immunity, aids with the removal of waste at the cellular level, and facilitates the transport of nutrients and oxygen to cells, there are many other conditions that benefit from the use of manual lymphatic drainage to keep lymph nodes moving and stimulated. Due to MLD’s ability to move fluids, it not only decongests tissue but also has an analgesic effect on the pain and touch receptors of the central nervous system. The light, repetitive touch of MLD stimulates the touch receptors, whose signals overtake those sent out by the pain receptors of the body.
MLD is also safe to use throughout pregnancy, for both mother and child. As long as pre-eclampsia is not an issue, MLD can be used to treat puffy ankles or eyes, and tired or swollen legs. It can also assist in relieving pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel and making it manageable. During the laboring stage of pregnancy, MLD can be used as a calming tool.
As a relaxation method, MLD serves as a stress reliever. In an hour’s session, MLD helps patients encounter a meditative state induced by massage and reflexology. Children can also benefit from MLD treatments that boost the immune system and help to relieve constipation.
While manual lymphatic drainage massage is safe for most people, it is contraindicated for those suffering from acute inflammation, malignant tumors, thrombosis, major heart conditions and those with a cancer diagnosis. Patients with these conditions should consult their physician before receiving a lymphatic drainage massage.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Nancy or Mercedes at The Peace Within Spa & Wellness Center, 201-988-5767.