What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a therapy which is designed to improve the functioning of the lymphatic system.
This is primarily achieved through gentle, rhythmical movements of the skin which stimulate the contraction of the lymphatic vessels.
As a result, a greater amount of the metabolic waste products and excess fluids are being removed from the body’s tissues and enter the lymphatic system.
The fluid, known as lymph, passes through a series of lymph nodes where it is cleansed of dead cells, bacteria and other waste products. The clean lymph is then returned to the blood stream.
MLD as a therapy was refined in the 1930’s by a Danish therapist called Emile Vodder.
Since Vodder’s pioneering work modern research conducted by eminent leaders in the field of lymphology, has shown how this method so effectively influences both the lymphatic and nervous systems.
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage good for?
In the UK, MLD is continuing to be widely accepted as an important component in the treatment and management of both primary and secondary lymphoedema (swollen limbs).
It is a key element in the treatment of venous oedema and may be used successfully in the treatment of leg ulcers.
MLD is also widely used pre- and post-surgery, to aid healing and speed recovery.
The technique is also applied to alleviate general fluid congestion such as puffy eyes and swollen ankles during pregnancy.
It is deeply relaxing and very gentle therapy and is therefore an excellent massage modality for elderly clients and where pain prohibits the use of deeper massage.
MLD is used widely within the NHS along with compression bandaging and skin care in the treatment of both primary and secondary lymphoedema.
Where can I learn more about MLD?
MLD UK is the professional body regulating the professional conduct and qualification of MLD therapists.
MLD UK members have trained in combined decongestive therapy [CDT] and are qualified to treat pathologies such as lymphoedema and venous insufficiency.
CDT combines MLD, compression bandaging, skin care, exercises and advice or provision of compression hosiery.
Who should I speak to at The Centre about MLD?
Ann Le Bek
- HND Sports Management
- Combined Decongestive Therapy – Dr Vodder Method
- Diploma Fitness Training and Sports Therapy
- British Association for Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Instructor