I have recently qualified as an Oncology Massage Therapist and in Manual Lymphatic Drainage and have had several clients asking about the treatment and what it involves. Therefore, I hope that this Blog will help to answer some of their questions.
The Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is a one-way drainage system, it removes excess fluid from the body’s tissues and returns it to the circulatory system and helps to fight infection.
Lymphatic vessels form a network of tubes that extend all over the body which carries a fluid called lymph. Along the network of lymphatic vessels are lymphatic nodes which filter bacteria and micro- organisms from the lymph. The cleansed lymph is collected by two main lymphatic ducts, the thoracic and the right lymphatic ducts which empty the lymph into the bloodstream.
The lymphatic system returns excess fluid which accumulates in the body’s tissues back into the bloodstream, while at the same time filtering micro-organisms and releasing antibodies to help the body to fight infection.
What is Lymph?
Lymph is a transparent, colourless, watery liquid which is make up of tissue fluid and is contained within lymphatic vessels. It resembles blood plasma in composition, except that it has a lower concentration of plasma proteins. Lymph contains only one type of cell: these are called lymphocytes.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) was developed in the 1930s, a MLD therapist will apply light pressure in the form of circular movements to the skin always working towards the heart. This technique lightly stretches the walls of the lymph vessels and encourage lymphatic drainage. MLD can be applied to bare skin or over clothes, no oils or lotions can be used in order for the treatment to be effective.
How MLD works
The Lymphatic system is responsible for helping fluid and waste leave the body and for regulating the immune system. When the lymphatic system becomes blocked, then fluid begins to build up and stagnate making us feel sluggish and more susceptible to viral/ contagious diseases.
What is it good for?
MLD is particularly effective for individuals who suffer regularly from common illnesses like colds and flu. It is also recommended for people who lead sedentary lifestyles, or those who want to reduce puffiness or swelling. It can have a positive effect on problem skin, cellulite, dysfunctional respiratory systems and people with low energy.
It can be used as a treatment to reduce lymphoma which is swelling in the arms or legs which can be as a result of surgery e.g. post mastectomy.
What are the benefits?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage boosts the immune system so, as well as helping the body fight off illness, treatment can help people to feel more healthy and increase vitality.
It also has a positive physical effect, improving the appearance of the skin and reducing puffiness caused by water retention, poor circulation or pregnancy. It can also help with pain from fractures, sprains or rheumatism, and it promotes the body’s own healing mechanisms. I can also help to improve your metabolism so can be used to Detox the body.
I have tried to make this blog informative but also make it easy to understand I really hope I have achieved this happy medium. If you wish to ask me any more questions then please email: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my very best to answer them.
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