Manual Lymphatic Drain

Manual Lymphatic Drain

Lymph is the body’s natural “liquid”. It is found everywhere in the body. Lymph and the lymphatic system provide many uses in our body. It creates a cushion between muscles and tissue. This allows smooth movement and functionality of our muscles.

Our lymphatic system is often referred to as our garbage collection company. Our lymphatic system collects lymph from within our body, cleans it for redistribution or processes it through our lymph nodes for removal.

Manual lymphatic drain (MLD) is a technique used to direct stagnated lymph to the body’s lymph nodes. Pooled lymph creates edema (swelling) in the body. With proper technique, MLD can allow the lymphatic system to work thereby providing results such as reduced swelling, more efficient organ performance and better joint functionality.

Manual Lymphatic Drain - Services

 MLD can provide essential recovery benefits after cosmetic surgery. MLD can direct the lymph out of the surgical areas and aid the body in a effective and efficient recovery. In most cases, MLD after cosmetic surgery is a 10 treatment process in the days immediately following the surgery. MLD will allow the body to recover quicker with desired results.

Quite like recovery after cosmetic surgery, MLD after orthopedic surgery, aids the body in regaining anatomically correct functionality back to the joint area.

“Laura has helped me recover from my vigorous softball schedule. Shoulder, hips, hands, and hamstrings are always what hurt on me . . . When I had a blood cyst behind my knee, manual lymph drain helped in my recovery. I felt so much better after just the first appointment. I know the 5 treatments of manual lymph drain helped my recovery a ton.”

– Macy M.

Frequently Asked Questions

Included below are answers to some of my clients’ most frequently asked questions. Give me a call or use my contact form to reach out if the answer to your question is not found here. I’m available to help!

What is Lymph?

Our body produces fluid called lymph. Fun fact: Blood is made up over 55% lymph! Lymph is a clear fluid which is everywhere in our body. It cushions organs, allows muscles and other tissue to glide over each other smoothly, and perhaps most importantly, it carries white blood cells to areas of trauma. The lymph system does not include a pump (i.e. heart) to move the lymph around the body.

Lymph travels via muscle contraction and gravity. If you are experiencing muscle tightness, the lymph stays stagnate in that particular area. It cannot navigate without the proper function of the muscle. This is where cupping comes in! Placing cups in an area of muscle tightness, we create space between muscles and tissue. This space is created when the tissue is suctioned up into the cup. Once space is created, fresh, oxygenated blood can rush into the space to help muscle recovery and bring in fresh lymph.

When a body experiences trauma (i.e. accident, surgery, health condition), lymph plays an important role in protecting the area and aids in the recovery process. Trauma creates many reactions within the body including excess lymph to the area of the trauma. This excess lymph is called edema. Edema results in a swollen and “squishy” feeling.

What is Manual Lymph Drain, (MLD)?

MLD is a technique whereby you are creating a suction, so to speak, to navigate lymph into the lymph nodes. MLD is not massage; however, many people refer to it as such. Fun fact: We have over 600 lymph nodes in our body. They are located everywhere!

Lymph nodes are small, kidney bean shaped, structures which filter lymph and deliver it back into the blood stream or out our body. When lymph is stagnated on its journey to the nodes, either due to trauma or muscle tightness, we can manually direct and navigate it using MLD.

Does MLD hurt?

MLD should NEVER hurt. We utilize MLD when edema is present. MLD is used to navigate and direct superficial lymph to the lymph nodes. It is a very light touch. If the pressure is not light, MLD is not effective.

Who should get MLD?

Anyone who has swelling around an area of trauma is definitely a candidate for MLD. This trauma can be in the form of pre-surgery, post-surgery, a sustained injury or dysfunction in an area. MLD is also very good for decongesting the body. If you’ve been ill (i.e. covid, cold, flu) and have an “icky” feeling or a feeling of being bloated, MLD is definitely for you.

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