Manual Lymphatic Drainage – This technique has been getting a lot of attention lately, and with good reason. With so many of us feeling overworked and stressed, bloated and flat, and with cold and flu season on the way, it’s a good time to go over the ins-and-outs of lymphatic drainage.
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
It is a unique massage technique, specifically designed to encourage the natural drainage of lymph.
Lymph is the fluid, similar to blood plasma, that circulates throughout the lymphatic system. It has a lot of different functions, one of which is acting as the body’s garbage disposal system. It picks up bacteria, delivering them to the lymph nodes, where they are destroyed.
The natural lymphatic system can pump 1-2 litres of lymph through the body per day. With Manual Lymphatic Drainage, it can increase it to 10-20 litres per day. That’s effectively giving your body’s healing system a gigantic boost.
If you have fluid retention, you’re feeling sluggish, puffy or unwell, or if you feel the need to detox, then Manual Lymphatic Drainage might be for you.
Where did it come from?
While the concept might have been around for centuries, the technique itself was put together by a couple of Danish doctors in the 1930s, who noticed that their patients that suffered from colds tended to have swollen lymph nodes. They studied the lymph system further and developed a technique where they used gentle, rhythmic hand movements to promote lymph movement. They found that when the technique was performed, patients would heal quicker.
New techniques were developed further as time went on, as the medical profession began to understand the lymph system more thoroughly. The new techniques are based on following the lines of the lymphatic vessels, towards the corresponding lymph nodes.
What does it feel like?
It feels like really, really gentle touch. It’s very different from a remedial massage, or even a relaxation massage. Your practitioner will softly stimulate your lymph nodes, then use light, feathery strokes to encourage the movement of the lymph.
How will I feel after the treatment?
It depends. You could feel decidedly dodgy in the moments after a treatment. Despite the gentleness of MLD, there’s a lot going on under the surface, and a lot of toxins are going to get flushed out. It might take you an hour or two to start feeling like yourself again. You’ll need to up your water intake, and you will probably have to visit the bathroom more often. And the next day, you should feel better than ever.
Other people feel amazing, and completely relaxed during and immediately after a treatment.
What can it treat?
MLD can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including:
- Fluid retention
- Eczema and psoriasis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- General Fatigue
- Pre and post surgery
- Low immunity
Where can I book a treatment?
At Fluid Health, we have two therapists that specialise in Manual Lymphatic Drainage – David Luke, and Lucy Fowler. Give us a call on 03 99391133 to book an appointment, or you can click here to book online.