"I tune in to the flow of life in my body & the flow of life everywhere. I circulate love with each breath - from without to within & from within to all around."
~ Jay Woodman
Manual Lymph Drainage
Why You'll Like it
• Do you suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic edema, sinus & congestion issues...
• Have you had lymph nodes removed?
• Are you preparing for surgery or in recent recovery from a procedure, such as knee or hip replacement?
• Are you in treatment for cancer?
Recently, a client came to me in great discomfort from full-body edema, particularly in her legs. I followed up with her the day after her MLD session, which focused mostly on her lower extremities. Here is her happy response:
“I was a little groggy yesterday but took at nap and was fine. I lost three pounds and my legs are tons better!! Thank you. Much better this morning. I'm drinking lots of water and going to the bathroom. My whole body feels so much better. Thank you so much.”
Another client developed a migraine immediately upon her arrival for a session after a long week at work. I included some MLD to the head, neck and face. Her lovely note in the mail related:
“Thank you for the wonderful care. My migraine hardly bothered me and I felt completely fine the next day.”
Many Benefits, Indeed!
• Calms the nervous system as it improves circulation and releases muscle tension.
• Mollifies anxiety and stress, migraines, headaches and sinus issues.
• Effectively reduces EDEMA (swelling, tenderness, bogginess resulting from excess fluid retention).
• Pre- and post-surgery: MLD bolsters the lymphatic vessels’ resilience and elasticity, improving fluid uptake and reducing the load on
the body, accelerating healing and reducing discomfort with consistent treatment.. This, in turn, supports a more efficient immune and
• Supports healthy recovery and ongoing wellness following surgical procedures that directly impact lymph nodes and vessels
• Vital to the care and possible prevention of Lymphedema.
• Recovery from Radiation therapy, burns, trauma, tumors, aesthetic plastic surgery
• Reduced healing time; softens scar tissue from surgical procedures
How Does it Work?
Our lymphatic and immune system serve several crucial functions, working in concert with our cardiovascular system. This multi-layered network of vessels, ducts, nodes and other tissues, acts as a “recycling center” to return excess water, proteins, and other large molecules from the interstitial spaces between cells, back into the bloodstream. It transports dietary lipids (fats, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D E, & K), from the gastrointestinal tract to the bloodstream. Key to our immune function, it produces lymphocytes that provide specific resistance to particular invaders.
MLD is a specific style of touch that gently mobilizes the lymphatic vessels that reside just superficial (beneath) the surface of the skin. These vessels have one-way valves, so they can get backed up and weakened under compromised conditions of illness, surgery, or certain treatments, such as radiation therapy. When lymph nodes have been removed, such as those found in the axilla (armpit region) after a mastectomy, the lymphatic system must work harder to transport and process excess fluids. MLD helps to reduce the load by gently “pumping” concentrated areas of lymph nodes so as to prep their receptivity, and then mobilizes the delicate network of vessels, so as to strengthen their elasticity, resilience, and efficiency. This enhances organ function and overall health and vitality.
What Does it Feel like?
MLD is a soothing, rhythmic style of touch that is typically administered without oils or lotion so as to create a slight drag effect that captures the lymphatic vessels residing just superficial (beneath) the skin. If too much pressure is exerted, the lymphatic network has been compressed (now accessing muscle tissue, etc.), and this drainage technique is not as directly effective.
Specific protocols ensure that the areas “upstream” are properly prepared to receive the extra fluid uptake. Those fluids are encouraged to flow along certain pathways, or “watersheds”, towards the deeper lymphatic structures for complete processing and redistribution.
Other ways to move the lymph include excercise (moving skeletal muscle to compress on lymphatic vessels, and to enhance the pulsation of the arteries), breathing (mobilizing the diaphragm), and external compression, as with the application of MLD.
About My Training
I received my certification in Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy through a 6-day intensive training offered by Klose Associates, during my series of courses taken in oncology massage at the Santa Fe School of Massage in September 2011.