Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a type of gentle massage which is intended by proponents to encourage the natural drainage of the lymph from the tissues space body.
The lymph system depends on intrinsic contractions of the smooth muscle cells in the walls of lymph vessels (peristalsis), and the movement of skeletal muscles, to propel lymph through the vessels to lymph nodes and then beyond the lymph nodes to the lymph ducts; which return lymph to the cardiovascular system. MLD uses a specific amount of pressure (less than 9 ounces per square inch) and rhythmic movements to stimulate lymph flow and is now recognized as a primary tool in lymphedema management.
MLD not only stimulates the vital functions of the skin, tissues and internal organs, but also serves to eliminate cellular waste and stimulate the parasympathetic relaxation response inhibiting muscle tonus and pain. Research has also shown that MLD stimulates the immune system, a valuable contribution to winter health! It also provides an excellent tool for massage therapists when regular massage is contraindicated.
This technique can act as an alternative to other physically demanding remedial massage techniques. It provides an excellent tool for massage therapists when regular massage is contraindicated.
Developed in France in 1932 by Emil and Estrid Vodder MLD has grown to be the most well known manual technique to assist lymph flow and aid in drainage of tissues. Research in Australia, Europe and North America has proven its efficacy as a stand-alone treatment and in combination with other therapies.