The Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is made up of a network which runs throughout the body. Lymph vessels and lymph nodes collect and filter lymph (fluid). Since the lymphatic system doesn’t have any way to move the fluid on its own, it relies on the movement from muscles in the body to push the fluid along. Once in the lymph nodes, the fluid is filtered and any disease-causing organisms are killed.
Since the lymphatic system plays such an important part in immunity, problems with lymphatic drainage can cause very serious health conditions. When lymph vessels or nodes are damaged or missing, the fluid cannot move quickly away from an area of the body. This causes it to pool up in the surrounding body tissue, causing it to swell. If the fluid remains in the tissue for a long period of time, it can prevent the transportation of oxygen from the bloodstream to the tissue’s cells and interfere with wound healing.
If the swelling is not treated, it can lead to a number of issues; hardening of muscle tissue, skin deterioration, a loss of movement. In some cases can lead to a bacterial infection called lymphagitis, requiring immediate medical attention to keep it from spreading throughout the body, and is generally treated with painkillers, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medications.
Treatment: What to Expect
Your therapist will first discuss your goals for treatment and assess your needs as it relates to you. The treatment itself is very gentle, with repetitive and rhythmic movements, safe and effectively proven to move lymph fluid. Under no circumstance should the patient experience discomfort or pain. While on the table the patient may fall asleep or into a deep relaxed state. This helps to calm the nervous system and to move lymph by decreasing the tonus of the tissue.
Before and after treatment, it is recommended to drink a little more water than you normally do in order to help re-hydrate the tissues. An extra two or three glasses of water above what you normally drink in a day would be acceptable. Following the treatment you may find that you will need to evacuate your digestive system or bladder more often than normal. You may also find that you will sleep very well, a result of your nervous system being calmed down from the treatment.
Benefits of MLD
- MLD removes metabolic wastes, excess water, toxins, bacteria, large protein molecules and foreign substances from tissues
- MLD, through its gentle rhythmical precise hand movement, alleviates pain by greatly reducing the pain signals sent to the brain. Relaxes the sympathetic nervous system, thus helping to relieve stress
- Helps the body to heal more quickly from injuries, surgical trauma, chronic conditions, and edema
- Helps to minimize scar formation
How Does MLD Help You?
- Mastectomy, and secondary lymphedema
- Lymph node removal causing swelling
- Varicose veins, post vein stripping
- Post-surgical swelling/recovery
- Radiated skin
Ear, Nose, Throat:
- Meniere’s disease
- Leg ulcers
- Burns, scars
- Sprains, strains
- Fractures, dislocations
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Neck pain/whiplash
- Chronic pain
- Tension headaches
- Multiple sclerosis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Stress reduction
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Pregnancy related swelling