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Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Why Do You Need Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

Swelling is normal after surgery or injury but persistent swelling is not. When tissues are damaged from tissue trauma, the lymphatic system works overtime to clear the area of cellular waste and defend the body from infection. This inflammation is a normal part of healing. It's the body's natural response to an injury. Lymphatic vessels are located in the layer right below the skin and above the muscle bed. These vessels drain areas of swelling and they act like sewer pipes under the skin. 

When there's prolonged or excessive swelling, the fluid pulls on the tissues and the tension and irritation drives more scar tissue formation. This means more swelling, more scar tissue, more pain. One way you can alleviate swelling, tightness and pain is through manual lymphatic drainage or lymphatic massage. MLD is a great technique to promote recovery from surgeries, acute muscle or bone trauma, hematomas, and whiplash. 

Commonly referred to as MLD, Manual Lymphatic Drainage involves a hands on specific light skin stretch technique designed to move and redirect fluid (lymph and interstitial fluid) out of a swollen area into healthy lymph vessels. MLD is a technique used by trained therapists to move or reroute fluid to functioning lymph vessels and nodes. 

Manual lymphatic drainage can usually start 48 hours after surgery. The technique feels like a gentle skin stretch that leaves your skin feeling lighter, less puffy and less painful. Lymphatic vessels are superficial so they don’t need to be pressed hard. Pushing hard closes the vessels. An experienced Manual Lymphatic Drainage therapist can help you with your swelling and speed up your recovery.

If you've developed lymphedema during the course of chemotherapy, it's important for the chemo to do its work and it's not good to stimulate the lymphatic system at the same time. MLD can be used a minimum of 2 days after infusion. 

Michelle Licha-Oros Medical Massage & Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is trained in the Vodder Technique earning her certification from Klose Training in 2010. Anyone seeking lymphatic drainage massage should reach out today- we’d be happy to help.

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