More and more people are discovering that Manual Lymphatic Drainage can be an essential part of both preparation for and recovery from surgery.
No matter the type of surgery, it’s not uncommon for recovering patients to experience pain, excessive swelling and bruising. Manual Lymphatic drainage around the areas where liposuction and other plastic-surgery treatments have been performed has been shown to speed up the body’s natural healing process. Lymphatic drainage vessels can be cut and damaged during surgery, leading to a reduction in the body’s ability to heal itself and a prolonged period of recovery – so manual drainage can help you stay healthy.
The Basics of the Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system enables your body to fight off infection and viruses, acting as a natural filter that clears the body of toxins, waste and pathogens. Lymphatic fluid collects viruses and bacteria from the tissues of the body and circulates through lymph nodes. There are about 400-800 such nodes all over your body. Each lymph node is only about the size of a pea but collectively they are crucial to your body’s ability to fight off all kinds of infections. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system is uni-directional and has no ‘pump,’ relying upon gravity and the pressure generated by movement as well as breathing and light massage. The lymphatic system is approximately twice the size of the cardiovascular system and manages almost double the volume of fluid daily. However, when the system is not working properly, fluid builds up in tissues throughout the body and causes swelling known as lymphedema.
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a light, rhythmic technique designed to ease congestion in the lymphatic system. It was originally developed in Germany to treat Lymphedema. Since lymphatic vessels remove waste products and carry substances vital to the defence of the body, the method began to be applied in surgical recovery, when the system is more vulnerable. Lymphatic drainage is both preventative and remedial and can enhance overall well-being. It is increasingly being recognised as a way to speed up recovery after plastic surgery.
Benefits of MLD
Removes metabolic waste, excess water, toxins, bacteria, large protein molecules and foreign substances from the tissues.
Relaxes the sympathetic nervous system and relieves stress.
Supports and enhances the action of the immune system.
Helps the body to heal more quickly from surgical trauma.
Minimizes scar formation by increasing blood flow.
Sports Massage &
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist
BA(Hons), BTEC 5, FHT