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ALTERNATIVE HEALING TREATMENTS

MANUAL LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE

"The lymphatics are almost the soul requisite of the body"- Andrew S. Still

Acupressure Neck Massage

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage  

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy-MLD

Manual Lymphatic Drainage, also known as MLD, is not a massage per se. It is a gentle, yet effective hands on manual therapy. It is highly effective and beneficial  for pre/post-op surgeries of all kinds. Also it is beneficial for improving lymph flow for sluggish, stuck systems or anyone who has had lymph nodes removed.

 MLD, is a gentle skin massage that helps move extra fluid from an area that is swollen ( or at risk of becoming swollen), into an area where the lymph nodes are working properly. This is done by stimulating contractions of lymphatic vessels.

Swelling is natural after an injury or surgery. Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a particular technique useful for swelling. It helps keep the lymphatic drainage system functioning at a peak level by stimulating the collector vessels and lymph nodes. Stimulation of the lymphatic system increases the rate at which the body removes waste, dead cell particles, and inflammatory agents from our tissue.   Accelerating the lymphatic flow has been demonstrated to reduce swelling and bruising in the injured region. Studies indicate that as the volume of fluid at the injury site is reduced, rehabilitation time may be shortened.

The technique applies light strokes to mimic the pumping action of lymphatic vessels and encourages lymph flow. When healthy movements of the lymphatic flow become restricted, whether from compromised health, surgeries, restrictive clothing such as bras, or even tense posture, toxins can accumulate and potentially lead to disease. MLD ensured healthy lymphatic flow throughout the body, helping the immune system to function effectively. Surgeries, radiation and soft tissue injuries disrupt the architecture of the lymphatic vessels and nodes. Scar tissues and fascial restrictions can also interrupt or restrict the superficial lymphatic flow. Swelling impedes the healing process after surgeries and injuries.

You can begin receiving Manual Lymphatic Drainage 48-72 hours after your procedures with a release from your Physician ensuring you are free of infection and your pain medications are regulated.  This also ensures you are not suffering from any effects from the anesthesia. 

For oncology patients after chemo: It is preferably to allow a minimum of 2 days after chemotherapy infusion because It is important for the chemo to do its work and it is preferably do not stimulate the lymphatic system at the same time.

Compression garment: You will need to obtain permission from your Physician to remove your compression garment during the session. If the Physician recommends you keep the garment on, MLD can still be performed with the same beneficial results.  The key to MLD is the fact that it gets the lymphatic system moving and any excess fluid is eliminated naturally through your urinary system.  

MLD helps to speed up the lymphatic system to increase the rate of releasing of  excess fluids held in the body.

Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage:

  •  Changes the quality of tissue and speeds the healing process.

  •  Lumps, gaps, ridges, holes, bumps, knots, and strings in the tissue become smoother.

  • Helps prevent adhesion forming after injury or surgery.

  • Contributes significantly to relieve stress on the body from fascia tension.

  • Relieves nerve impingement, pain and numbness issues.

  • Helps regain and maintain a full range of joint movement.

  • Reduces the risk of soft tissue injury.

  • Lessens the appearance of scars.

  • It may be good for:   

  • Post-surgical edema: orthopedic, oncology, plastic and cosmetic.

  • Help reduce Mild cases of Lymphedema or as a part of Complete Decongestive Therapy.

  • Traumatic edema or swelling: sprain, whiplash, hematoma.

  • Headache and migraine headache.

  • Sinus congestion.

  • Pain control.

  • Follow-up to Myofascial Release.

  • Fatigue, general relaxation and detox.

  • Fibromyalgia. Click the link for more information The Role of Manual Lymphatic Drainage in Fibromyalgia.

  • Chronic Fatigue Symptoms.

  • Overall body health & wellness.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage for  cosmetic/orthopedic Surgery  

 Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is a highly effective treatment both prior to any cosmetic, reconstructive or other surgical procedures, and after.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage aids in dramatically reducing swelling, bruising, scar formation and overall recovery time. The typical side effects of post-op surgery can be significantly reduced with MLD, minimizing downtime and discomfort.  

Pre- op: For any scheduled surgical procedure you will need to schedule your session(s) 1 week prior to the procedure.  You can have multiple sessions during the week prior to the procedure, but should not schedule any lymphatic drainage the day before your procedure.  MLD prior to surgery enables your immune system and your body to be prepared for the impending recovery period. 

Post-op: Manual Lymphatic Drainage following your cosmetic, reconstructive surgery or other surgery procedure speeds up the recovery time.  Symptoms such as bruising and swelling are diminished, reducing pain and discomfort and allowing you to recover faster. MLD has proven to be effective for reducing and improving the after effects of surgical procedures. 

 

Here is a brief list of types of procedures that have benefited from MLD:

-Liposuction: MLD is an effective method to treat any swelling and lumpiness experienced after a liposuction procedure, speeding recovery time.  Not only do patients appreciate the pain reduction often experienced from MLD, but they can see their procedure results much sooner with the swelling reduction.  It’s more common than not for our liposuction clients to have what they see as a “problem area” of hardness or lumpiness after the procedure.  MLD and other manual therapy techniques can also soften these areas.

-Tummy tuckBy moving the lymphatic fluid away from the tummy tuck area with lymphatic drainage massage, both swelling and bruising are reduced. This helps to make the tummy tuck results more immediately apparent. In addition to helping you to have an attractive abdomen, drainage massage will also make it clear more quickly whether further surgery is necessary or if your tummy tuck has allowed you to achieve your desired goals.

-Fat transference.

-Face Lift: While many cosmetic procedures can benefit from MLD very soon after completion, facial procedures may require more time before beginning any manual therapy.  As with any surgery or procedure, we ask all clients to get permission from their doctor before beginning any post-treatment.  

Dr. Andrew Jacono, MD, FACS, is a New York-based plastic surgeon, who states this on his website (www.newyorkfacialplasticsurgery.com) in regards to facial procedures: "Some patients may have residual swelling at the sixth week. Facial Massage and Manual Lymphatic Drainage can expedite recovery".

-Breast Augmentation, Breast Reduction, Mastectomy: Please refer to our Breast massage page for more information.

-Brachioplasty (Arm lift).

-Joint repair/replacement.

Many plastic and cosmetic surgeons now offer Manual Lymphatic Drainage therapy inside their clinics.  Others are referring their patients to Certified therapists who have experience with post-cosmetic surgery.  Because our MLD Certified therapist is also Licensed Massage Therapist, we can use other gentle techniques along with Manual Lymphatic Drainage to speed recovery.

Benefits of post surgical Manual Lymphatic Therapy: 

  • Bruising reduction. Cells transported by the lymph system are moved away 10 times faster with MLD. Bruises heal in a fraction of the time, allowing clients the ability to resume activities of daily living, without having to wear sunglasses for months to hide bruises.

  • Edema reduction. MLD reroutes lymph fluid to collateral and viable pathways untouched by surgery to allow for accelerated drainage, as opposed to the slow trickle of tissue fluids in the operative site.

  • Pain management. As pressure of lymph fluid decreases around nerves, pain and discomfort are relieved and require less pain medication.

  • Scar-tissue prevention and fibrosis reduction. Lymph fluid left to build up below incisions or sitting in interstitial space can solidify, causing the formation of scar tissue and fibrotic tissue. These tissues are often felt as ball-like substances below the skin surface. MLD prevents lymph fluid build up and solidification, for a seamless scar.

  • Infection prevention. Post surgical MLD is important when considering that stagnating lymph fluid can become infectious material and warrant artificial drain insertion—which is painful, costly and time consuming.

RESOURCES

The Effectiveness of Manual Lymphatic Drainage in Patients With Orthopedic Injuries

 

 

MLD & Therapeutimassage for oncology support

 

According to The Society for Oncology Massage, Oncology massage is the adaptation of massage techniques to safety nurture the body of someone affected by cancer or its treatments. An oncology-trained massage therapist has completed comprehensive training in massage therapy as well as additional specialized training on Lymphatic drainage that address the side effects of cancer and its treatments.  An oncology trained therapist is able to recognize and safely work within a framework of clinical considerations to provide a safe, satisfying and therapeutic oncology massage. An oncology trained therapist will adapt for:

Low blood cell counts, blood clots, bone metastases, radiation or surgery, fatigue or bone pain, removal of lymph nodes, lymphedema, peripheral neuropathy, skin, hair and nail changes, medications, medical devices, late and long-term effects of treatment. 

Reported Benefits of oncology massage are:

-Reduce pain & fatigue.

-Decrease anxiety and nausea.

-Improve sleep.

-Easy isolation.

-Enhance body image.

-Nurture well being.

- & the most important-it just feels good!.

Even after people are out of treatment, receiving bodywork from an oncology therapist is important due to the potential for late  effects of treatment; therefore, this is an excellent therapy also for cancer rehab because it can help with scars and mild lymphedema.

Each session is about 60 min duration.

MLD & Therapeutic Massage for Older adults

Therapeutic massage for older adults or Geriatric massage,  is the adaptation of massage techniques to safety nurture the body of the elderly population to meet their specific needs.  It involves gentle manipulation of the soft tissues of the body including MLD techniques to improve blood circulation, eliminate toxins, relieve pain and increase range of motion. Active or passive movement of the joints may also be part of geriatric massage and We always  incorporate JSJ touch & energy healing.

Some elderly people often suffer from a variety of such age-related diseases as Parkinson’s, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease or strokes. As a result, they have poor circulation and limited physical capability. Many of them are also anxious, depressed and lonely. Human touch it self is very beneficial in increasing the well-being and attitude & this is the power of Healing touch!. Geriatric massage can help them maintain and improve their overall health, as well as regain certain physical  functions that have been reduced or lost due to aging. In addition, it can relieve anxiety and depression and provide comfort to touch-deprived elderly patients and improve their quality of life.

Each session is about 60 min. duration.

*Manual Lymphatic Drainage is not intended to replace medical diagnosis and treatment by a primary care physician. Please consult with your health care provider regarding medical diagnosis and medical treatment for illness and conditions..

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