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About - Manual Lymph Drainage





Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is an Austrian technique, created by Dr Vodder in the 1930's, to manually 'unblock' the lymph system.
The effect of the treatment is made longer lasting when used with the Connective Tissue Manipulation (CTM) technique described elsewhere. Lymph is a clear almost colourless fluid which transports various substances from the fluid around the cells back to the blood vessels.

It is important in the removal of bacteria, vitamins, hormones and waste products and also carries out vital functions in defence and protection from illness. The lymph system is part of the auto-immune system. Manual Lymph Drainage is a very gentle massage that uses stationary circles over the lymph nodes and superficial lymph vessels to improve the flow of lymph. If the massage is too firm the tiny lymph vessels in the skin are squashed and lymph is unable to flow. Stimulation of the lymph system enables more fluid to drain from the tissues back into the blood vessels in the base of the neck.

Tension often builds up in the neck and shoulders due to stress or neck and upper limb injury. This causes the connective tissue to tighten and restrict the return of lymph into the blood vessels. There is a build up of fluid and pressure within the tissues, which causes pain and other symptoms.

By stimulating the lymph flow with Manual Lymph Drainage and reducing the connective tissue tension with Connective Tissue Manipulation the backlog of fluid in the tissues is lessened. This reduces the pressure and therefore eases the pain. MLD is always used prior to Connective Tissue Manipulation for the treatment of upper limb and neck conditions. This improves the drainage before the CTM increases the blood flow.

A patient with frequent headaches would be treated with Manual Lymph Drainage to ease the pain and Connective Tissue Manipulation to reduce the frequency of recurrence.

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