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  • Mary Carolla

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system isn’t talked about quite as much as other systems of the human body, but it plays such an important role in keeping you well. The structures in your body that make up the lymphatic system include the lymph vessels, lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, tonsils, and lymphocytes (white blood cells the body uses to fight off infection). Those structures work together for some very important functions:

  • Return protein and water from the interstitium (space between cells) to the cardiovascular system

  • Absorb protein, fat, and fat-soluble vitamins through intestinal lymph nodes

  • Performs the important immunological function of responding to foreign cells, microbes, and cancer cells.

  • So, keeping the lymphatic system in tip-top shape is vital to overall health. Manual Lymphatic Drainage is one great way to support your lymphatic system

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a bodywork technique that works to encourage the natural movement of lymphatic fluid through the body. It is a gentle, rhythmic type of work with profound benefits. Conditions/situations that MLD can help are:

  • Lymphedema (treatment and prevention)

  • Oncology/Cancer Support

  • Post-surgical swelling

  • Sprain

  • Autoimmune disorders

  • Headaches (esp migraine or sinus)

  • Stress Reduction/Relaxation

  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Post mastectomy or lumpectomy surgery

There are some conditions for which MLD is not appropriate (contraindicated), such as congestive heart failure, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots, cellulitis, fever, and certain medications.

The Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage

MLD by a skilled practitioner can yield many benefits. The general effects of manual lymphatic drainage include:

  • Improvement of lymph movement and absorption

  • Redirection of fluid around blocked areas (scar tissue, damaged lymph vessels or lymph nodes)

  • Analgesic effect (pain management)

  • Soothing effect - decrease of sympathetic mode (fight or flight) and increases parasympathetic response (calming)

There is continuing research being done on MLD’s ability to support a healthy immune system. The results are looking promising, but more research is needed to support those hypotheses.

I am so happy to be able to offer this work to my clients. Talk to me if you’d like to try it out. I can incorporate a little bit into your next massage session or you can schedule a full MLD session.

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