Lymphatic massage or manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a helpful tool in the treatment of swelling. Whether caused by disease, a muscle injury, from standing too long, or surgery, well-executed MLD can go a long way to easing painful symptoms caused by a buildup of our body’s nutrient-rich watery inner ocean.
Containing protein, fats, cellular components, minerals and lots of water, this ocean is a magical watery matrix that swirls through and around everything inside us, providing a reservoir of assets for our cells and tissue to use, and a transport system for waste removal and processing. It helps transport fatty acids from the digestive process and also plays an important role in our immunity. Since it flows everywhere, it needs a network of vessels to help counter gravity and maintain hydraulics. Once the fluid enters this network, its name changes to lymph. This network of lymphatic vessels also directs lymph through lymph nodes providing filtered fluid to the bloodstream at the end of its journey.
Since the lymphatic network isn’t connected to a pump like the heart, you might wonder what moves it uphill once we’re standing? Usually this help comes in the form of exercise. Each moving joint serves as a pump for shuttling lymph closer to the end of its journey at the venous angles at the base of the neck. But sometimes, when our couch-potato bodies are not in shape, a little added stimulation from quality MLD goes a long way to mobilizing and maximizing this nourishing, cleansing and vital fluid exchange.
Thus, MLD assists with your journey towards optimal health in myriad ways. Among other things, it helps with general detox as it speeds up the removal of waste tissue, it reduces edema (fluid collection) and swellings caused by injury. Lowering the swelling often improves pain, especially in post- surgery procedures such as liposuction. It’s also very relaxing for the superficial muscle tissue and so clients often fall asleep while experiencing Zen-like healing and de-stressing.
Are there contraindications? Yes, there are. Although MLD can provide a wonderful boost for health, it is not suitable for everyone. Persons with acute infections and fever, with cardiac problems, kidney disease, venous obstructions, open sores, and conditions that could be made worse by improving lymph movement should not have one. If you have no contraindications however, why not try one today?