What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage - is a specialised massage technique that works on the lymphatic system by promoting the flow of lymph fluid throughout the body, and another form of treatment we offer at Lime.
The lymphatic system works alongside the blood circulatory system by draining excess fluid containing proteins, dead cells, bacteria, foreign bodies and pathogens (collectively known as lymph) leaked from blood vessels into the tissues and returns the lymph back into the bloodstream after it has been absorbed and filtered through lymph nodes.
If this excess fluid accumulates, swelling or oedema may form preventing normal tissue function. The highly underrated lymphatic system also plays a big role in keeping our immune system healthy because it is in the lymph nodes where specialised cells help fight infection and other diseases such as cancer.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is different to a normal massage – the techniques are very light and gentle because most of the lymph collecting vessels lie just beneath the surface of the skin and above the muscle layer. As it's a specialised treatment, it should be provided by a practitioner who is trained to know when it is, and when it is not ideal for someone to have this type of treatment.
Lymphoedema is swelling caused due to the lymphatic system not working properly. Primary Lymphoedema originates from an abnormality of the lymphatic system and is usually present at birth. Secondary Lymphoedema develops as a result of surgery and removal of lymph nodes, radiation, chronic venous insufficiency, trauma or parasites. People with Lymphoedema need to be assessed and treated by a Lymphoedema practitioner who has undergone specialised training for this condition. There is no cure for Lymphoedema but with the right guidance it can be successfully managed, particularly if detected early.
2. Recurring infections
If your body is having trouble with fighting infections such as colds, flu, ear or chest infections, it could be a sign of a struggling lymphatic system.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is an ideal treatment to help stimulate the immune system to reduce the frequency of recurring infections.
This gentle treatment is rhythmic and calming so it is suitable for stressed-out people who have trouble sleeping as well as suitable for people who cannot tolerate the pain from the firmer pressure of traditional massage.
By helping to get rid of excess fluid, toxins, bacteria, proteins and metabolic wastes from the tissue, Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a relaxing way to enhance general health and wellbeing.
3. Acute injuries
Because Lymphatic Drainage involves a very light touch, it is suitable for acute injuries such as ankle sprains to help minimise swelling and bruising that often occurs immediately afterwards.
In acute injuries usually the RICE principle (rest, ice, compression and elevation) is applied immediately, and the pressure of a normal massage is not suitable until at least a few days after the inflammation has settled down.
However, Lymphatic Drainage must never be performed in cases of acute infection as it will interfere with the body’s process to fight the infection.
4. Promote wound healing
The gentle pumping techniques of Lymphatic Drainage has a systemic effect throughout the whole body and not just a specific area.
With wounds that are having trouble healing, this form of treatment is applied around and close to the wound site but not directly over it.
This not only helps to reduce the swelling around the wound, but helps it heal faster by making the muscle tissue healthy and removing excess lymph fluid.
5. Improving chronic conditions
Acne and other skin conditions can benefit from Lymphatic Drainage.
By restoring hormonal balance and drawing toxins internally to be filtered through the lymph nodes, it can help to reduce breakouts in a naturally calming way.
Length of treatments
A general lymphatic drainage treatment usually takes 60 minutes, but shorter times can depend on the purpose of the treatment and history of the client.
Although it feels like a very gentle treatment, lymphatic drainage is a powerful technique and if treatment is too long, side effects such as mild headaches, nausea and fatigue may occur.
Treatment for some conditions may need shorter treatment times to begin with and then reassessment before proceeding with longer treatments.
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Key Benefits of Massage
At Lime, our qualified Remedial Massage Therapist offers Remedial Massage, Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Relaxation Massage.
If you are covered by a Private Health Fund you can immediately claim via HICAPS.
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