Lymphatic Drainage Massage (LDM)

Lymphatic Drainage Massage (LDM) also known as Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is different to remedial massage.
Massage is kneading, rolling and stretching the skin, often working deep into the muscle tissue.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage requires gentle, slow moving of hands over the skin working with the flow of the lymphatic system.

What is the Lymphatic System?


Our lymphatic system is a combination of organs, vessels and nodes, acting as our ‘sewage system’. It ensures any excess fluid in our interstitial tissue is ‘mopped’ up and drained into the circulatory system to prevent swelling and also fight infections. Unlike the circulatory system which has the heart for a pump, the lymphatic system relies on muscle contraction to circulate the lymph fluid. It is therefore a sluggish system, and if you have a sedentary lifestyle it is important to get your lymph moving to ensure optimal health.

Conditions Lymphatic Drainage Massage is beneficial for:

Lymphoedema
Lipoedema
Oedema
Pre and Post surgery
Post cancer treatment
Post strenuous sporting events/training
Post flu
Itchy skin
Acne

Ensuring your lymphatic system is not clogged, regular Lymphatic Drainage Massage can help your body to rid itself of toxins and any infections that may enter your body. The lymphatic system is a truly amazing system and when looked after you will:

Have more energy
Less colds/flu
Recover from surgery quicker
Reduce swelling – from sport injuries or illness
Promote better healing of scars
Clearer skin

What to expect

Before any manual therapy can begin, an intake form will be taken and discussed with you to assess what you are expecting from the treatment and what treatment plan will be implemented. The initial consultation will include showing you how to open up your lymphatic system which should then be done daily at home. All lymphatic drainage massage begins from the heart and working proximal to distal moving lymph towards the heart. Treatment is not painful, as slow, light stokes are used over the skin. Post treatment, it is important to drink plenty of water. It is important to be aware some people can feel unwell that evening or following day as the lymph moves through the body. It is advised if possible, to have a quiet day post your treatment.

Lipoedema

Lipoedema, also known as the “Painful Fat Syndrome”, is a long-term (chronic) condition where there's an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the legs, thighs and buttocks, and sometimes in the arms and has no cure. Those with Lipoedema tend to have ‘column’ legs and the lower part of their body is larger than the upper body. It affects predominately women, is thought to be hereditary and the disease seems to progress during hormonal changes such as Puberty, Pregnancy and Menopause. Lipoedema is commonly misdiagnosed as obesity.

There are a few differences between Lipoedema and Obesity:

Lipoedema fat will not reduce with extreme exercise and diets
The lower body tends to be larger than the upper body, with the feet not being affected.
Heaviness and discomfort of the legs
Legs can be painful to touch
Bruise easily
Arms can be large, but not the hands


Stages of Lipoedema

Lipoedema has 4 stages and the disease will progress through the stages if preventative measures are not undertaken:

Stage 1:

Fat accumulates on the legs
Skin is smooth
Legs can be painful to touch
Bruise easily

Stage 2:

Fatty nodes can be felt under the skin
The skin is uneven in appearance, with a textured look
Large fat deposits start to appear

Stage 3:

Legs are no longer symmetrical
Larger fat deposits hanging over hips, knees and ankles
Hips and knees can be painful
Mobility is limited
Skin feels harder and more fibrous

Stage 4:

Fat deposits are so large the entire lymph system is affected, causing Lymphoedema to appear, including swelling of the feet.

Symptoms can be slowed down with:

Regular Lymphatic Drainage Massage (also known as Manual Lymphatic Drainage MLD)
Knowing how to open up your lymphatic system (Lymphatic Sequence)
Wearing compression garments
Aquatic exercise
Diet
Intermittent pneumatic compression pump
Vibration plates