It’s January and what better time for a bit of a detox?! You may be on a health kick, getting back into regular exercise and healthy eating. Why not try something else to help you even further? Manual lymphatic drainage is a type of therapy that is very gentle yet effective, encouraging your body to detox itself faster. Here is some more information:
Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) stimulates the lymphatic system by means of specific techniques that speed up the flow of lymph to the lymph nodes (which are located all around the body), where waste products are cleaned and antigens killed (hence it is theorized that MLD boosts the immune system). Due to the way lymph is pumped around our bodies, the best method to stimulate this flow happens to be (mostly) very gentle and rhythmical, making this an extremely relaxing treatment. No oil is used, as the therapist works with the sebum in the skin instead. I am trained in the Vodder technique, which is internationally recognized and was developed in the 1930s. Scientific reports over the years have found positive evidence for the effectiveness of this treatment:
As with massage, good results are achieved after a series of regular treatments. The main benefits of MLD are:
- Decongesting and detoxing – it helps the body to clear toxins and waste products. It can be very effective at reducing swelling or inflammation, e.g. in cases of water retention, post-operation or injury. It can help people with sinusitis and hayfever (although you should not have MLD during an acute phase). Like massage, some people find it can help with digestion, and it can be good for the skin, e.g. for people with acne, rosacea or dry skin, or simply making the complexion clearer and brighter.
- Relaxing – it has a soothing effect on the autonomic nervous system and can thus be good to treat areas of chronic pain. It can also be effective at calming headaches. In his latest book on trigger points, Simeon Niel-Asher points to increasing anecdotal evidence that MLD can help to release trigger points, particularly around the neck and clavipectoral areas in the acute phase of whiplash injury (The Concise Book of Trigger Points: A Professional and Self-Help Manual (Third Edition), Simeon Niel-Asher, Lotus Publishing (August 2014), p.53).
Please note: This therapy is not suitable for people currently undergoing treatment for cancer, cases of acute infections or viruses, or cardiac decompensation.