Manual lymph drainage is a manual technique that involves light pressure applied to the skin. It is used to stimulate the lymphatic system and promote the flow of lymph. This technique is a great option for those who suffer from a wide array of diseases and conditions like lymphedema, fibromyalgia, and much more; it is a great tool to reduce swelling. It is also very effective for those that may have gotten recent cosmetic surgeries like Brazilian butt lifts (BBL), rhinoplasties, face lifts, liposuction or breast augmentations. Here are some things that you may not have known about this technique:
- Deep breathing exercises help to improve lymphatic flow and make manual lymphatic drainage more effective: Deep breathing exercises can be done in almost any position. It is even more effective if one’s legs are elevated as this can assist in removing the fluid in the lower extremities. These exercises help to promote the flow of lymph because the fluid gets pulled out of the legs with the upward movement of the diaphragm. With the upward movement of the diaphragm, the vessels that run through the diaphragm are lifted. This allows fluid to travel out of the extremities.
- Manual lymph drainage does not work in isolation: MLD or manual lymph drainage is only one part of a 4-part treatment. This 4-part treatment is called complete decongestive therapy or CDT and is comprised of patient education, manual lymph drainage, skincare, and bandaging. CDT is especially important if you are using the MLD to treat lymphedema. The other steps should be followed so that the best results can be obtained.
3. MLD should be done in a specific sequence to be most effective: The order in which the steps are completed matters. Therefore, you should go to someone with the correct training and that knows the correct sequence so that you can get the best results.
4. One isolated treatment is futile for long-term results: If a person has lymphedema, it is very important to be consistent with the MLD treatments. Being inconsistent does not allow the treatment to be effective. It works best when it is done as a daily treatment for the first 2 weeks of treatment, particularly with lymphedema.
5. Someone with lymphedema should see positive results within the first 24 hours. This means that the size of the affected arm/leg/area should reduce. The affected limb should also feel less heavy. In fact, with correct and consistent treatment, the size of the affected limb can be reduced to its original size.
Manual lymph drainage when performed correctly can yield positive results for many different diagnoses, especially those that involve swelling. It should however be performed only by those who are trained to perform manual lymph drainages. To get treatment from a certified lymphedema therapist, contact us through our social pages via IM or DM @adderleyphysio or call (242) 326-3052.
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