Manual lymphatic drainage for natural body detox

You can survive anything life throws at you, provided you find the breathing space to detoxify and recharge yourself. Manual lymphatic drainage practitioners are great believers in helping the body heal itself. Guided by this unique philosophy, the manual lymphatic drainage technique is the ultimate detox treatment to help unlock the potential of the body to heal and help the mind find that inner peace it craves.


What is manual lymphatic drainage (MLD)?

MLD is a very gentle type of detox therapy used to drain excess fluid from the body and improve the overall functioning of the lymphatic (immune) system. MLD is most commonly used to treat lymphedema, which is characterised by the blockage of lymph nodes in the arms and legs which often leads to a sensation of ‘heaviness’ and general discomfort.

Manual lymphatic drainage technique is a relatively new treatment. Dr Emil Vodder pioneered the treatment in the 1930s. Dr Vodder and his wife noticed that patients suffering from severe colds had swollen lymph nodes. The medical profession at that time had a limited understanding of the lymphatic system which meant there were no specific treatments available to treat the swelling.

As a result, the Vodders studied the lymphatic system in closer detail and devised a treatment using circular hand movements in order to create movement in the lymph nodes - releasing toxins and bacteria from the body which were the main cause of the ailments they had diagnosed.

The lymphatic massage is applied gently in the direction of lymph flow in order to unblock any obstructed lymph vessels, allowing the lymph flow to transport waste from the body freely. To make the treatment effective, MLD is performed with no massage oils or lotions. The massage therapy is applied in gentle strokes towards the heart. This technique will lightly stretch the walls of the lymph vessels and encourage lymph drainage, leading to a general detoxification of the system.

You can survive anything life throws at you, provided you find the breathing space to detoxify and recharge yourself.

MLD techniques

During manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) treatment the massage therapist may use one of four very effective manual lymphatic drainage techniques to encourage lymph drainage:

Stationary circles - these strokes are applied in continuous spirals with the massage therapist's fingertips typically over the neck, face and lymphatic nodes.

The pump technique - the massage therapist will place their palms down on the skin, and make oval strokes with their fingers and thumbs to encourage lymph flow.

The rotary technique - the massage therapist massages the skin in circular motions with their palms facing down. The wrists are used to apply and lessen the stroke pressure.

Scoop strokes - the therapist’s palms will face up, and their fingers remain outstretched so that their hands are cupped to resemble a scoop. Twisting strokes are applied to the skin to encourage waste disposal.

The end result of manual lymphatic drainage session is a general detoxification of the lymphatic system, unblocking of blocked lymphatic channels and a release of energy as well as a sensation of general well-being. 

Benefits of manual lymphatic drainage 

  • clear sinus congestion 
  • boost immune system
  • remove toxins and excess fluid

Manual lymphatic drainage can considerably improve recovery post-surgery by reducing swelling and inflammation. For good results, a series of six or seven treatments is recommended with a detox diet for maximum benefits.

If you'd like to find out more about manual lymphatic drianage and how it can helpy ou, you can find therpaists offering MLD on Therapy Directory. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Therapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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