Manual Lymphatic Drainage
What is Lymphatic Drainage?
Developed in the 1930’s manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), oncology massage, is a very gentle therapeutic massage aimed at relieving swelling around the body from the accumulation of a fluid called lymph (lymphoedema). MLD is a hands-on treatment using a light pressure combined with soft pumping movements in the direction of the lymph nodes. The process can take up to one hour to complete throughout the body. The patient is fully dressed so no massage lotions or creams are required. This highly specialised treatment can only be offered by specially trained and experienced therapists.
What is the Lymphatic system and how does it work?
Our lymphatic system is part of our immune system, which helps to keep body fluid levels in balance and defends our body against infections. Lymphatic vessels, tissues, organs, and glands work together to drain this watery fluid called lymph from our body. Lymph nodes act like drains in a sink. If the drain is removed or clogged, the fluid cannot drain and swelling can occur.
Normally lymph is moved around our body by us simply moving our muscles and deep breathing. However, the body can naturally struggle to drain this fluid after surgery, prolonged periods of inactivity (such as long-haul flights) or infections. When our lymphatic system becomes blocked, fluid builds up and stagnates causing the entire system to become toxic. This makes us feel sluggish and more susceptible to colds and viruses and other infections. This build-up usually occurs in the legs or arms but can occur in other parts of the body and can range from being uncomfortable to very painful.
What are the benefits of Lymphatic Drainage?
- Boosts the immune system
- Improves metabolism
- Helps the body eliminate waste and toxins
- Clears lymphatic blockages
- Encourages the transportation of nutrients to the cells
- Helps your body to heal naturally
- Provides general feelings of health and vitality
- Improves the appearance of the skin
- Helps strengthen the skin which can be weakened by cellulitis
- Helps reduce cellulite
- Helps support reduced functioning respiratory systems
- Helps reduce pain from fractures, sprains, or rheumatism
Who can benefit from Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
- Anyone suffering regularly from common illnesses such as colds, flu, cellulitis and sinusitis
- People who lead sedentary lifestyles
- People who want to reduce puffiness or swelling from poor circulation or pregnancy
- People with low energy
What types of conditions can be treated with Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
- Post injury or post-operative swelling
- Fluid retention/bloating/swollen ankles etc. including fluid retention (oedema) during pregnancy
- Sprains and strains caused by accidents or injuries
- Arthritis and sinusitis and other chronic conditions
When it is not appropriate to have Manual lymphatic Drainage?
For the most part Manual Lymphatic Drainage is safe, with such light pressure, the danger of causing damage to tissue is small. However, there are some conditions where an increase in lymphatic flow can be detrimental.
Below is a list of conditions you should seek medical advice before booking a treatment:
- Directly post cancer treatment
- Currently undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- Kidney failure
- Certain cardiac condition
- DVT (blood clots)
- Open wounds
- Active viral infections
- Thyroid issues
What to expect during your treatments?
During your first treatment a medical history will be taken and your hopes for the treatment will be discussed. If appropriate, measurements of the swollen areas may be taken. You will then lay on the treatment table fully clothed and be covered with a blanket. After a short session of deep breathing to help start the movement of the lymph, the therapist applies gentle pressure in circular motions to your neck, arms, abdomen and then your legs and ankles. If appropriate, more measurements will be taken and recorded after the treatment for comparison.
Alongside your course of treatment, we shall demonstrate techniques you can use to alleviate symptoms at home including skin care and other techniques. Apart from Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage, where appropriate laser therapy may be used and/or facial tape applied, as part of the treatment course.
How many treatments will I need?
For maximum success, a course of 6 treatments with a gap of 3 – 7 days between treatments is recommended, followed by repeat treatments every 2 – 4 weeks until the symptoms alleviate.
1 hour treatment £60
Course of 6 treatments £330 (to be paid in advance)