Frequently Asked Questions: Manual Lymphatic Drainage
What is Manual Lymph Drainage Massage?
What is Manual Lymph Drainage Massage?
Lymphatic Drainage massage was developed in Europe in the 1930’s by Dr. Emil and Estrid Vodder, Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a safe, effective, and gentle approach to cleansing the body’s tissues that produces a detoxifying effect.
Although the primary result of Manual Lymphatic Drainage is to reduce swelling, it can certainly benefit a healthy person as well. Manual Lymphatic Drainage has been successfully applied to more than 60 different conditions to treat swelling, pain, and other related concerns.
Scientific studies, as well as vast clinical experience, have supported the effectiveness of MLD. The therapeutic benefits of MLD, evidenced by more than 30 years of research, are well documented.
MLD is widely prescribed by physicians in Europe. Some physicians in the United States and Canada also recognize the benefits of MLD for their patients.
Does Manual Lymphatic Drainage help get rid of bruising?
Yes. That is one of the best applications of MLD. Bruises are an accumulation of waste products and old blood cells in the tissue. Lymph Drainage massage greatly reduces healing time for bruises by cleansing the intercellular spaces where these substances are trapped.
What health issues would benefit from MLD?
The swelling of on the body is called lymphedema — most often an extremity (arm or leg) — resulting from an accumulation of fluids in such proportions to be palpable (one can feel it) and visible.
The reason for lymphedema is when the lymphatic system is not able to perform its function of resorption and transporting the protein and lymph load. Lymphedema can also be produced whenever lymphatic vessels are absent, underdeveloped, obstructed, or damaged.
Fungal infections may also be very frequent, and these then place a greater load on the lymphatic system. Severe cases are associated with thickening of the skin, hardening of the limb (fibrosis), leakage of lymph, and massive swelling (elephantiasis).
Who is at risk for swelling?
At risk is anyone who has had a simple mastectomy, lumpectomy, or modified radical mastectomy… in combination with axillary node dissection and (often) radiation therapy. Liposuction, tummy tuck or presence of toxins that does not allow the body to normally flush out unnecessary fluids.
Lymphedema can occur immediately post-operative… within a few months, a couple of years, or even 20 years or more after cancer therapy. With proper education and care, lymphedema can be avoided or — if it develops — kept under control.
Should I get Lymphatic Drainage before or after cosmetic surgery?
A big mistake often made with cosmetic surgery procedures is failure to plan enough recovery time. It is important to spend time investigating the best methods to enhance recovery so that one may return to normal activities as soon as possible and enjoy the best possible results. Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) can be applied both pre-operatively to prepare the tissue and post-operatively to relieve discomfort and remove cellular debris resulting from the trauma of the procedure. Patients may experience discomfort, swelling and bruising after surgery and have few options to handle these uncomfortable symptoms. Lymph vessels are traumatized and the flow of lymph is interrupted by surgery contributing to reduced healing, fibrosis (scar tissue), dimpled, uneven skin and the possibility of developing seromas (pockets of serous fluid). Decongestion of the lymphatic system overloaded by the insult of surgery can assist the return to normal texture, definition and tone of the skin. If multiple procedures are performed simutaneously (for instance a liposuction, breast implants or Brazillian Butt Lift), getting treated with Lymphatic Drainage can reduce discomfort of swelling and speed the dissipation of the discoloration of bruising. For many, the best feature of MLD is that it is gentle, painless and relaxing making the post-operative recovery period as pleasant as possible.