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Manual Lymphatic Drainage and how it may help you.

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is an advanced therapy in which a specifically trained therapist applies gentle, light, but precise hand movements to the skin, exerting different intensities of pressure to increase the activity of normal lymphatic vessels.

This encourages lymphatic fluid away from congested areas by bypassing ineffective or injured lymph vessels.

The treatment is very gentle and a typical session involves drainage of the neck, trunk, and the affected extremity (in that order), lasting approximately 40 to 60 minutes. The technique was pioneered by Doctor Emil Vodder in the 1930s for the treatment of chronic sinusitis and other immune disorders.

MLD benefits conditions such as:
Lymphoedema (Primary and Secondary)
Lipoedema
Injuries, including Sport Injuries
Toxins in the body and associated inflammatory conditions e.g sinusitis, eczema, digestive issues.
Pregnancy-related Swelling
Pre- and post-surgery
Hormonal Imbalance
Infertility
Lymphoedema
Lymphoedema (also Lymphedema) is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes swelling (oedema) in the body’s tissues. It can affect any part of the body but usually develops in the arms or legs. It develops when the lymphatic system cannot function normally. This may be as a result of damage to or removal of lymph nodes during treatment for cancer (Secondary Lymphoedema), or it may be
hereditary (Primary Lymphoedema).

If you are affected by this condition or are at risk of developing it due to recent cancer treatment, it is vital to keep yourself informed of potential triggers. It is recommended that you see an appropriately trained therapist as soon as possible.

Lipoedema
Lipoedema is a long-term (chronic) condition typically involving an abnormal build-up of enlarged fat cells in the legs, thighs and buttocks. It can be recognised by the extreme sensitivity of the skin and the presence of small lumps and bumps under the skin. The condition is more common in women but can affect men.

Treatment of Injuries
MLD works directly on the lymphatic system and is an effective, fast-working and pain-free technique, which assists the body in removing oedema (swelling) from an injury site.

Applying ice to an injury can prevent oedema. However, when the oedema is already present the waiting game begins and this can slow down the healing process and delay any necessary physiotherapy or physical therapy.

MLD speeds up the healing of fractures, torn ligaments and sprains and other sports injuries reducing the associated pain and getting you back to the sports field more quickly.

Detox
The lymphatic system is essentially the engine of the immune system and when that engine becomes blocked or sluggish it can have a negative impact on the entire body, from digestive issues, to congested sinuses, skin problems and poor energy levels.

MLD enhances the flow of fluid throughout the lymphatic system and improves the body’s ability to cleanse from the inside out, which is why it is a popular treatment for those interested in maintaining good health.

Pregnancy-related swelling
Self-care is important at this special time.

Mum’s-to-be can benefit greatly from regular sessions of MLD as it is a very relaxing therapy, helping to keep stress-levels in check and it relieves fluid congestion: e.g. swollen ankles, tired puffy eyes and swollen legs.

Post-Surgery
Recommended by many surgeons, MLD effectively and painlessly reduces bruising and oedema, accelerating the healing process and reducing the risk of infection and other complications.

Fertility
The lymphatic system is essentially the engine of the immune system and works hand in hand with the endocrine system (the body’s system of glands and hormones). Thus MLD, alongside other natural therapies and attention to diet and lifestyle, may assist the body to achieve balanced hormone levels, including luteinising hormone, which is responsible for ovulation.

Achieving and maintaining balance in the body can be a catalyst for conception as a lowered or impaired immune system causes the body to become prone to inflammation and disease.

The emotional impact of infertility also plays an important role. MLD gently stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn calms the sympathetic nervous system, helping to reduce stress levels.

For more information you can contact Aideen directly on 0851528969.

Written by Aideen Schweppe

Lymphoedema and MLD

A cancer diagnosis is a difficult journey, and it’s only natural that you want to put it behind you as soon as your treatment is successfully completed, and you want to put it out of your mind until your follow-up appointment with your oncology team.

However, there is another important part of the journey and it is essential (if somewhat difficult, emotionally) to be informed about this so that you can take control of the situation.

Surgery, Radiation and Chemotherapy all take their toll on the body and it’s more important than ever to invest in self-care activities to help your mind and your body to recover.

In many cases lymph nodes may be removed or damaged during life-saving cancer treatment and the result is a change in the lymphatic system, which can become a big problem if it’s not dealt with.

Lymphatic fluid that normally flows through, and is filtered by, these missing lymph nodes suddenly runs out of road and, not having a clear path to follow, gathers in the spaces between the tissues, causing a swelling or oedema over time.

The result is a condition called Lymphoedema (also Lymphedema), which essentially means ‘lymph-swelling’.

Like any other condition, early diagnosis and management is key and this is why it is essential that patients at risk of developing the condition are informed of the condition, how to recognise it as early as possible and the do’s and don’ts to help prevent the onset of Lymphoedema for as long as possible.

Registering with an MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage) Therapist as soon as possible is the first step, but is often overlooked due to the emotional impact that cancer treatment has on the individual. It’s a difficult time, and it’s one more ‘bad-news’ story that you might prefer to avoid. However, the prognosis for those who receive Lymphoedema education and therapy as early as possible is far better than for those with severe oedema that has been untreated for a prolonged period of time.

Aideen offers consultations in a relaxed, welcoming environment and is here to help you educate yourself about Lymphoedema and MLD. Knowledge is power. When you are ready, we are here for you.

If you would like to discuss your treatment options and talk to Aideen just give her a call on 0851528969

Words written by Aideen

Kinesio-taping – why you need this in your life!

So you may be wondering, ‘what is this Kinesio-taping thing all about’?

 

Well, put in simple terms, Kinesio-taping is the application of a specific form of tape/sports tape in order to facilitate the body’s natural healing process, providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion.

 

The tape is applied to the skin by a specifically trained therapist, usually in conjunction with another therapy, massage for example.

The beauty of Kinesio-tape is it’s versatility. It is safe for all ages and can be left on the skin for several days.

It can be applied to enhance your Lymphatic Drainage treatment, whether you are having MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage) for treatment of Lymphedema, sports injuries or swollen ankles during pregnancy.

It’s also very beneficial for treating repetitive strain injuries, in conjunction with deep tissue massage.

And for pain management it can provide instant relief in many cases, a wonderful alternative to pain killers and anti-inflammatories (where appropriate).

 

As a therapist with many years experience in massage, MLD, yoga and nutrition, I am always learning and adding to my skill-set in order to provide the very best care for my clients. So it is my pleasure to be able to add this very effective technique to the list. On a case-by-case basis I can asses which combination of the above therapies is most suitable for your injury/ongoing issue.

 

All too often we ignore our aches and pains because we can’t quite put our finger on the cause, or indeed the most suitable solution. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away!

 

Come and see me so we can talk about your treatment options. Call reception on 01 8310888

Aideen Schweppe (BA, Dip ITEC, MLD Vodder)

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