In the field of physical therapy, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a commonly used manual massage technique that stimulates the lymphatic system.
Lymphatic drainage massage is a form of gentle massage preferably used as complementary treatment in lymphoedema therapy and complex physical drainage therapy.
Manual lymphatic drainage encourages the movement of lymph fluids and thus helps to remove waste liquids and toxins from the bodily tissues.
By improving lymphatic circulation and stimulating lymph to drain out, manual lymphatic drainage therapy leads to a decongestion of the oedematous (swelling) reducing lymphostasis in the tissues (lymphoedema) as well as pain relief.
There are various therapeutic indications for the application of manual lymphatic drainage.
First and foremost, manual lymphatic drainage is performed as a complementary technique to reduce swelling and improve circulation throughout the lymphatic system, mostly in cases of post-surgical swelling and fibrosis (scar tissue formation), due to injuries or as a result of infections, cancer treatments or other health conditions that cause lymph fluid to build up. Furthermore, it is recommended as a complementary tool in therapies for musculoskeletal and rheumatic diseases associated with pain like arthritis, osteoarthritis, arthrosis as well as degenerative neurological conditions.