Manual Lymphatic Drainage
A very gentle manual technique utilizing rhythmic, precise hand movements and sequences that aim to influence vessels under the skin to improve lymphatic flow and aids in re-routing congested lymphatic areas
What is MLD
Developed by Dr. Emil Vodder in 1932, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a very gentle manual technique utilizing rhythmic, precise hand movements and sequences that aim to influence vessels under the skin to improve lymphatic flow and aids in re-routing congested lymphatic areas.
The aim of the MLD therapist is to restore equilibrium in the tissues. If the lymphatic system is functioning well, we feel well.
How to identify a Certified Lymphatic Therapist
Finding a licensed massage therapist doesn't imply she or he is qualified to provide MLD therapy (the primary component of Complete Decongestive Therapy - CDT) for your lymphatic condition including post-surgical or cancer treatment. In North Carolina, one can be a Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist (LMBT) but to practice and provide benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatments recommended for lymphedema maintenance or after cancer surgery one needs, at the minimum, advanced and specialized training from a LANA (Lymphology Association of North America) recognized school. Specialists with this qualification will have CLT initials after their title and their license and certification will be displayed.
What are the benefits
There are many conditions that benefit from the application of MLD because of its propensity to move fluid, but it also has other properties that have great therapeutic value besides decongesting tissue.
Because it is a very light manual technique, utilizing repetitive and continuous hand movements, it has a deeply calming effect on the nervous system and has been found to promote pain relief.
Though it can be beneficial for many people, there do exist some contraindications to treatment. Before any treatment commences, a full medical history will be taken from you to determine that this treatment is suitable for you.
Why should I receive MLD
MLD can be a great benefit for many people. However, MLD is most beneficial for those after cancer surgery or are planning reconstructive surgery.
Those who have lymphedema, a chronic condition caused by the accumulation of protein-rich fluid, also benefit from MLD in addition to proper compression garments and care.