Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)
MLD is a type of manual therapy used to gently mobilize tissue fluid from an extremity or body part, back into the core circulation. This technique has been used for decades in Europe and in the U.S. as a treatment for both detoxification and cosmetic enhancement. In treating Lymphedema, we use what is called “Collateral MLD” to move tissue fluid out of an affected extremity, past Lymph nodes which have either been dissected or irradiated, and into more viable regions of drainage. MLD can be used with equal success in either the treatment or prevention of Lymphedema. it is generally performed using a slow, rhythmic and repetitive progression of strokes in varying patterns, considering the presentation of Lymphedema. It is a gentle technique and unlike traditional therapeutic massage, should not be performed with rigor or excessive pressure.
The following images are examples of a patient receiving MLD: