Manual Lymphatic Drainage
What is MLD
(Manual Lymphatic Drainage)?
Developed by Dr. Emil Vodder in 1932, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a very gentle manual technique utilizing rhythmic, precise hand movements and sequences that aim to influence vessels under the skin. Lymphatic drainage has been proven to reduce swelling, relieve pain, and detoxify the body. It can aide in the regeneration of tissues and cells. When we look at the common complications of cosmetic surgeries, MLD treatments are performed to address these and ensure a full, speedy recovery. How? Let’s take a look at the lymphatics.
Who benefits from MLD?There are many conditions that can benefit from the application of MLD. Listed below are just a few of them:
- Post Surgical and Post Traumatic Swelling
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Migraine Headaches (Vascular)
Benefits and outcomesReduction in bruising. It is said that cells are transported by the lymphatic system up to 10 times faster with the addition of MLD. Bruising is therefore able to heal in a fraction of the time, allowing the patient to resume activities of daily living without the worry or need to cover up. Reduction in edema MLD reroutes lymph fluid to the collateral and viable pathways untouched by surgery, enabling accelerated drainage as opposed to the usual slow trickle of tissue fluids at the operative site. Pain management. With a reduced pressure of lymph around the nerves, pain and discomfort are relieved. The treatment also benefits from being painless and relaxing – try not to fall asleep! Minimizes scarring and helps to reduce fibrosis. The buildup of lymph fluids sitting either beneath the incision or within interstitial space can solidify. The formation of scar tissue and fibrotic tissue takes place. MLD prevents the build-up and hence solidification of lymph fluid, leaving a more seamless and less-restricted scar. Reduction in infections. In this instance, post-surgical MLD is essential when we consider stagnating lymph fluid. It can become an infectious substance and warrant an artificial drain, which is in turn painful, costly and time consuming. Stress relief. The treatment relaxes the sympathetic nervous system – helping to relieve stress. Taking into account the above benefits, it is understandable why the modality is growing in interest and practice by surgeons. It is necessary to ensure you take the right steps in ensuring a healthy lifestyle post-surgery AND more importantly post MLD treatment – lymphatic drainage is not a forever fix.
Couple aftercare with:Hydrate. Drinking plenty of fluids post treatment will ensure you get the best possible results. Consume a healthy diet Nutrient-rich foods will help support your body and healing process from the inside out. Move. After surgery, and more importantly after MLD, it may be tempting to stay in bed or be sofa-bound. Movement, such as walking, helps keep your lymph fluid pumping and will support your healing journey.
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