What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

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Written by Vanessa

The best way I have heard the lymphatic system in the body being described was if you imagine the human body was a city, then the lymphatic system is the police and waste disposal service all rolled into one.

The lymphatic is a superficial system, meaning it is one of the closest layers to the skin and works to remove proteins, dead cells, waste products, bacteria and viruses, inorganic substances, excess water and fats. When this system is not working correctly, the body can develop lymphedema, pain, fatigue, and reduced mobility.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a very light superficial technique that works to stimulate the flow of the lymphatic system and can increase its efficiency by up to 20 times after treatment. Some clients begin to see results even after just the first treatment. The lightness of this technique means it can be used to treat some conditions that are normally contra-indicated for normal therapeutic massage.

Some of the conditions that could benefit from MLD are:

• Bells Palsy
• Pregnancy
• Oedema or fluid retention
• The early stages of cellulite
• Arthritis (even in the flare up stage)
• Chronic and or general fatigue
• Dermatological conditions e.g. psoriasis, acne and eczema
• Headaches and migraines
• Pre-surgery and post-surgery
• Sinusitis
• Bruises, strains and sprains
• Burns and scars
• Chronic pain
• Tendonitis
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Fibromyalgia
• Colitis
• Multiple sclerosis


The list just goes on and on. As with any technique there are some situations where MLD is contraindicated i.e. if you have major heart problems, acute inflammation, thrombosis, having chemotherapy etc. Of course both of these lists are not exhaustive but they do give you a good idea of when you can and cannot gain benefit from MLD. A lot of the conditions that benefit from MLD are long term conditions, and gaining some relief from symptoms could greatly improve quality of life for the sufferers.

If you think you might benefit from receiving some MLD, then book in with Vanessa online now!

Posted: Tuesday 28 June 2016