Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
The lymphatic system is a complementary system that helps to remove waste products from areas of the body for expulsion. The lymph system relies on contraction of the lymph vessels; this contraction is produced by movement of the large muscle groups. The main functions of the lymphatic system include:
- removal of excess fluids in the body
- absorption and transportation of fat from the digestive system
- transportation of white blood cells to and from the bones
- moving immunity response cells to help fight off sickness
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a very gentle yet very effective massage technique that is used to move the lymph. The therapist will use very light pumping movements to move the skin in the direction of the lymph vessels activating flow of the lymph. To start the therapist will open the large lymphatic pumps which include the thoracic (chest), clavicular (shoulder/neck), axillary (armpit) and inguinal (hips/groin); after the main pumps are open the limbs and back will be worked on. MLD is meant to be a full body treatment. By manipulating the lymphatic system the therapist helps to support the bodies immune system, drains swollen or puffy tissue, help the body heal from any injury, and aid in natural waste removal or detoxification.