MLD consists of very light, rhythmic and calming hand movements to stretch the skin and stimulate the lymphatic system available from specially trained therapists. The aim of MLD is to redirect fluid from swollen areas through the healthy lymphatic vessels in unswollen areas, where the fluid and be drained back into circulation. It is particularly useful when swelling involves areas of the body where hosiery cannot easily be worn e.g. genitals, back, breast, neck, abdomen, armpit, chest and head. MLD also helps to reduce hardness of the tissues (called fibrosis) which can develop into lymphoedema.
“Lymph drainage is a healthy, natural, painless and absolutely effective method which gives a new basis to life, health and beauty” Emil Vodder 1936
MLD treatment is one aspect of lymphoedema management and is used in combination with other components of care such as exercises and multilayer bandages. It works best when used as part of a treatment routine and is not a “cure” in itself.
Other benefits of this specialised form of massage include:
- Management and control of lymphoedema
- Promotes healing of wounds, leg ulcers, burns and old scars
- Assists in conditions arising from venous insufficiency
- Aids healing process of broken bones, torn ligaments sprains, bruising
- Chronic sinusitis, arthritis, acne and acne rosacea can be improved
- Pre-menstrual tension and pregnancy-related swelling respond well
- Deep relaxation aids in sleep, relieve constipation and aid digestion