Lymphatic System
Science now knows that the lymphatic system impacts virtually every function of the human body in health and illness. MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) uses very light, rhythmic strokes to stimulate the body’s lymph system and aids in ridding the body of toxins and waste.  MLD can strengthen the immune system, speed up metabolism and as part of CDT (Complete Decongestive Therapy) it can help reduce tissue swelling following surgery, cancer treatment, radiation, trauma, etc.
Manual Lymph Drainage

Manual lymph drainage is often and mistakenly referred to as a “massage”. Although it may feel like a massage, it is actually mobilization or physical movement of lymph fluid from one area of the body to another. It is used to move lymph located just below the skin around damaged or defective areas of the lymphatics so that unaffected lymph vessels can pick up the lymph and carry it out of the body.

MLD is a hands-on approach used by a skilled lymphedema therapist. It requires a very light touch in several types of movement: a circular movement used to stimulate decongestion of lymph nodes, a sweeping movement to push fluid from one location to another, and deep breathing techniques combined with circular movement to stimulate deeper abdominal lymph nodes.

Some therapists visualize this process as pushing the lymph fluid in the desired direction, while others see it as directing the flow by pulling the skin slightly ahead of the lymph flow. Either way, MLD is an important technique for moving lymph fluid out of the congested area and back into circulation in the center of the body. 

The direction and order of MLD manipulation is as important as the gentle stroke.  First the areas of the body where nodes are concentrated (neck, axilla, or groin) are stimulated in order to ready them to receive more fluid. Then the therapist begins, close to the nodes, moving fluid toward them with slow and rhythmic strokes. The massage continues with the therapist's hands moving farther away from the cleared nodes by degrees, but always directing the fluid back toward them.

For a therapist, every patient is a new challenge.  The length, condition and location of surgical scars, the amount and position of any fibrotic (hard) areas, the condition of the skin, the number and location of lymph nodes that were removed, and the extent of cancer treatment each individual received is taken into account to determine the most efficient route for directing the lymph fluid.
Appointment: (714) 343-1966