A hands-on technique to move fluid that has built up, causing swelling.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
What is lymphoedema?
Lymphoedema is a swelling of any part of the body due to fluid accumulating in the tissues. This may be because of a defect in the lymphatic system from birth, or it may occur if the lymphatic system gets damaged or overloaded following trauma, cancer treatment, surgery, infection or immobility.
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?
Manual lymphatic drainage is one of the ways to help manage lymphoedema symptoms. It is a hands-on technique to move fluid that has built up, causing swelling. The aim of manual lymphatic drainage is to move fluid from a swollen area to part of the body that is ‘draining’ normally. This allows it to enter the lymphatic system to be processed and the swelling reduces. The movements are firm but comfortable, slow and rhythmic. It is a ‘dry’ technique and no oils or lotions are used.
What type of manual lymphatic drainage is practiced here?
MLD needs to be carried out by a fully qualified therapist who has trained at one of the recognised schools: Vodder, Casley-Smith, Leduc, Voldi, or Fluoroscopy-Guided Manual Lymphatic Drainage.
Jennie Bond is trained in Fluoroscopy-Guided Manual Lymphatic Drainage. This is the most evidence-based method of manual lymphatic drainage. It was developed following extensive research using fluoroscopy imaging techniques to ‘map’ the lymphatic drainage pathways making it possible to visualise how the lymph fluid moves. This research led to the development of more efficient manual techniques to effectively reduce swelling.
What to expect:
On your first visit you will have a thorough case history taken and an examination. The number of treatments you need depends on the severity and type of swelling you have. Your lymphoedema therapist will explain their recommendations and may provide a ‘mini-treatment’ demonstrating the specific hand-on techniques so you know what to expect next time.
The effects of manual lymphatic drainage, such as a reduction in swelling or a feeling of ‘lightness’ are often noticeable immediately after treatment, but they will not last unless you follow the advice of your lymphoedema therapist. This advice may include things like using compression-wear, doing movement and exercises, looking after your skin, and doing self-massage.
Whilst lymphoedema is not curable, it can be very well controlled to prevent deterioration and manage symptoms. The aim of all lymphoedema care is to reach a state of optimal improvement and then maintain this improvement. This might mean reduced swelling and better shaping as well as skin improvements, all of which have a big impact on quality of life.
Some people find that the hands-on element of manual lymphatic drainage, as well as the continued support and guidance can really help as part of their combination of care.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Practitioner:
First Consultation £90
Follow-up Treatments £70