Whilst the heart continuously pumps blood through the blood vessels, the lymphatic system relies on the movement of smooth muscles to transport fluid through the lymph vessels.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a unique, gentle type of skin massage technique that promotes lymph flow which helps to drain fluid out of tissues into an area that drains normally. MLD also increases blood flow in deep and superficial veins to improve circulation and reduce swelling in arms or legs. With an increase of lymph flow, the immune function is often increased by the production of lymphocytes; as result, harmful substances are removed from the tissues and neutralized in the nodes. It helps, particularly those clients who have a sluggish immune system.
Lymphatic drainage massage is also useful when working with clients who have sports injuries. After the initial inflammatory stage has passed, lymphatic work can be applied after sports or neuromuscular massage has been completed. This will help to clear the tissue of debris, and help to reduce the minor oedema that sometimes occurs after deep massage. Continued applications of lymphatic drainage while the client is healing can help to enhance the tissue regeneration process by keep the tissue as healthy as possible.
A lymph drainage massage can enhance the quality of the skin, especially on the face. When the lymph is flowing, the cells are being bathed in fresh fluid, causing the skin to look fresh and alive.
Lymphatic drainage also helps patients suffering from a lack of energy.
Another common use for lymph drainage massage is with women who have had breast cancer and had some axillary lymph nodes removed. Sometimes patients develop oedema in their arm. If the swelling is minor, then a lymphatic drainage therapist working in conjunction with medical supervision can do a great amount of good.