Lymphatic drainage

Lymphatic drainage – How is it done?

Manual lymphathic drainage (MLD) or massage is a relaxing and gentle treatment that is performed with light pressure, strokes and pumping techniques. It is a full body massage given with essential oil. The massage itself always starts with you sitting and then lying on your back. A lymphatic massage includes massage of face, neck, shoulders, back, décolleté, arms, hands, abdomen, legs and feet. At the end, you will have some time to rest and relax.

On the first visit, you will fill in a health declaration form that we will talk about, as well as your expectations and goals for the treatment. The case history can take up to 10 to 20 minutes. You can get advice on self-care, diet and lifestyle routines to improve your lymphatic flow. Then you will receive your lymphatic drainage that can take 75 to 90 minutes, so in total the first visit can take up to 2 hours. Depending on how chronic your situation it can take up to 3 follow-up visits before you might experience a bigger change in your body. The follow- up visits may take about 90-100 minutes. During the treatment you will be in your underwear and your body will be covered with towels and/ or a blanket, because the treatment can cause your to feel cold. That is a sign that the lymphatic flow is stimulated.

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Benefits of lymphatic drainage:

Strengthening of the immune system
Improvement of sleep
Reduction of physical and mental stress
Stimulation of the body’s own production of cortisol, insulin, oxytocin and endorphins
Increase of body awareness
Removal of toxins and increase of Lymphatic circulation
Pain relieve
Alleviation of Anxiety
Digestion improvement
Boost of lymphatic flow

What can I expect from manual lymphatic drainage (MLD)?

Lymphatic massage is a deeply relaxing treatment that releases tension from body and mind. The treatment is therfore very beneficial to reduce stress and it promotes a good night’s sleep. It can be highly effective to improve symptoms of  anxiety and depression. Given regularly,lymphatic drainage can prevent infections and common colds. The technique helps relieve congestion by loosening mucus in sinuses and lungs. It promotes a good and healthy digestion. If the cause of having headaches or migraines comes from poor blood or/and lymphatic flow, lymphatic drainage can be very helpful to reduce the symptoms.  MLD is beneficial for anyone with rheumatic conditions, body aches and other pain syndromes, such as fibromyalgia. It is an excellent treatment to reduce swelling or edema in arms, hands, legs, and feet. It improves the blood flow to the extremities and helps agianst cold and numb hands and feet. Lymphatic massage reduces postoperative swelling after breat surgery and burn scars. This massage treatment is very suitable during pregnancy (week 12 to 28) and for breastfeeding women. It is a favourable massage technique for people having type 2 diabetes. Although most people feel that they need a “muscle massage”, a soft lymphatic massage can provide much more relaxation in the muscle tissues than a medical massage and is highly recommended for tense, tired and sore muscles.

What happens in the body during lymphatic massage?

Nowerdays, we live in a stressful world, where we often walk around in a tense body. As a consequence the lympf flow gets impaired. The muscles’ energy and nutrient deposits are very limited and therefore dependent on good blood circulation. It is the blood circulation that supplies the muscles with nutrients and oxygen. The blood is responsible for the transport of acidic metabolic products and toxins out of our system. An increased acidity irritates pain receptors and the pain makes you even more tense. This leads to a further impairment of circulation and a vicious circle begins.

The treatment promotes relaxation, so that the body’s various organ systems can function effectively and the lymph can flow freely. This is where the body’s self-healing powers kicks in! Only when the drainage works adequaltely can the cells flourish. The vast majority of people get sleepy during the massage and get into a state of deep relaxation and rest. For more chronic lymphatic conditions I recommend 2 to 3 treatments within 1 or 2 months. Unfortunately there are no short-cuts! Regular self-care routines, dietary and lifestyle adjustments may be necessary to get the best result. A more in-depth health consultation can be booked here.

However, treatments can be customized to make them more affordably. It is possible to get a satisfying result after only one treatment. As an Osteopath I work with the lymphatic system in a different way to support it. In an ostheopathic treatment I do mobilize the upper body’s outer and inner structures and I work with the breathing system and lymphatic drainage points by using mild articulation techniques. Both treatment modalities complement each other very well.

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For more chronic lymphatic conditions I recommend 2 to 3 treatments within 1 or 2 months. Unfortunately there are no short-cuts! Regular self-care routines, dietary and lifestyle adjustments may be necessary to get the best result. A more in-depth health consultation can be booked here. 

However, treatments can be customized to make them more affordably. It is possible to get a satisfying result after only one treatment. As an Osteopath I work with the lymphatic system in a different way to support it. In an ostheopathic treatment I do mobilize the upper body’s outer and inner structures and I work with the breathing system and lymphatic drainage points by using mild articulation techniques. Both treatment modalities complement each other very well.

What effects or side effects does lymphatic massage has?

Directly after the massage treatment, you may feel more cold in general and during the massage you can experience ”cold showers”. Most people feel very relaxed and sleepy afterwards. The visit to the toilet can become more frequent and some experience a change in the smell and/or color of the urine. Lymphatic drainage can be a physical and mental “cleanse” and you may get a headache and/or loose stool. Nothing to worry about as the symptoms will disappear again. In few people, the treatment can trigger sensitive or negative thoughts and feelings. Feel free to contact me after the massage if you have questions or concerns about the side effects.

Is there any difference between lymphatic massage and lymphatic drainage?

Lymphatic massage and lymphatic drainage are only different terms to describe the same massage treatment. The technique follows the natural direction of lymph flow and makes it easier for metabolic by-products and toxins to leave the body. It has been developed since it was presented at a health fair in Paris by Dr. Vodder in 1936, and it has become a successful treatment modality in conventional and alternative medicine. In order to help the lymph fluid to flow freely towards the major drainage points in the body, it is performed with soft touch, circular movements and pumping techniques and that includes the face as well. Be informed that different massage therapists perform it differently. Some use more oil, some less. Others massage the front and back body with the client lying, others will asked you to sit first and then ly down.

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Are there any contraindications?

Lymphatic drainage should NOT be performed if you have:
Cancer (malignant tumors) or had cancer within the last 5 years
Fever or acute symptoms of common cold
Acute inflammation (swelling, heat & pain)
Early and late stage of pregnancy
Hemophilia (inherited bleeding disorder)

If you are not sure if this massage is suitable for you, please contact me or consult your doctor!

Manual Lymphatic Drainage:

New client – Initial treatment

Prior to your visit you will fill in a health declaration that we will talk about during our first appointment. That will take about 10 to 20 minutes. We will cover your current health issues, medical history, medication and general lifestyle routines. You can get advice on self-care routines, breathing exercises and dietary guidance if you wish. The lymphatic massage itself  will take about 75 to 90 minutes.

Follow-up visit

During the follow-up visit, we talk about the effects of the first massage, any progress you have experienced. The short conversation is followed by full body massage of about 75-90 minutes.

Massage package – 3 treatments

This massage package includes the initial consultation and massage (about 2 hours) and two whole body massage treatments (75-90 min). A perfect opportunity to tackle your chronic lymphatic issues that require several treatments in a short time. All three massage treatments should be taken within 2 months.