Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a slow and gentle technique focusing directly on improving the function of the lymphatic system. MLD is not muscle-work. It is a rhythmic treatment that moves lymphatic fluid along the pathways of the lymphatic vessels located on the body to help the body then eliminate toxins, built-up waste, and excess fluid.
The technique I use is called the Vodder Method, designed by Dr’s Emil and Estrid Vodder in Europe. This is a very thorough and precise technique useful for not only daily wellbeing, but also surgery recovery, oncology treatment support, and help to decrease inflammation. MLD is a support therapy, not a cure.
Other conditions that are supported by and benefit from MLD include:
- Chronic Pain
- Colds & Flus
- Digestive Problems & Constipation
- Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Hashimotos Thyroiditis
The lymphatic system is a key component to our immune system and yet surprisingly, the affects of MLD on the immune system is sorely understudied. Although there is currently no research or data that MLD does improve immunity, we KNOW as MLD therapists that we are supporting the body to move out excess lymphatic fluid and toxins, which means we are moving immune cells around the body thereby supporting the immune response.
The Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is the “internal cleansing system for the whole body.” It is vital for survival, for if it fails to correctly function, excessive fluids and toxins build up creating pain, loss of energy, infection, and disease. The lymphatic system consists of vessels, ducts, and nodes and is closely connected to the cardiovascular system. During lymphatic cleansing (a.k.a. drainage), the lymph fluid is cleaned, concentrated, and filtered by one of the 600-700 lymph nodes located around the body. The lymphatic system also produces a type of white blood cell, mainly lymphocytes, vital to immunity.
How To Know If The Lymphatic System Isn’t Working
If the lymphatic system is working normally we feel healthy, energetic, vibrant. Signs the lymphatic system isn’t working well could be feeling drained, constantly fatigued, feeling as if you get colds and infections more frequently or easier, feeling sluggish in general. A very toxic lymphatic environment could even make one feel “off-balance”, with difficulty moving legs as if walking through sand, and unexplained swelling in limbs.
How Does MLD Help The Body?
MLD is very effective on the nervous system. The technique quiets the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight response) and engages the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation and calm). Excess lymphatic fluid and toxins are moved out of the body helping to decrease inflammation, increase pain relief, promote faster healing post-surgery, and restore a sense of well-being by positively affecting the immune system. Again, MLD is not a cure but a support system. Finding the root cause of any issue is still key in healing.