What is it?
Manual Lymph Drainage (M.L.D) is a gentle hands-on massage technique designed to activate, stimulate and cleanse your lymphatic system. Light touch is applied to the skin's surface over lymph nodes on the body and face. This is an excellent treatment before and after surgery since it alleviates bruising, swelling and inflammation helping to promote a faster recovery. In addition, it is a remarkable body detoxifying treatment with endless benefits.
A series of treatments are most effective. However, the therapist will discuss with you the number and frequency of treatments depending on your individual situation. Always drink plenty of water after each session.
Reduces edemas (swelling)
Relieves chronic inflammations, including sinusitis and bronchitis
Regenerates tissue, including repair of burns, wounds and wrinkles
Stimulates and strengthens the immune system
Reduces symptoms of allergies and other autoimmune conditions
Reduces symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
Reduces spasms reacted by muscle hyper tonus and some forms of constipation
Creates deep relaxation to aid insomnia, reduces stress, improves vitality and decreases memory problems
Treats lymphodema (protein rich swelling of limbs)
Reduces adipose (fat) and cellulite tissue
Detoxifies and cleanses the body
One to five MLD sessions are recommended.
Preps the tissue for surgery - can allow for earlier surgery
Alleviates any existing edema (swelling)
Detoxifies tissue and stimulates the immune system
M.L.D can be performed as soon as 24 hours after surgery with your doctor's authorization.
Alleviates post-surgery edema
Stimulates temporary rerouting of lymphatic’s
Reduces pain, alleviates spasms and detoxifies
Stimulates immune system and helps prevent post-surgical infections
Improves skin regeneration and wound healing
May prevent the formation of hypertrophic or Keloid scars
Speeds up healing
Minimizes scar tissue
May assist in controlling pain
Relieves fluid retention
Reduces pain associated with mastitis (breast inflammation)
Promotes a faster recovery
is necessary if clients are undergoing chemotherapy or any other serious medical
conditions; a doctor’s authorization is needed.
It is a complex system that includes organs, nodes, and vessels that perform three primary functions: fluid balance, fat absorption, and immunological defense.
When the blood reaches the capillaries, fluid is released from the thin-walled capillaries and flows into all of the tissues in the body. This fluid, called interstitial fluid, bathes the tissues with nutrients and gases as it washes over the cells.
The cells absorb nutrients and oxygen and release their waste products back into the interstitial fluid. Ninety percent of the interstitial fluid is reabsorbed by the venous capillaries, to recombine with the blood and flow back to the heart. The other 10% of the interstitial fluid, now called lymph, flows through the lymphatic system and is filtered through the lymph nodes before being returned, ultimately, to the bloodstream.
If the lymphatic system is not working properly, interstitial fluid builds up in the tissues, and the lymph fluid is not properly filtered and cleansed before being returned to the bloodstream.
If the fluid is backed up and not flowing properly, it becomes viscous. The flowing fluid can thicken until it becomes the consistency of cottage cheese. Fluids and waste are not properly drained from the cells, bacteria and other foreign invaders are not properly filtered and destroyed, and disease, including cancer, may result.
You will also benefit from massage, including self massage. (See the link below.) This will assist with flow and move any viscous fluid through the system. Find a massage therapist who is certified in lymphatic massage.
Be sure to hydrate well with clean (preferably spring) water. Beets, berries, and cherries all stimulate the lymphatic system. A healthy diet consisting of 80% raw vegetables and fruits supports healthy lymphatic function as well as general health.
One of Ayurveda medicine's most popular blood purifiers, Manjistha, is known to be an excellent lymphatic tonic. Astragalus, Echinacea, goldenseal, pokeroot, or wild indigo root tea is recommended. Detoxifying the blood, hot and cold hydrotherapy, candida cleansing, and rebounding are important components to detoxifying the lymph.
So get off the couch, jump up and down, and eat right to detox your lymphatic system. It's the least you can do for a system that works so hard to protect you. Check out the first source for a more detailed look at the lymphatic system.
It is easy for body tissues to accumulate excess fluid and toxins. The health of your body relies on regular draining of body tissues, which is the job of the lymphatic system. If you want to detox your lymphatic system and improve its functioning, try these detox tricks.
1. Raw Fruit
Fruit is full of acids and enzymes that cleanse your lymphatic system. For best results, try to eat raw fruit on an empty stomach. For example, start your morning with a couple pieces of fruit or choose fruit as your pre-bedtime snack.
Every other system in your body relies on water, and the lymphatic system is no different. You should be drinking water throughout the day before you start to feel thirsty, as thirst is a sign that you are already dehydrated.
3. Quit Other Drinks
On the flip side, get other drinks out of your diet. Soda, coffee, sports drinks, and other beverages can clog up your lymph system. If you have a hard time getting rid of these drinks, you can add flavoring to your water. Good options include sliced fruit or herbs.
Lymph can become sluggish and stop flowing through your body as it should. A properly-done massage can stimulate the flow. Either use a guide to do your own lymph massage or go to a massage therapist with experience in this type of massage.
Physical movement is a great way to get everything in the body moving properly. Yoga, running, and bouncing on a trampoline are all great options to try.
6. Green Veggies
Green vegetables, especially leafy greens, are an excellent source of chlorophyll. Getting more chlorophyll into your body can detox your body and purify your lymphatic system.
7. Herbal Tea
There are a variety of herbal teas that can improve the functioning of the lymphatic system. Popular options include echinacea, goldenseal, and indigo root. Add a couple cups of tea to your daily routine or look for a lymph system blend.
8. Hot and Cold Showers
Strengthening your blood vessels is a great way to improve lymph flow. Spending a few minutes in the shower and alternating between hot and cold may do just that.
9. Nuts and Seeds
Fatty acids are an important part of your lymphatic system’s health. Nuts and seeds are some of the best sources of the fatty acids. Be sure to avoid ones with added salt, since salt can actually stress your lymphatic system.
10. Dry Skin Brushing
Sluggish lymph flow is one of the main symptoms of a weak lymphatic system. Stimulating proper lymph flow can promote a healthy lymphatic system. Use a coarse brush to brush your skin in circular motions prior to your shower. Move up from the head down to the heart, and then from the feet up to the heart.
11. Deep Breathing
Proper breathing techniques assist lymph in its flow throughout your body. Short, shallow breaths may impair your lymph flow. In contrast, deep, slow breaths may improve lymphatic health. Make a habit of spending several minutes deep breathing every hour.