What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

Danielle by Danielle

Learn why Rochelle loves this gentle, effective technique, and why you just might, too.

A specific light-touch therapy, Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, or MLD, is a gentle, rhythmic stimulation of the lymph nodes and lymph vessels that can dramatically increase the normal rate of lymph flow. The slow rhythmic strokes move the skin and connective tissue, creating a gentle pumping action that increases flow in the tissues, promoting regeneration. Rochelle Clark can introduce you to this therapy at Helix.

MLD is an ideal form of therapy for most pre- and post-surgical recovery (with doctor permission) by promoting detoxification of the entire body; reducing fluid retention and edemas; accelerating healing of burns; and minimizing bruising and scarring.

When even a single lymph node has been compromised as a result of surgery or radiation, the lymphatic fluid may “lose its course,” lacking the capacity for transporting fluids through that area. This can cause a backup of fluid that leads to swelling and, when left untreated, may develop into lymphedema. Manual Lymphatic Drainage gently assists the flow of lymphatic fluid, encouraging the lymph to find and regain a healthy path.

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy also can effectively address:

  • Neurological conditions, including Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity
  • Skin conditions (eczema, rosacea)
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Cellulite (with a series and in conjunction with diet changes)
  • Poor circulation
  • Sinus headaches and congestion
  • Allergies/hay fever
  • Migraines
  • Inflammation/swelling
  • Tinnitus
  • Arthritis

What’s more, MLD can provide results similar to a mini-facelift by decreasing puffiness and dark circles, diminishing wrinkles, and releasing tension that is frequently held around the eyes, forehead, and jaw.

How to Prepare for MLD

  • Drink plenty of water or fresh natural juice two to four days before the sessions.
  • Eat lightly at least on the day of the initial session.
  • Avoid heavy, highly processed, and greasy foods.

Lymphatic Support

  • Your clothing should be loose and non-restrictive.
  • Check for red marks on your skin when you remove your clothes at the end of the day.
  • If there are, loosen up!

How to Stimulate Lymph Flow

  • Activate your muscles with regular exercise and stretching.
  • Shoulder rolls are helpful to open the lymph nodes at the base of the neck, where lymph returns to the blood system.
  • Practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing using visualization to fill your body with fresh, energizing oxygen.
  • SWIM! Or simply soak! Compression from the water is one of the best ways to move lymph.
  • Individuals with Lymphedema should avoid hot temperatures and follow the advice from your doctor.
  • Learn Manual Lymph Drainage and Self-Care Techniques from your therapist.

Rochelle has pursued advanced training for many years, and uses these techniques frequently with her clients. She would love to answer your questions about how MLD might help you.