What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) Therapy?

by admin / 27 July 2016 / No Comments

Our newest therapist, Nainesh Vasistha, explains how a well-functioning lymphatic system contributes to healthy body tissue and plays an important part in the body’s immune responses.

NaineshMost people are familiar with the body’s circulatory system that carries blood to and from the tissues, but few understand there is another equally vital system of vessels – the lymphatic system that removes cell wastes, proteins, excess fluid, viruses, and bacteria. Like roots of a tree, the lymphatic system starts as tiny vessels that eventually branch into larger tubes resulting in a network of lymph vessels and lymph nodes.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) therapy is designed to improve functioning of the lymphatic system by using light pressure and gentle, rhythmical movement of the skin which stimulate contraction of lymphatic vessels. As a result a greater amount of metabolic waste products and excess fluid are removed from the body’s tissues and enter this lymphatic system. The fluid, or lymph, passes through lymph nodes acting as biological filtration stations cleaning and destroying dead cells, bacteria and other waste products, enabling clean lymph to return to the blood system.

MLD can benefit just about everyone – here’s why…

After a sports injury or surgery, including breaks, fractures, torn ligaments and sprains – areas with swelling and trauma struggle to deal with excess fluid. MLD can move this excess fluid to other areas of the body, where the undamaged or un-overloaded lymphatic system can take it up, thus reducing congestion at local lymph nodes. At a micro-level rubbish is cleared away faster, swelling and pain is reduced and healing is speeded up. MLD may be also particularly helpful for hip and knee replacements and cosmetic surgery.

Because it’s so gentle, MLD is well tolerated by patients suffering with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.  They often experience sore trigger points throughout the body and by encouraging lymph flow and removing waste products, this gentle form of bodywork can help restore immune function and improve vitality.

MLD can have a pain-relieving and calming effect on the whole nervous system; during treatment, touch receptors in the skin send messages to the brain, which in turn block messages from pain receptors.

Surgical procedures involving lymph node removal, such as breast cancer surgery, can cause limbs to swell, this condition is called lymphoedema. MLD is now widely accepted and plays a key part in the treatment of both primary and secondary lymphoedemas.

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