The lymphatic system is responsible for helping to move lymph fluid to lymph nodes where it is broken down and then transported for elimination. Lymph fluid contains waste products, large proteins and fatty acids, bacteria and dead cells. When swelling occurs, areas of the lymphatic system can get congested. Manual lymphatic drainage (mld) is a type of gentle massage that helps move fluid from a congested, swollen area to drainage areas in the lymphatic system. This technique is useful for reducing swelling but also has many other benefits such as reducing pain, improving relaxation and enhancing immune system function.
Many different conditions and issues can be improved using manual lymph drainage.Some of these include:
- swelling from sprains and strains
- pre-operative care (to help stimulate the system)
- post-operative care for orthopedic issues (e.g., carpal tunnel release, knee replacement, rotator cuff repair)
- post-operative care for cosmetic surgeries (e.g., breast reductions, tummy tuck, facelift)
- post-mastectomy care
- lymphedema (Swelling [edema] that contains lymph fluid. Often a limb is affected but other areas of the body can also be affected. If it is present due to a problem within the lymphatic system it is called primary lymphedema. If it is caused by damage to the lymphatic system or by surgery to remove lymph nodes it is called secondary lymphedema.)