Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Much like chia seeds, kale, or the latest superfood, we often hear about a treatment, know it will definitely be good for us, but are not really sure why. In this blog, we learn about Manual Lymphatic Drainage from Anna Barry, who is a therapist in Chelsea, and exactly why we should all be getting this treatment.

What is the lymphatic system and why is it so important?

The lymphatic system is a series of tubes, which is similar to the blood system, which gathers all the toxins and waste from around our body and carries it to lymph nodes. The lymph nodes then rid this waste from the body through the kidneys, skin and bowel.

It is important for us to keep our lymphatic system as healthy as possible to prevent infection, headaches, or overall illness which can be a result of a toxic acidic body.

As our body is made up of 25% blood and 75% lymphatic fluid, this shows how important our lymphatic system is in keeping us healthy and balanced. Unlike the venous system however, the lymphatic system does not have a pump to keep it functioning.

A healthy body often moves less in the summer. When the weather is too hot we often find that we are not as active and can feel a bit lethargic with low energy. This is a great time to have a Manual Lymphatic Massage, to help to stimulate the lymph system and help the body rid itself of waste, thereby allowing us to feel more energetic and further increase the health of our lymphatic system.

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?

MLD is a gentle non-invasive manual technique that has a powerful effect on the body. It is an advanced therapy in which the practitioner uses a range of specialised and gentle rhythmic pumping techniques to move the skin in the direction of the lymph flow.  This stimulates the lymphatic vessels which carry substances vital to the defence of the body and removes waste products.

The treatment uses a specific amount of pressure (light) and rhythmic circular movements to stimulate lymph flow.

What are the benefits of MLD?

  • MLD is both preventative and remedial and can enhance your well being
  • Promotes the healing of fractures, torn ligaments, sprains and lessens pain
  • Can improve many chronic conditions, such as sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis,
  • May strengthen the immune system as part of a detox treatment
  • Relieves fluid congestion: swollen ankles, tired puffy eyes and swollen legs due to pregnancy
  • Is an effective component of the treatment and control of lymphoedema (which may occur after cancer treatment) and assist in conditions arising from venous insufficiency
  • Promotes healing of wounds and burns and improves the appearance of old scars
  • Can be used to speed healing after cosmetic surgery

What should one expect on a visit to a practitioner of lymphatic massage?

The first visit will include a consultation during which your therapist will discuss and recommend the number and frequency of future sessions.  Each session will last approximated 60 minutes.

A lymphatic massage session starts with light massage on the surface of the skin of the neck. The therapist gently rubs, strokes, taps or pushes the skin in directions that follow the structure of the lymphatic system so that accumulated lymph fluid can drain through proper channels. Lymphatic drainage is very gentle and deeply relaxing.

About Anna

Anna Barry has completed a Basic and Therapy 1 at the Dr Vodder-Schule, Walchsee in 2008 in Devon, England and offers MLD along with other therapies (see website for other therapies). She also holds a qualification in Principles of End of Life Care. Anna works at Chelsea please click here to see her schedule

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