Updated: Oct 20
If you have ever looked at what massage modalities a spa offers, you have probably noticed Manual Lymphatic Drainage or MLD listed. Or perhaps you have heard of a celebrity who reported receiving this massage modality, such as Selena Gomez or Caitlyn Jenner. But what is it? What does it do? To explain that, first we should talk about the lymphatic system and some of its functions.
The lymphatic system, or lymphoid system- is a network of vessels and organs just beneath your skin. They work together to aid the immune system and the circulatory system by doing three main functions: fight infection, absorb lipids (fat), and drain excess fluid.
It’s pretty easy to assume your immune system is the only thing working to keep you from getting sick; but the lymphatic system has infection fighting cells called lymphocytes that also play a big role! These cells are transported in a clear fluid called lymph fluid to get it to where it needs to go to fight the infection. While the lymphatic system has that going on, it is also absorbing lipids and transporting them to the blood, entering the body's circulation. This allows them to be available to cells in all areas of the body. With all these functions going on in the body, the lymphatic system also works to drain any waste products, such as proteins and fluids. Then, these fluids are filtered and returned to the blood. The lymphatic system does all of this and more! But if the lymphatic system gets clogged or damaged, that can slow all these processes and lead to health issues such as lymphedema. This is where MLD can help.
MLD is normally used to help people who have had surgery or trauma that damaged their lymphatic system. However, it can be used for other reasons as well! MLD can be used to simply reduce edema or to help move toxins out of the body. Many celebrities and supermodels have gone to the famous Massage Therapist, Flavia Lanini for the temporary reduction of bloating and water retention that MLD also offers. Flavia told Us Weekly that “Manual Lymphatic Massage can promote a contouring effect while also promoting relaxation.” You can see examples of this if you check out her Instagram. Some of the images are pretty mind blowing!
MLD is capable of doing so much and more that hasn't been covered here. But my favorite thing about MLD is that it cannot only treat lymphedema but can also help prevent lymphedema! This is pretty huge since lymphedema is a chronic condition with no cure. If you would like to know more about the studies supporting the effectiveness of MLD, the link to the AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) website below will send you to their page talking about MLD.
Or if you would like to know for yourself how this slow only skin-deep massage technique feels, you can book an appointment with us any time by clicking Book Online Now! We can’t wait for you to come visit our clinic of serenity so we can help you reduce stress and regain focus!