Manual Lymph Drainage is an advanced therapy technique which focuses on improving the circulation of the lymphatic system, a body-wide network of vessels and lymph nodes. This gentle technique uses light rhythmic movements to help prevent lymph congestion.
When the lymph vessels are unable to transport lymph fluid back into circulation it accumulates, resulting in swelling and thickening of the skin. This build-up of protein-rich lymph fluid is known as lymphedema. Once this condition occurs, the swelling may increase if an effective treatment program is not initiated.
How Does Lymphedema Develop?
Secondary Lymphedema is a result of damage to the lymphatic system. Surgical cancer procedures such as mastectomies, lumpectomies with radiation and/or removal of lymph nodes are the most common causes. Secondary Lymphedema occurs most commonly in the arms, but may also develop in the legs. Other causes may include a traumatic injury, infection, or sever chronic venous insufficiency.
Primary Lymphedema is caused by malformations of the lymphatic system. These malformations are most common in women. They may be present at birth or may develop later, often during puberty or pregnancy. Primary lymphedema is most common in the legs, but may also occur in the arms or torso.
What Is The Treatment For Lymphedema?
Once the diagnosis of lymphedema is confirmed, certain treatment procedures are indicated. Since there is no cure for lymphedema, the goal of treatment is to reduce the swelling and to maintain the reduction. For a majority of patients, this can be achieved by the skillful application of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) which is safe, reliable and non-invasive. It is proven to provide positive long-term results for both primary and secondary lymphedema. CDT is performed by specially trained therapists. The treatment consists of four components:
- Manual Lymph Drainage
- Graduated Compression Garments
- Therapeutic Exercises
- Meticulous Skin Care
Scientific studies have proven that the immune system is supported and even boosted as a result of receiving regular MLD treatments. A sluggish lymphatic system increases the chance of chronic illness and disease.
MLD is also very effective in countering the body`s natural inflammatory response following soft tissue trauma. These include sprains, fractures, orthopaedic surgeries and replacements. As a basic rule, the less swelling that occurs, the less bruising and pain will subsequently follow. If received in a timely manner, MLD can dramatically shorten the route to recovery.
- Treat yourself to seasonal MLD treatments as a way of exercising your immune system.
Covered by most insurance benefit plans