Human and equine manual lymphatic drainage

What can be Treated With MLD?

Promotes healing of fractures, strains, torn ligaments, bruising and swelling

MLD is an excellent therapy for improving recovery time from accidents and injuries, as well as helping lessen the pain associated with bruising and swelling. After injury, the body starts to protect and repair the damaged areas of tissue by releasing histamines and other substances. It also works very hard to transport cell debris and toxins away from the injury site via the lymphatic system. MLD can stimulate the lymphatic pre-collectors to be able to process more fluid and can increase speed of lymph flow from 8-12 beats a minute to up to 35 beats a minute. This means that the recovery time from injury is significantly faster. MLD also allows vital nutrients to get to the damaged cells in order to help them repair. The transport of these substances is hindered when there is a lot of swelling, as the interstitial fluid inhibits this exchange. With the toxins and histamines encouraged to move away from the injury site, the pain associated with the swelling decreases.

Improves conditions such as sinusitis, scleroderma, acne and skin complaints

MLD allows vital nutrients and substances to be transported to the cells of the skin, as well as removing waste products, proteins, and excess water. Regular treatment of the skin can improve texture, tone and colour, and help lessen irritation and scarring. The rhythmic “pumping” technique helps relieve the symptoms of sinusitis and assists the sinuses drain.

Assists in the management of pain

The MLD technique stimulates touch receptors in the skin, which in turn travel along nerves via synapses to the brain. When a person is feeling pain, the pain receptors are firing signals along the nerves to the brain where it registers discomfort. In stimulating the touch receptors, MLD can assist in triggering an inhibitory nerve response to lessen the signals from the pain receptors. This can help reduce pain felt from a wide variety of causes, from rheumatoid arthritis to injury.

Assists in reducing the symptoms of PMT (breast tenderness and bloating)

Breast tenderness can be a problem with many women, and MLD can be beneficial in reducing pain and clearing any blockages that may be causing discomfort.

General well-being, combating stress and relaxation

This is due to the MLD technique having a relaxing effect on the sympathetic nervous system and allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to come to the fore. This allows for a change in focus from the daytime “fight or flight” nervous reactions to a more restorative and relaxing state.

Promotes post-surgical healing from cosmetic surgery, caesarean sections, liposuction, skin grafts, operation scars

Many MLD therapists are working with cosmetic surgeons and general surgeons in order to speed up recovery times and reduce the swelling, pain and bruising associated with surgery. It is advisable to treat before any operation to “prime” the lymphatic system, and MLD therapists can treat on the first post-operative day as the technique is gentle enough to work around stitches and bruising.

Relieves fluid congestion – tired, puffy eyes, swollen ankles and legs due to pregnancy or travel

MLD can quickly reduce the appearance of any facial swelling or puffiness due to speeding up the rate in which the initial lymphatic vessels collect and transport lymph around the body. MLD is safe to use during pregnancy (although practitioners do not treat during the first trimester) and the technique is also very relaxing. Travellers who find that their lower legs and lower limbs swell after long-haul flights find MLD a beneficial therapy to ease the feeling of fullness or tightness in the feet.

Promotes healing of wounds, burns and improves appearance of scars (even old scar tissue)

MLD has been show to reduce fibrosis (hard, knotty tissue) around scars, thus making them feel softer and more pliable. In the cases of recent scars on coloured skins (where scar tissue tends to look very pale), regular MLD has been shown to improve their appearance by encouraging re-pigmentation of the scar tissue. Many cosmetic surgeons in the UK are now encouraging their patients to see MLD therapists as the healing time is reduced and scarring becomes less noticeable. MLD is usually augmented by Deep Oscillation treatment, which gently oscillates scar tissue cells and helps encourage the scar to fade.

Assist with fertility issues

As well as having a profound, relaxing effect on the nervous system, MLD has recently been found to be successful in helping with fertility issues by helping balance hormones and relieve fluid congestion. It is especially useful prior to an IVF cycle or in between fertility treatments.

Provides a deeply relaxing effect on the nervous system

MLD advanced massage techniques stimulate the touch receptors that lie underneath the surface of the skin, which in turn allows the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) to come to the fore. The PNS is the “rest and restore” system that takes over from the daytime “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Unfortunately, in our often highly pressured and stressed environments, our sympathetic nervous systems become more dominant and it becomes harder to relax and access the PNS. MLD assists in helping to body cope with dealing with both long and short-standing stress patterns.

May strengthen the immune system as a result of the lymphatic system being stimulated

Although there are no published double-blind trials that conclusively prove the immune system is strengthened by MLD, it is well established that the lymphatic system plays a vital role in immune health. T-lymphocyte cells are manufactured within lymph nodes and debris or disease such as dyes or TB can actually be encapsulated by the body within the nodes themselves. The lymphatic system aids the immune system in destroying pathogens and filtering waste so that the lymph can be safely returned to the circulatory system. It removes excess fluid, waste, debris, dead blood cells, pathogens, cancer cells, and toxins from cells and the tissue spaces between them, as well as works with the circulatory system to deliver nutrients, oxygen, and hormones from the blood to the cells that make up the tissues of the body.