Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a gentle and effective way to address post mastectomy concerns when lymph nodes have been removed or radiated. It is a specialized massage technique developed in the 1930’s by Dr. Emil Vodder. It encourages the natural circulation of lymph through the lymphatic system. MLD is a crucial component in the reduction and maintenance of lymphedema, manually re-routing lymph to new drainage areas that have not been damaged. MLD effectively de-congests the tissue by removing excess fluid, metabolic wastes, foreign substances, and large protein molecules all of which contribute to poor tissue health, lead to more swelling (protein attracts water) and are risk factors for serious infection. MLD is used daily during the intensive phase of lymphedema therapy as a reduction tool followed by the application of compression bandaging. This combination is known as Combined Decongestive Therapy.
Mastectomy scars are specially treated to loosen adhesions and soften scar tissue. MLD is a comforting and relaxing massage that can help with many side effects related to cancer treatments. To learn more about MLD, our Dr. Vodder certified therapist, Jana White is available for complimentary consultations.
In addition to its practicality for managing lymphedema, MLD is a useful tool in easing the discomfort of over 60 conditions. As MLD removes metabolic waste, excess fluids and toxins from the body, the treatment can support the immune system and speed up the recovery from surgery or trauma. It will also help break down tough scar tissue that may have formed.