Tips and After Care for Manual Lymphatic Drainage
During a manual lymphatic drainage session, the lymph flow increases significantly.
You may experience some reactions while your body goes through a self-healing process after your session.
These include – frequent visits to the toilet, runny nose and/or cough, perspiration, deep sleep or difficulty sleeping and vivid dreams. Conditions which have been suppressed may temporarily be flared up also.
These should only last about 24-48 hours and are positive signs that your body is re balancing itself and responding to the treatment.
After Care for MLD
- loosen tight clothing to encourage lymph flow
- increase water intake for the next few days
- reduce caffeine intake
- avoid hot baths or showers for at least 2 hours
- avoid alcohol for 24 hours either side of your session time
- make time to rest and relax helping blood pressure to normalise, it has probably dropped during the session
- eat light, raw foods
- Like exercise, make bodywork a part of your regular routine for good health.
- Drink warm water in the morning -the addition of some lemon juice helps to alkalise the body.
- Deep Breathing helps to circulate the blood and lymph and oxygenate the blood.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose, deep down into the belly causing it to rise. Then slowly breathe out through the mouth. Do this for 5-10 repetitions. Repeat during the day, especially when you are feeling tired.
- Place hands in the hollow area on each side of the lower back, between the hips and the ribs. Palms are placed on the body, direction is not important. Imagine energy is running through your hands and into your kidneys. Relax and breathe deeply and leave your hands there for a few minutes. It helps to energise you and takes some stress off the kidneys. It helps with hydration also. Energising your kidneys helps them deal with the increased metabolic waste that is released during and after your session.Energise Kidneys – to support kidneys and help with metabolic waste release.
Cool Facts about MLD
- There is about 6-10 litres of lymph in the body compared to 3.5-5 litres of blood
- About 1.5 -3 litres of lymph circulates around the body in a day – after MLD this increases to 10-20 litres circulated in a day for up to 3 days after MLD
- The Lymph system is like the bodies waste disposal system, collecting and clearing out metabolic wastes:
- It picks up excess fluid and proteins preventing toxic shock.
- Helps to transport cells around the body to localise infection.
- Carries food components from the small intestines to the blood circulation.
- Proteins can enter the tissues and these need to be removed by the lymphatic system.
- This is the only way trapped proteins can be removed. Swelling often occurs if they remain trapped in the tissues – diuretics do not work on removing trapped proteins.
- These proteins accumulate due to low physical activity, poor diet, excess of toxicity Stress and ageing.
Tips to help keep your lymphatic fluid moving after your session:
- Use a small mini trampoline bouncer. It can work wonders to help move lymph around the body. Only 10-15 mins per day is all you need.
- Dry body brushing can be used to promote lymphatic drainage. It will help to improve immunity, refresh the skin and reduce cellulite.
- Before showering use a dry, natural bristle brush. Use light strokes as lymph sits just under the skin. See diagram for direction of brushing. It is important to follow these areas as lymph flows in certain directions and towards certain lymph nodes. You can then use hot/cold therapy in the shower by alternating hot and cold water every 90 seconds. Do this for several minutes. This increases circulation and boosts immune function and metabolism.
- Avoid tight fitting underwear and switch to natural skin care products.
- There are certain foods that can help support your immune system. All red-staining foods such as berries, cherries, pomegranate, cranberries and beets all help to move lymph. Beets in particular help to thin the bile and are highly beneficial. Bile helps to digest the good fats and eliminate the bad fats. It is responsible for about 80% of the immune response in the gut and also helps to regulate the stool.
It is important to let me know if you experience anything painful during or after your session, so I can modify your sessions accordingly.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.
By keeping me informed I can ensure you get the treatment that is tailored to your needs.
If you need to book your next Manual Lymphatic Drainage, Book Online now.
Living with chronic pain is quite a controversial topic in the medical world. There are many approaches to addressing pain, whether it be through massage or soft tissue treatment, exercise, pain medications and more. The management of chronic pain should always be a mixed approach to treatment. No single practitioner can help chronic pain, it will require the effort of multiple allied health professionals to ensure the best treatment and the best results. Massage Therapy plays a role in addressing pain caused by soft tissues. So depending on your type of pain, and the reason behind the pain, there is always something that we can do to help the management, or treatment of your pain.
There are many different forms of pain, soft tissue pain, nerve pain, emotional pain, etc. but the easiest way to classify pain is by Acute and Chronic.
Acute pain is right then and now. You cut yourself, you kicked your toe, you’re getting a tattoo. These are all examples of Acute Pain.
Chronic pain is typically defined as pain that has persisted for weeks or even years. This pain can be broken down into:
- Nociceptive pain – felt in the body’s soft tissues or organs
- Neuropathic pain – felt in the nerves, the most common form being sciatic pain.
- Psychogenic pain – or emotional pain, most commonly cause by psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety.
- Idiopathic pain – where no obvious cause of pain is evident, but the pain is there, e.g., TMJ Disorders or Fibromyalgia.
Whilst some of these conditions, massage therapy will not be beneficial to, most will see many benefits from massage therapy. If it does not help the initial issue at hand, it will certainly help the side effects for these issues.
Massage therapy has been proven to be the most efficient form of treatment for soft tissue injuries and pain except for visceral (organ or internal) pain. One of the most common forms of chronic pain is lower back pain. That’s right, lower back pain is mostly chronic, and is also very treatable. Most cases of lower back pain can be treated by a remedial massage therapist and a good exercise program. Even in the event of an Orthopaedic condition, such as slip disc or bulge disc, massage therapy has proven to be a much less invasive and efficient way of treating the pain associated with these conditions.
Neuropathic pain for the most part is caused by damage to a nerve or more often, the impingement of a nerve in the body e.g. burning or aching pain down the arm due to nerve impingement in the shoulder. Whilst neuropathic pain is much harder to treat from a massage therapy stand point, there are quite a few neuropathic issues that as a massage therapist are very treatable. The most common is Sciatic pain, of which the most common cause is not neuropathic at all, but muscular and is caused by the Piriformis muscle.
Psychogenic pain however, is a difficult one, psychogenic pain is typically classified as emotional pain, a very non physical type of pain. So how can massage help? Massage has been proven to increase the production of serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, all of which are “feel-good” hormones produced in the body. This in turn helps with anxiety and depression, two most common causes of psychogenic pain. The increased production of melatonin also assists the body in maintaining a regular circadian or sleeping pattern. Let’s face it, we all feel better after a good nights sleep.
The last is Idiopathic pain, where there is no obvious cause of pain. This does not mean there is no pain, so as previously seen, we may not be able to fix the cause of the pain, we can definitely help manage the symptom, which is the actual pain. So in the case of idiopathic pain, the cause may not be known, but the pain reducing and mood elevating qualities of massage therapy are still a viable option for coping with the symptoms.
Don’t just exist with chronic pain, LIVE with it, don’t let chronic pain be who you are, or let it define you, if you have any further questions or concerns be sure to contact us and talk to us about your pain. To book an appointment with one of our experienced Remedial Massage Therapists to help you develop a plan to manage Chronic Pain, Book Online now.
Since the introduction of Manual Lymphatic Drainage here at Evolution Health Services, I have been able to see the benefits to our clients for a variety of conditions. These range from immediate visible reduction of swelling, reduction in their anxiety and improved movement as they get off the table. Clients appear more at ease as they see and feel how lymphatic drainage has helped. So today I wanted to share with you 4 clients who benefit from lymphatic drainage. I hope these examples can help you to see how Lymphatic Drainage may be able to help you.
Who Can Benefit from Lymphatic Drainage?
In most cases cancer survivors have had tumours / lymph nodes removed or have had radiation or chemo. When lymph nodes are removed from the body it has an affect on how the body moves lymphatic fluid around. Our bodies are amazing how it can regenerate itself and re-establish links between lymphatic vessels. But the body is unable to regrow Lymph nodes which can result in pooling of lymphatic fluid (Oedema). That’s where Lymphatic Drainage comes in. After taking your medical history we will aid the lymphatic system by redirecting the lymphatic fluid. Over time the body can imitate the direction it should go in. But in some cases the Oedema continues and requires maintenance to stop the accumulation accruing again.
While Massage can be beneficial during your battle with Cancer, we recommend commencing treatment once you are in remission. In the future I will be adding Oncology Massage to my further education and training. So for now it’s best that you seek an appropriately qualified Massage Therapist for Oncology Massage if you require treatment.
Lymphatic drainage post surgery is great to relax the nervous system to reduce pain. Lymphatic Drainage post surgery is also great for Oedema. It leads to greater fluid elimination from tissues and will assist in preventing scarring of the area. The ability of the body to remove unwanted fluid at the site aids in preventing infection and decreases healing time after surgery. Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a very slow and gentle technique. Pain is avoided during treatment as we aim to calm the body.
Recently I have had a few clients attend following Cosmetic Plastic surgery. These procedures are taxing on the body, and I am still amazed at the effectiveness of Manual Lymphatic Drainage in their cases. Within a 90 min session I can literally see and feel the fluid moving, decreasing in the size of the fluid accumulation. I have been seeing great improvements from the time the client gets on the table being sore and unable to move properly. And when they get off the table they are relaxed and moving with more ease and you can see the change not only in the amount of fluid already being drained but in the client themselves.
If you have had surgery and Lymphatic Drainage is recommended. We will require a medical clearance. Contact Us prior to your next Specialist consultation and we can forward you a copy of our Medical Clearance Request Form.
If you have been pregnant before you would most likely know what Oedema during pregnancy is. For those who don’t know, it is when the pregnant person suffers from swelling of the feet and ankles or in the wrists as a result of changes within the body. One of the most common effects of fluid on the wrists results in carpal tunnel syndrome where pregnant women experience numbness and tingling. Lymphatic drainage can assist in reducing the Oedema (swelling) during your pregnancy by switching on the node groups in the body aiding the body to help drain excess fluid and make for a more comfortable pregnancy.
I do a lot of pregnancy massages and I see this condition in about half the women I treat. There is no need for a separate booking for Lymphatic Drainage just advise me at the beginning of your appointment of your symptoms. I will include lymphatic drainage into your pregnancy massage.
Lots of people suffer from Oedema (swelling) after long flights due to the time spent sedentary unable to move freely around the cabin. Lymphatic Drainage has great results for decreasing swelling (oedema) in legs and feet after your flight. It is best to wait 72 hrs in case of a DVT being dislodged and causing even bigger problems. Recently I had clients return from an overseas holiday and experiencing fluid in the legs. I worked gently to encourage the movement of fluid from the affected areas. Following treatment, they noticed a visible change in the swelling and overall feeling in their legs. What a better way to feel after your holiday than swollen and tense.
These are just four examples of the types of clients I can help with Manual Lymphatic Drainage in a Remedial Massage Treatment. If you have been recommended to seek Lymphatic Drainage or have recently had Cancer or Surgery and would like to know if it may help, Contact Us today via the website or call 02 8964 1673 and ask for Rebecca.
At the age of 16 I was diagnosed with Scoliosis along with a message from the Chiropractor that I would not be able to walk by the age of 30. This scared my parents and myself so we attended this provider for 3 years, twice per week where he manipulated my spine. I was not given any self-care advice or lifestyle advice to improve my health outside of his treatment. I realised that the treatment wasn’t helping and when I looked back I wasn’t in pain as a result of the scoliosis. In fact, it was the x-rays that looked terrifying and I was filled with fear.
The experience with my own body got me interested in learning and understanding more about the human body. I tried many years ago to learn massage at a private college. The course was part time and only ran for a few months. It didn’t seem right and seemed unprofessional. I wasn’t learning the information I had hoped to, so I gave up.
I decided to focus on starting a family and keeping a stable job in an office for 15 years. I have two children, a son aged 10 and 8-year-old daughter. At age 7 my son suffered a fracture to his right ankle. He was just being a kid, jumping over a rock and rolled his ankle. Over the next 2 years, he managed to fracture the same ankle twice more and spraining the ankle another 5 times. The fractures occurred from gymnastics and at a trampolining centre. Rolling and spraining his ankle happened from walking. The laxity in his ankle ligaments had reached a point where such simple movements were causing injury, including a ligament tear.
He was a frequent flyer at the Campbelltown Hospital Emergency Department and often recognised by his favourite male nurse. He was also a regular at Physiotherapy. It was here the Physio recommended we find him a good massage therapist to help with the pain he was developing in his muscles and the hip pain from constantly being on crutches.
Around the same time I was managing my son’s injuries, I was suffering from some intense burning pain down my right leg coupled with lower back pain. After a visit to the doctor he gave me a referral for a scan. I was feeling desperate as I was due to fly interstate with two small children the very next day. I Dr Googled ‘Sciatica’ & read that massage can assist, so I made a desperate phone call to my local massage therapist who managed to squeeze me in that day. It wasn’t until I drove away that I realised I had struggled to walk in to the appointment, but one hour later, with zero pain, I ran to my car! I couldn’t believe how much of a difference just one massage treatment had made!
During the massage, we often talked about how I wanted to be a massage therapist. We would joke about my germaphobia. I have funny habits due to worry about germs in public. I hate my children touching the bottoms of their shoes and handrails in public spaces. I clean the clean cutlery handed to me in restaurants and I sanitised the kid’s hands whenever they got home from pre-school. I was worried how I would feel when being in other people’s personal space and whether it would prevent me from touching other people. My Massage Therapist told me that she only saw the muscles and tissue underneath that was being worked. It got me thinking about how I could overcome my worries and go back to my passion to learn more about the human body.
3 years ago, I suffered a health scare where I was getting random nerve pain, brain fog and numbness throughout my body. At first, the doctors weren’t sure what was going on. I was being investigated for Multiple Sclerosis and autoimmune conditions. During their investigations they accidently did a different scan than requested by my neurologist. Incidentally they found I had an aneurysm behind my left eye. This required surgical repair and that lucky find has now been resolved. The reason for my other symptoms is yet to be discovered but they have all settled. I realised life was too short and it was time to take a leap.
After receiving regular massages & feeling like a new person after every treatment, I realised this is something I would love to be able to do for other people. After much deliberation, I finally bit the bullet, enrolled into TAFE & haven’t looked back since. It seemed the stars have been aligning over the years and the signs have been there for me to care for my own health, my family’s health and how I can use these skills to help others.
I have loved learning about anatomy, how the body works and how massage helps in so many ways. It has brought out a passion for helping others, instead of instilling fear about health. I want to be able to guide my clients with self care between visits and see those improvements in their health extend to their family life.
With my germaphobia tackled, I am now confident with massage and realised that the focus is on the tissues underneath the skin. I really want my clients to know that I am in no way grossed out by touching them, but I will always have extra clean hands and workspace for every treatment so not to pass on my own germs.
The nicest part of this story, is that the massage therapist who helped me out that day, was Melissa Woodward! Not only has she inspired me to start studying massage again but has given me the opportunity to start my career here at Evolution Health Services. I look forward to helping many families like my own to improve their health.
Today’s Blog comes from our newest Team Member, Remedial Massage Therapist, Paul Mingay. Paul has developed a passion for long distance running and in particular trail running. He understands the importance of recovery when it comes to creating your training program, managing the workload and achieving your fitness goals. As any fitness enthusiast would know, training is hard work so rest becomes just as important too. Paul has some big running goals ahead of him and we look forward to following along in his journey.
‘Overtraining Syndrome’ is the process of repetitively training beyond your body’s ability to recover. It affects many athletes and you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Reduced performance
- Decrease in training capacity & intensity
- Consistent feeling of tiredness, lack of energy & motivation
- Muscular & Joint pain and tightness
- Decreased immunity (leading to colds, coughs, sore throats, infection etc)
- Moodiness, anxiety, irritability & depression
- Increased incidence of niggles and injury
It can be tempting to continue to push hard with your training even when not feeling 100%. You may be worried that you will lose your recent gains, or you may be caught in the addictive nature of routine training & exercise. It is important however, to recognize that by doing this you may in fact run the risk of significant down time in the future from illness & injury.
The following guidelines are key for effective RECOVERY:
- Diet, Nutrition & Hydration. Follow the ’JERF’ principle, ie. Just Eat Real Food. And drink plenty of water.
- Sleep. At least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
- Reduce training volume and intensity. Listen to your body and have at least one full rest day per week to allow your muscles to repair.
- Massage. A good remedial treatment will help address any areas of tightness, providing improved healing times through increased blood flow to tissues. Improved range of motion will result in less painful and more efficient training on your return to activity.
I include Remedial Massage and mobility exercises at home to form a major part of my training program. This will ensure that I am able to keep up with the workload and sufficiently recover between runs or workouts. If you would like me to help you recover from your training workload, or discuss a treatment plan to suit your needs, contact us today or book your next Remedial Massage Online now. I look forward to being part of your training team and to support you reach your goals.
Today’s blog has been written by our Remedial Massage Therapist, Rebecca Shaw. She shares details of the new technique she is bringing to her Remedial Massage Treatments to provide better results for her clients. Rebecca has been a Remedial Massage Therapist since 2012 and enjoys working with those clients suffering from conditions impacting the lymphatic system, as well as women during pregnancy and anyone looking to relieve pain as a result of work, training or every day life stresses.
Over the past 18 months I have been developing a passion for manual lymphatic drainage after hearing the benefits it has on the body from a fellow Massage Therapist. As she has now retired, she was also looking to pass on her knowledge as she knew the need for this skill to continue was great. We worked together to share knowledge, skills and work on my technique. Recently I attended formal training to put it all together in context and develop a greater understanding of how manual lymphatic drainage could help. I have more confidence in know why techniques are performed in a light, gentle motion and times when it should be avoided. I am pleased to announce it has now been added to my Remedial Massage Treatments and I can offer it to you at Evolution Health Services.
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a specific type of massage which is used to encourage the natural drainage of the Lymph fluid. This fluid carries waste and proteins away from the tissues through the lymph nodes, where it is cleansed and is returned to the blood circulatory system. Lymph movement is very slow it only pumps 1 pump every 6 seconds, so MLD massage is performed slowly and softly. Only 10lts of lymphatic fluid goes back through the heart every 7 days. After a MLD massage the lymph movement is speed up to 1 pump per 1 second, and 20lts of lymph fluid goes back through the heart in 24hrs and can last up to 7 days.
Due to the slower nature of the treatment and that it works with the whole body, I recommend a 90 minute Remedial Massage Consultation for your first appointment. Following your initial appointment, I will make recommendations for your ongoing treatment plan. This will include recommendations on the duration of each session and frequency of treatments. I will also provide you with information to support you between treatments to greater enhance the benefits to your body.
Who is Manual Lymphatic Drainage good for?
Manual lymphatic drainage can be used to treat lots of conditions such as:
- Post-surgery – to assist in preventing scaring and enable the body to remove unwanted fluid.
- Pre-surgery- for softening and relaxing tissues that need to be operated on.
- Edemas (oedema) – sprained ankles and other post traumatic conditions, with the immediate application of RICE therapy in conjunction with MLD.
- Lymphoedema (primary and secondary)
- Sinusitis / Hay Fever
- Breast surgery (segmental, simple or total)
- Dermatology (eczema, acne vulgaris, seborrhoea, psoriasis)
- Aesthetically (wrinkles)
- Gastroenterology (constipation and digestive disorders)
- Neurology (migraines, strokes)
- Rheumatology (musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders)
- Edema during pregnancy
- Post-surgical conditions
- Bronchitis (asthma and allergies affecting breathing)
Who should avoid Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
- Acute inflammation caused by bacteria, viruses, poisons, or allergens.
- Malignant tumours
- Phlebitis, DVT and Thrombosis (acute venous disease)
- Heart valve insufficiency or asthma due to heart problems
- Very low blood pressure
- Localized skin changes
- Sclerosis in a specific area – cervical artery
I hope this information has been helpful to find out if Manual Lymphatic Drainage is right for you. Manual Lymphatic Drainage is my new passion and I have seen the results working already on a few of my clients. If you would like to book, click here to Book Online for Remedial Massage or Contact Us if you have any further questions. Hopefully I will see you on my massage table soon for a new massage experience.
Remedial Massage Therapist