Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), also known as lymphatic massage, is a gentle touch therapy that promotes heath and aids recovery from certain illnesses. This powerful yet subtle technique can reduce or prevent fluid retention, enhances the removal of toxins from body tissues, and support the immune system. MLD is a standard treatment in European hospitals and clinics, and is used increasingly in North America.
Support for wellness
The lymph system plays a vital role in maintaining good health. Lymph is a fluid rich in immune cells that fight viruses, cancer, and bacteria. It circulates through the body, transporting these cells where they are needed. Lymph passes through lymph nodes which produce new immune cells and filter out toxins and wastes. The swollen "glands" you feel when coming down with a virus are your lymph nodes working.
MLD uses light, rhythmic touch to enhance lymph circulation. This improves the flow of immune cells, making it easier for the body to fend off disease and infection. Increased lymph circulation also helps reduce the body's load of wastes and toxins. This frees up resources that your body can use for tissue repair and maintenance, keeping you healthy and in balance.
For your health challenges
Stress, illness, excess fluid from infaction, and blockages or injury to lymph vessels can all impair lymphatic function. This can leave you feeling fatigued, achy, or ill. Lymphatic massage is extraordinarily effective in helping to restore lymph function, which can address a number of health challenges:
- Stress and pain
- Reduction of swelling
- Breast care
- Skin care and cosmetic surgery
What is a session like?
Because many lymph vessels are just under the skin, moving the lymph requires a very light touch, barely the weight of a teaspoon of water. Therapists use flat hands and finger pads in painless, rhythmic movements gentle enough to be described as "feather touch." No oils or lotions are used as the technique requires a gentle stretching of the skin rather than gliding. This stretching of skin replicates muscle pump and facilitates lymph movement.
Lymphatic massage can be used alone or to enhance your regular massage session. Expect it to feel much lighter and slower than standard massage.
Most people experience lymphatic massage as deeply relaxing and some fall asleep. Remember, the body can work on the healing process when it is relaxed. It is possible to feel lightheaded following a session so you may wish to rest for an hour or two afterward. Your therapist does advise drinking extra water after a session to replenish your fluids and to continue assisting in the movement of lymph. Many people report feeling rejuvenated, invigorated, or simply lighter in the hours or days following a session.