It is something of a mystery until something goes wrong with it. Simply the lymphatic system drains approximately 10% of the body’s fluid from the interstitial fluid (outside the cells and blood) and returns this to the blood after moving via lymph capillaries and through your lymph nodes ie. it plays a critical role in maintaining your body’s fluid balance.
The purpose of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is to re-route the back-up of fluid around the blockage (surgical wound, scar or injury) in your lymph capillaries to reduce fluid retention. It is a very different experience to remedial or relaxation massage. MLD uses much lighter pressures that follow the specific routes that your lymph moves through. These lymph capillaries are easily collapsed if too much pressure is applied blocking the free movement of lymph.
While there are deeper lymph pathways we can only re-direct the superficial lymph network that lies just under your skin. You remain on a massage table usually lying on your back and dis-robe as you would for a regular remedial massage. You are covered with towels and massage oils are used sparingly. At least one hour is needed as lymph moves much slower than blood circulation.
A wide range of health problems are alleviated by MLD.
It is well known for treating lymphoedema where there is a back-up of fluid as a result of congenital abnormality, the surgical removal of cancer or other operations, or bites by certain insects. Sometimes it occurs spontaneously. At its worst the affected limb swells substantially becoming distended, painful with a reduction in range of movement and susceptible to infection. Serious lymphoedemas need daily treatment for an initial period to achieve the best possible reduction before permanent garments are measured up.
MLD can help with pregnancy fluid retention in the legs, sinus congestion, respiratory problems – colds, flu and bronchitis, sports injuries, allergies, headaches and assisting weight loss. We help with de-tox programs accelerating the flow of wastes from the tissues into the blood stream for elimination.
The Centre has three Lymphatic Drainage Therapists – Robyn Lyall, Thanya Chunhapiboolye & Howard Gilmore.
Cellular waste, pathogens and other foreign substances are passed along the lymph capillaries until it is filtered through the bean shaped lymph nodes where specialized white blood cells fight these invaders neutralizing their effects. You may have experienced swollen lymph nodes when you had an infection. The leftovers from this battle are returned to the blood and removed from the body. MLD accelerates this process during the massage and for some time after.
Treating oedema that is the result of kidney failure, heart failure, liver disease, local infection, blood clots and DVT.