The human body’s lymph system is a network of vessels and nodes that traverse the entire body. A human body has 500-700 nodes, including 150 in the head and neck alone. The system helps in filtrating metabolic impurities such as proteins, salts, and glucose. Unlike the body’s circulatory system that has the heart as its internal pumping system, the lymphatic system requires muscular contractions to work efficiently. Lymphedema is a condition when any portion of the lymph system becomes sluggish.
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), or lymphatic massage, is a physical therapy that aids in the relief of swollen ankles, arms, and legs caused by a sedentary lifestyle, pregnancy, or surgery. Lymphatic massage is not a typical Swedish massage with its long, slow strokes. Rather, the gentle rhythmic pressure uses a two-way stretch and release movement that includes small semi-circles along the skin. It targets the vessels located in the superficial skin layers. MLD encourages natural detoxification by moving excessive lymph fluid, a clear watery substance, from the tissues back into the blood stream thereby relieving any buildup that would leave a body bloated.
Eliminating internal waste allows a body to feel well, and when done regularly, MLD helps in minimizing stage one and two levels of cellulite. It helps boost immunity by flushing out bacteria and viruses. Encouraging internal purification leaves the skin brighter, firmer and with less acneic conditions.
The human body heals and repairs during rest. As with most bodywork, MLD engages the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in deep relaxation. Sessions rages from 30 to 90 minutes. Drinking plenty of water following a session will help flush out toxins. Though a session of MLD will leave a client feeling great, a series of sessions is recommended. As with any bodywork, search out a trained professional.