What is manual lymphatic drainage?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a specialization of massage with gentle, non invasive, repetitive but continuous movements, where the skin is stretched based on physiological principles that have been proven to influence the direction and speed of lymph flow. This results in an increase of drainage of the excess interstitial fluid. That fluid that is pulled from the cells is then filtered by the lymph nodes and returned to the cardiovascular system.
what are the main benefits of manual lymphatic drainage
- Parasympathetic Response
- Natural Analgesic
- Immune Boosting
LDT For Pre and Post Operative Patients
Swelling is a natural result of tissue damage after an injury or an operation. LDT intensively before a major operation can stimulate the lymphatic system, clearing up any existing congestion, which then increases the effect of any post-operative LDT. A lymphatic system that is running well will cope with the post operative swelling better than a sluggish one. After an operation or even an injury, the part of the body with a lot of swelling and trauma is struggling to deal with the excess fluid. LDT moves the excess fluid to other parts of the body, where the undamaged or un-overloaded lymphatic system can take it up. This reduces the congestion at the local lymph nodes. Overall the LDT can help remove the anesthesia and debris from the system faster. At a micro-level rubbish is cleared away faster, swelling is reduced, pain is reduced, comfort is increased, and so healing is speeded up. This applies to breaks, fractures, torn ligaments, and sprains as well. LDT is also useful to complement mobilization by physical therapy.
LDT is a gentle "massage" with repetitive and continuous hand movements. It has a calming effect on the the autonomic nervous system. The light pressure decreases the sympathetic (fight or flight) mode and promotes a parasympathetic (rest and digest) response. LDT induces a state of deep relaxation. In a world where stimulating the central nervous system is the norm, LDT is the antidote. For those who are sensitive to caffeine (or even those who are taking ADHD medication) regular LDT helps promote that grounded feeling. Because it affects the sympathetic response, a by product is a positive influence on sleep cycles. Serotonin is a growth hormone that is usually produced by the body during sleep periods of 6-8 hours in length. Decreased levels of serotonin interfere with the body's ability to heal itself and also leads to fatigue and depression. By addressing the autonomic nervous system and specifically increasing the parasympathetic response you're maximizing the likelihood of a happy and healthy body and mind.
When the musculature of the lymph vessels are stimulated with a "stretch-and-release" technique, lymph capillary uptake increases which then allows more interstitial fluid to be absorbed into the lymphatic system resulting in a decrease in edema. Because of the fluid reduction, and stimulation of the vessels, results are firmer skin, reduced cellulite, and a natural glow.
Accelerated drainage of nociceptive substances from tissues and the light pressure used in LDT provide a stimulus for the "gate-control theory." The Gate Control Theory is a medical construct suggesting one's nerves can be stimulated in a way that closes the "gates" which normally allow pain signals to reach the brain. When the skin is stroked, the mechanoreceptors (touch receptors) flood the brain with messages that block the nocireceptors (pain receptors.) LDT can also help with reducing "pain memory."
LDT helps patients recuperate from chronic illness by allowing the parasympathetic nervous system predominate. A logical consequence of LDT is in boosting the immune system. Lymph stagnation impedes the body's immunological response so speeding up the workings of the lymphatic system must promote it. Certainly, people who are receiving LDT on a regular basis, report that they no longer pick up colds and sore throats as frequently as they may have done before having the treatment.
LDT is excellent as a a form of rejuvenation as a beauty treatment reducing puffiness and fine lines and wrinkles, firming skin with Improved circulation resulting in a natural glow.