At Healing Kneads, we’re constantly looking for alternative ways of alleviating pain and bringing relief to our clients. We offer several specialized therapies that new clients may not have heard of or are less familiar with. One of these therapies is manual lymph drainage (MLD), commonly known as lymphatic massage. 

What does MLD look like, how does it help, and what it can be used for? It is very different from traditional massage therapy, so it’s definitely worth understanding in a little more detail!

What is Lymphatic Massage?

In some ways, it isn’t really a massage at all, but a gentle skin technique used to help the lymphatic system remove waste and stagnant lymph. Issues of lymph build up can be caused by trauma to the body and is common after surgery. Manual lymph drainage works by applying gentle pressure to the lymph vessels located just under the skin, which stimulates these vessels to work better.

What Is the Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic system is a network of lymph vessels acting as the body’s cleaning and refuse service. Lymph vessels help eliminate waste products, excess proteins, and toxins or impurities like bacteria. The clear fluid that we describe as lymph is the conduit for the body’s white blood cells, responsible for carrying out the cleaning. 

How Can It Help Me?

This type of massage is usually used to get rid of swelling from excess lymph fluid that occurs after trauma, accidents, injuries, or surgery. We see many post-op clients who have developed swelling, bruising or lumpy fibrosis after surgery. Lymphatic massage reduces all of these and speeds up the healing process!

Traditional vs Lymphatic Massage

When we think of conventional massage, we usually think of Swedish and deep tissue, which use long, kneading strokes to apply pressure to muscles. Traditional massage focuses on specific areas of tension or pain and getting down to a deeper layer in the body.

Lymphatic massage is far gentler and uses far less pressure. We don’t use oil or lotion, and MLD isn’t targeting muscles at all, but rather engaging, moving, and stimulating the lymphatic network.

While traditional massage can be excellent for relieving muscle tension and encouraging oxygen flow in the blood, massage that specifically addresses the lymphatic system is a better option for reducing swelling or recovering from surgery. It’s also effective at improving the immune system and promoting overall bodily health. 

Visit Us at Healing Kneads Massage Therapy

To learn more about lymphatic massage, click here.

If you are ready to try lymphatic massage for yourself, book an appointment here with one of our therapists. We are licensed by the state of Florida and have over 25 years of combined experience!