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Lymphatic Massage-Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)

What is it? 

MLD is a light, soothing, non-invasive manual technique which moves fluid out of the body tissue and into the lymphatic system. It gently stretches the skin with precise, rhythmic pressure to open and close the tiny lymphatic vessels just underneath. This repetitive motion encourages a larger volume of stagnant fluid (edema) to be removed. Fluid Is directed through specific channels into lymph nodes where pathogens, metabolic waste and toxins are neutralized. Blood circulation then increases, allowing fresh nutrient exchange and resulting in better health and well being.

MLD Therapy provides many health benefits including:
Pain Reduction: inhibits pain signals to nerve receptors; reduces pressure from swelling.
• Detoxification: removes cellular debris, pathogens, toxic substances, and foreign particulates from the tissue; cleanses and neutralizes these substances in the lymph nodes.
Health and Wellness: improves the tissue environment through detoxification, better nutrient circulation, and stress reduction. Enhanced immunity can prevent disease, accelerate healing and increase a sense of well-being.

While MLD resembles massage in the application of hands on the body, the techniques and effects are very different and distinct. Massage Therapy pushes past the skin to penetrate deeply into the muscle and connective tissue. It is effective in softening and lengthening hard contracted muscle as well as breaking-up adhesions and scar tissue. Notably, massage also increases fluid volume in the tissue. In contrast, MLD lightly stretches the skin to pull fluid into initial lymphatic vessels, stimulating the pumping action of the deeper lymphatic vessels. MLD reduces fluid volume allowing room for more nutrients to enter and regenerate tissue cells. A combination of massage therapy and MLD an effective approach to alleviate chronic pain.

It was created by Dr. Emil Vodder PhD MT.  He discovered  that is a gentle stretching of the skin that has an effect on the lymph vessels.  There is pressure phase that promotes fluid movement and relaxation phase causing a vacuum which leads to lymph vessels refilling.

Why have MLD?

What is MLD used for?

  • Post Surgical:  Less Pain, Less Swelling, Less Bruising, Less Scar Tissue, Faster Recuperation. 
  • Post Traumatic /Post surgical edema for Elective:  Liposuction (usually accompanied by Ultrasound Therapy; which reduces Pain, Swelling, and formation of Scar Tissue), BBL, Abdominoplasty and Necessary surgical procedures/Sprain Strain.
  • Enhanced/Boost Immune Function
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease
  • Tinnitus
  • Migraine /Sinus headaches
  • Cellulite
  • Pain control
  • Lymphedema
  • Lipedema
  • General Relaxation/Detoxification

What People are saying:

From Michele T. (review on Yelp 11/8/18)

Discovered this amazing place when searching for a licensed lymphatic drainage massage therapist. I needed treatment for post-surgery. Their aren't many licensed in Suffolk Country. It is well worth the drive from West Islip to Bellport. Altair is amazing. I bought a massage package right on the spot after my first treatment with her. She is amazing.

*Caution*-regarding Untrained Practitioners

Unfortunately, too many untrained people claim to be able to perform lymphatic massage or Manual Lymph Drainage. There are requirements to be a "Certified Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist",  which involves extensive training.  Though other Massage Therapists may be well trained in more common massage modalities like Swedish or Deep Tissue massage, their lack of knowledge of MLD, cosmetic surgery procedures, and experience in working with post-surgery patients may potentially cause severe problems with your surgery outcome.  It is possible that they may pull internal stitches or cause more inflammation and swelling, which would equal more pain, much slower recuperation, more scar tissue, and maybe even a trip back to your surgeon.

A reputable MLD therapist will be able to give you detailed information about MLD, Ask questions. This treatment should not be rough or cause pain.  So many people complain that their prior MLD treatment(s) was/were so painful, that they were actually afraid to have another!   Not necessary!  Please note:  There are no oils or lotions used in a true MLD session (be sure to not wear any oils or lotions yourself prior to your treatment).  If the therapist doesn't know this, it is a clue that they have not received proper training. Achieving "Skin Stretch" is how the Therapist gently gets the lymph to move, the application of any lubricant would impede this process.

Anatomy of the Lymphatic System