Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
Manual lymphatic drainage is a gentle massage technique specifically focused on supporting the functions of the lymphatic system and at the same time has a powerful effect on the nervous system. The technique can be used as a whole-body treatment or localized to a particular area.
Check out the benefits of this massage modality:
Encourages absorption of lymph fluid. The gentle stretching of the skin acts on the anchoring filaments of the lymphatic capillaries located in the interstitium, increasing the rate of movement of interstitial fluid into the lymphatic system.
Enhances movement of fluid in the lymph collectors. As a result of increased absorption, the lymphatic load increases and creates an increase in lymph volume within the collectors. The collectors then respond to the accumulation of fluid by amplifying the frequency of lymphangion contractions.
Calms the nervous system. The slow rhythmic nature of manual lymphatic drainage decreases the sympathetic nervous response and activates the parasympathetic nervous response, creating a calming, soothing effect.
Relieves Pain. Manual lymphatic drainage can enhance the removal of nociceptive substances from the tissues while providing a stimulus for the gate control theory, which changes the way pain signals are transmitted to the brain.
Redirection of lymphatic fluid. For many different reasons, the lymphatic system’s transport capacity can become either compromised or deteriorate as a result of trauma, surgery or general wear and tear, and if movement of lymph fluid is interrupted, lymphedema can occur.
Fluid removal. Lymph stasis can create a dermal thickening as protein-rich fluid causes inflammatory responses and scar formation within the interstitium. When applied correctly, MLD can remove the fluid from the tissue—away from the blocked or scarred area—and direct it toward a healthy, uncompromised region of the lymphatic system.
Here's a video tutorial we've found super-helpful for practicing LMD on yourself for cold symptoms. Let us know if it works for you!