Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage is a special type of massage that helps reduce swelling from lymphedema.
The benefits of MLD
MLD is suggested to be an effective component of the treatment and control of lymphedema and assists in conditions arising from venous insufficiency. Conditions may include musculoskeletal and sport injuries in which MLD assists in the healing of wounds including burns and cosmetic surgery which may improve the appearance of old scars. Other benefits include:-
Promotes healing of wounds
May strengthen the immune system as part of the detox treatment
Can be used to help manage or speed up recovery from injury
Helps to relieve fluid congestion by stimulating the lymphatic drainage
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How it works
The technique is based on four strokes referred to as the: “stationary circle”, “pump”, rotary” and “scoop” techniques, designed to manipulate lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels that carry substances vital to the defence of the body that removes waste products. The primary aim of the treatment is to move fluid from the swollen area by stimulating the lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels to promote the activity and circulation of lymph flow into an area where the lymphatic system is working normally to eventually drain into the venous system.
What it involves
The therapist avoids applying deep pressure and high intensity massage techniques as it may flatten the small lymph vessels preventing lymph fluid to drain efficiently. Instead the therapist applies slow and rhythmic movements to encourage the lymph vessels to open up. The treatment is often performed on a massage table however if the patient has lymphedema in the head or neck the treatment is performed seated. Following an MLD treatment depending on severity of lymphedema, the therapist may bandage the area using a bandaging technique called multi layered lymphedema bandaging. If it is not possible to use bandages, a compression garment may be used to prevent the re-accumulation of fluid that has been evacuated. The therapist will continually monitor progress to see whether the tissues are softening and how much the swelling is reducing.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ). Please also see patient information
What does a MLD Massage feel like?
When you experience a Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage you will feel a gentle pressure sometimes described as the pressure applied when stroking a new-born’s head.
Does MLD Massage hurt?
MLD is a soothing and deeply relaxing treatment with many health benefits. Occasionally there may be areas of tension that may of accumulated that may be a little tender following treatment but not painful.
What type of MLD technique do you use?
There are different types of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) techniques including Vodder, Leduc,Földi and Casley-Smith. At the No.1 Pain Relief Clinic we use the Vodder Technique, originally developed in the 1930’s by Dr. Emil Vodder, a PhD from Denmark.
Why should I choose MLD Massage?
Since Dr Vodder’s pioneering work, MLD has spread world-wide and has become a popular treatment particularly in many European hospitals and clinics. Today it has now gained acceptance as a major component in the treatment and control of lymphedema.
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