Lymphatic Drainage FAQs
Here are some of the most asked questions at our massage clinic in regards to Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage.
Are You Certified in Lymphatic Drainage?
Yes, I am an LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) and a CMLDT – Certified Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist. I’m a graduate of Klose Training, utilizing the Dr. Vodder Technique, which is considered the gold standard in the industry.
What Exactly Are We Draining?
We are draining lymph fluid. Lymph Fluid consists of water, protein, fat and fat-soluble vitamins and cells (dead or foreign cells). The accumulation occurs just under our skin (it’s interstitial).
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage or MLD is a type of gentle massage which is intended to encourage the natural absorption and drainage of lymph fluid from the body tissue. Using very light rhythmic pressure and very specific strokes, the therapist helps drain puffy, swollen or inflamed tissue, support the body's immune system, and help the body heal from surgery and speed up recovery.
What Is Done During Treatment?
Manual lymphatic drainage is never painful as it consists of very light rhythmic strokes, just enough to stretch the skin a little to help stimulate lymph flow. The aim of the massage is to move fluid from the swollen area into an area where the lymphatic system is working normally.
The patient typically starts supine (face up) with their head and knees slightly elevated.
How Does It Feel to The Patient?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage is never painful. It feels like a very gentle rhythmic touch. It is super relaxing – in fact, most clients doze off and often fall asleep during the massage (and that is totally ok).
Who Can Benefit From MLD?
Virtually everyone can benefit from lymphatic drainage as a way to boost their immune system, especially during cold and flu season, or anyone who suffers from fluid retention, allergies, chronic sinusitis or bronchitis.
MLD is also very effective in managing Fibromyalgia and Lyme disease symptoms.
MLD is especially beneficial for swelling (edema) and/or inflammation as a result of injury or trauma to the body, such as, surgery, joint sprains, whiplash or dental work.
I just had plastic surgery, joint replacement or another surgical procedure; How Long Should I Wait?
Always go by what your doctor/surgeon recommends. If there are no specific instructions, you can begin MLD treatments in as little as 3 days post op, however, some clients (and it is our recommendation) choose to wait 7 days or until they can drive themselves to their appointment.
Can I Get an MLD Massage If I Also Had a BBL?
Yes. Our top-of-the-line massage tables are set up for that. No need for your special cushion, your lower half (the BBL area) will practically be suspended and won’t be touching the table.
Can MLD Be Performed If I Still Have Drain(s)?
Yes, MLD can be performed while the drains are still attached. It would be best, however, to wait until after they are removed, and possibly allow an extra 2~3 days for the incisions to close.
How Many Sessions Will It Take to Feel Relief?
Because every person’s body is different, there is no clear-cut answer. Most feel relief and/or see a visual difference (in case of edema) immediately after the session, whereas others may not feel a difference in the first 1-2 sessions.
How Often Do I Need to Come in For Treatments?
Post surgery, the ideal treatment plan is twice a week or every other day for the first 4 sessions, followed by an evaluation of progress. After the evaluation, sessions may be spaced out to once or twice a week until swelling is significantly decreased and does not return between sessions.
It's important to remember that lymph needs to be stimulated in order to flow properly and that lying down and resting, while necessary, does not help the flow of lymph fluid (you will be given simple “homework” exercises).
Will MLD Be Effective if I Only Come Once a Week?
Yes and No. It depends on our sessions’ goal.
Post-surgery MLD – It is possible, but not likely to produce the desired results of long-term reduction of fluid buildup if scheduled only once a week.
If our goal is boosting your immune system, enjoying the strong analgesic affect MLD has on the body or helping manage fibromyalgia symptoms, as an example, then yes, a visit once a week will still be effective. Even once every two to three weeks or on a “as needed basis” will be effective in some cases.
Do I Need to Do Anything Between Sessions?
Yes, it is highly recommended.
MLD will be most effective if treatment is continued at home between sessions.
First and foremost - DRINK WATER. A good guideline is half your bodyweight in ounces. (If you weigh 200lb, drink 100 oz a day).
Try walking a total of 1 hour a day. Not all at once. 5~10 minute sessions each time.
If you're receiving lymphatic drainage as a result of plastic surgery, you will need to wear the compression garments (and boards) as directed by your physician.
Diaphragmatic breathing (that you will learn when you come in) will also boost the effect of our sessions.
When Should Manual Lymphatic Drainage Be AVOIDED?
MLD is contraindicated (should not be performed) in these cases:
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Care should be taken in cases of:
Hypotension (high blood pressure)