Conversations around MLD

I am prompted to write this article following a conversation I had today with an esthetician pursuing post graduate training in Manual Lymphatic Drainage.

The conversation revolved around her desire to learn the Vodder Technique as she has been receiving treatment from ‘a Certified MLD /Clinical Wellness Therapist and the effects of the treatment have been profound having made a marked improvement in her wellbeing.

Naturally, she wants to bring this treatment to her clientele, now a firm believer in “beauty from the inside out”  she was determined to cut through all the misinformation that is in today’s health and beauty industry. Manual Lymphatic Drainage is definitely trending, however, many treatments being promoted under this label are not the truly MLD.

As a long term practitioner, teacher and devotee of the authentic technique I want to point out one of the key differences that may raise awareness for both students and clients when requesting MLD training or treatments.

The most dramatic factor in MLD is that it works by increasing the contractions of the lymph vessel system removing metabolic wastes and foreign substances from the tissues. The specific gentle rhythmic technique allows this to occur without raising local or general blood pressure. (Causing redness)

MLD is unique in this aspect as many of the so called lymphatic drainage treatments, such as Goa Sea and cupping  will cause reddening or hyperemia.  This means that vaoo dilation of the blood vessels has occurred increasing the permeability of the vessel and allowing more fluid to enter into the interstices, in other words fluid fills the tissue spaces Increasing the fluid volume.

The lymph vessels works to remove excess fluid from these spaces, so to fill the tissues would make the task of the lymph vessels greater.  

To be clear any time there is a raise in local blood pressure the lymph vessel system will work to pick up excess fluid.  BUT when we are working with Manual Lymphatic Drainage we are working to clear any blockages (micro edemas) that may have occurred in the tissue spaces.

These are far more common than we think – examples are Sinusitis, chronic colds, chronic ear congestion, dental work, acne, rosacea, TMJ,  injuries and many other situations that all lead to a compromised lymphatic system and chronic inflammation.   Not to mention as we age the slowing down of all our recovery and rejuvenation processes.  

For those who have a super efficient lymphatic system treatments that raise the blood and lymphatic circulation are great.

While I have pointed out the major physiological difference in these treatments – I have not mentioned any of the other effects of MLD,

The first is deep relaxation, the only state in which the body repairs and rebuilds, it significantly reduces pain and the drainage effect via the lymph nodes ensures a healthy flow of immune defense cells as well as evening the tone and texture of the skin.

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