Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is quite different from remedial or similar forms of massage - it does not attempt to reach into the muscle tissue: it just brushes on the skin over the main lymph ducts in the face, neck, armpits etc. No oils or creams are used.
Its main applications are in the aftermath of a surgical procedure and in the treatment of lymphoedema. But it's also effective in boosting the immune system, which helps fight viral infections such as Covid-19.
MLD is recommended by plastic surgeons during the recovery phase following cosmetic liposuction. This specialised form of massage is believed to decrease recovery time and improve results, by reducing post-surgical swelling and fibrosis (scar tissue formation).
The most common cause of lumps and bumps, after a liposuction procedure, is the accumulation of fluid under the skin, which in turn causes swelling and/or inflammation. Here is where MLD can help dissolve those lumps and bumps.
About six post-procedure treatments are generally sufficient if the only areas of liposuction were legs, knees or hips. A patient who has undergone abdomen liposuction is likely to require more. Patients should start receiving MLD treatments as soon as they are able to - that is, at least a week (often more) after liposuction, when the much of the soreness that comes with liposuction has disappeared.
Manual lymphatic drainage also plays a key role in the treatment of lymphoedema - again, often an unwanted consequence of a surgical procedure. MLD moves excess fluids away from the swollen area so that it can drain away normally.
MLD also stimulates and improves drainage in the healthy lymphatic system. Lymphatic drainage is also a cleansing and re-energising treatment that uses gentle, repetitive massage techniques to specifically stimulate the function of the body's lymphatic and circulatory system. As such it has a therapeutic effect on the immune and nervous systems and is deeply relaxing, making it an effective treatment for stress. Lymphatic drainage can also improve congestion and pain associated with colds, flu, and blocked sinuses. It can help in the treatment of headaches, acne skin conditions and immune deficiencies. It should be mandatory in any detoxification process.