MLD @ Trayah


Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

So, what is the lymphatic system and why does it need support?

Simplistically, the lymphatic system is the frontline in our body's ability to fight disease and infection by localizing foreign bodies. It is also involved in detoxifying our body and we can think of it as our own inbuilt waste disposal unit!  It moves toxins, bacteria, excess fluid and metabolic waste out of our bodies as well as producing cells that fight infection.

Sometimes the lymphatic system may be compromised and there are many reasons for this.  These include daily stress, fatigue, emotional shock, chemical overloading, infection, pollution, food preservatives to name but a few.  However, more seriously, any form of surgery, trauma (sprains/breaks), obesity and lack of movement can also hinder the lymphatic system and this can lead to the lifelong condition known as Lymphoedema.   For more information on this please visit the page Lymphoedema@trayah by clicking the link. 

What is MLD Massage?

MLD is not a muscular massage, but essentially works above the muscle fascia as 70% of the lymphatic fluid is found here. It is exceptionally gentle as the last thing we want to do is “squish” the lymph cells as it takes 20 minutes for them to reform.  Generally, the lymphatic system circulates between 1.5-2 litres of fluid a day.  However, following an MLD massage, this figure increases to between 15-30 litres a day – and not just the day of the treatment, but for up to 3 days following!  

MLD stimulates fluid circulation and elimination (thus reducing swelling), supporting your body with detoxification. It encourages the lymphatic system to absorb and transport lymph more effectively. It also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system via the relaxation effect, reducing pain by sedating the sensory nerve endings. This in turn allows tight muscles to relax inhibiting extreme muscle tonus. 


How can MLD help you?

MLD can be used in many ways and has a profound effect on increasing lymphatic flow. With an increase of lymph flow immune function is increased. Harmful substances are removed from the tissues and neutralized in the nodes. It has also been shown that an increase in lymph flow enhances immune function. Here are a few situations that arise in the massage world where lymph drainage can be beneficial:

  • MLD pre and post-surgery can assist in greatly preventing scarring of the area and enable the body to remove unwanted fluid at the site thus preventing infection.  It is fantastic for pre/post plastic/cosmetic and medical surgery (e.g. hip/knee replacements) maximising the benefits from the surgery. 

  • Water/fluid retention and bloating

  • Long-COVID symptoms

  • During pregnancy to reduce fluid build up in the hands and legs/feet
  • Post partum and following C-section to speed up healing/recovery - reducing fluid and potential for infection
  • Supporting detox and an improved immune system

  • Pre surgery MLD is an invaluable tool for softening and relaxing tissues that need to be operated on

  • Lymphoedema (both primary and secondary) and Lipoedema - please visit Lymphoedema@Trayah if you have this diagnosis

  • Conditions such as fibro, rheumatoid arthritis

  • Breast Surgery (segmental, simple or total)

  • Dermatology (eczema, acne vulgaris, seborrhoea, psoriasis)

  • Scarring

  • Gastro Enterology (constipation and digestive disorders)

  • Neurological disorders including Autism and Parkinson's

  • Rheumatology (musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders)

  • Bronchitis (asthma and allergies effecting breathing)

  • Bodybuilding

I have been trained by Michelle Vassallo from Rhythm Massage – an internationally renowned trainer.  Her style is based on Dr Vodder’s lymphatic drainage but has been tweaked slightly to support the therapists’ body.  I am also studying the Casley-Smith Method of MLD.

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