Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is very different to remedial, sports or aromatherapy massage. It is performed directly on to the skin but without oil.
The purpose of MLD is to stimulate the lymphatic system. Therefore the techniques used involve light pressure. This is imperative because the actual size of lymph vessels targeted during the treatment are minute. The diameter is less than a millimetre. In other areas these channels are even smaller. As with a river bed, the smaller the diameter (or width of a river) the greater the resistance for fluid or river flow. Therefore Heidi will ensure that techniques are slow and gentle, this way it prevents the vessels from being put under too much pressure and strain.
The lymph vessels contain thin anchor filaments, which are delicate and with too much pressure will be temporarily squashed. So the objective is to ensure the strokes are performed in a way that will achieve positive effects without squashing the vessels. There should be an effective gentle stretch of the skin, the amount of collagen and stretch will vary on the individual.
Manual Lymphatic drainage is very good post viral. The lymphatic system is linked to the immune system. The immune system has security guards, so to speak, which protect the body from foreign bodies (pathogens). The “security guards” are called “the host defence system” and their job description entails being a barrier to physical and chemical intruders, acting as an inflammatory response and operating the immune system.
Manual Lymphatic drainage should not be performed when you are unwell. Your body needs to deal with the illness. To introduce any bodywork in to the situation would create added stress and pressure on your body. Allow the body to fight it off and once the symptoms have subsided, introduce MLD to help restore the immune system.
*PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT Lymphoedema massage. Lymphoedema massage is a specialised therapy and should be performed by a therapist who has a lymphoedema qualification.