Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) therapy is a gentle but specialised form of massage that was first developed in the 1930’s by Dr Emil Vodder in Europe. During the 1960’s it was further developed by Dr Foldi from Germany and a Belgian physician Leduc for its use in patients with lymphatic diseases. In more recent years a number of schools have evolved with differences between them focusing primarily on the sequence of hand movements. The main aim of MLD is to improve the functioning of the lymphatic system. MLD consists of very light, rhythmic, calming hand movements which stretches the skin to stimulate the lymphatic system. The lymph is drained along specific pathways into the deeper lymphatics and it finally enters the blood stream at the neck.
Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy is effective in treating lymphoedema, trauma, sports injuries, sprains and strains, fractures, trauma, torn ligaments sinusitis and Bell’s Palsy. It is also beneficial when used to reduce post-surgical swelling, which can be performed immediately following the procedure. Examples of surgeries include post hip and knee preplacement, following cosmetic surgery and liposuction. The precise method of Dr Vodder’s method of MLD, which consists of light, continually changing pressure, activates inhibitory cells whose function is to decrease or even eliminate sensations of pain.
MLD promotes healing of long-standing leg ulcers and poor circulation. It is highly effective in assisting in the healing of burns, reduces scaring and alleviates keloid scars. It is a deeply relaxing therapy and can assist in aiding sleep. Doctors consent is required before commencing treatment.