Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) - Vodder Method...


Manual Lymphatic Drainage What is it?
In the 1930ís Dr Emil Vodder developed a new massage technique called Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), which works on the lymph, the lymphatic vessel system, blood and connective tissue to bring relief from chronic conditions. Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a specific form of massage consisting of gentle, rhythmic movements that are carefully executed and orientated towards the flow of lymph through the vessels and nodes. When MLD is applied properly, it induces relaxation and a pleasant lassitude. Today MLD is an advanced therapy used as a popular treatment in many countries worldwide.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a specific form of massage which acts on the lymphatic vessel system, the blood, lymph and connective tissue. MLD consists of gentle, rhythmic movements that are carefully executed and orientated towards the flow of lymph through the vessels and nodes. Massage pressure depends on the type of tissue worked on and the nature of the problem. When MLD is applied properly, it induces relaxation and a pleasant lassitude.

Nutrients can only be transported in a fluid environment, and all substances transported by the blood must traverse the connective tissue to get to the cells. Waste products from cell metabolism are eliminated via the same route. MLD works directly on this transport mechanism.

If these metabolic waste products accumulate in the connective tissue, the tissue function becomes impaired. In the early stages, this can lead to cosmetic defects; the more advanced cases can lead to pathological health disorders.

During a session MLD can treat many problems and treatment is tailored to the individualsí needs. Each therapist works differently with his/her experience and personality, this includes fingertip control and the intuition of the therapist. For optimal benefit, it is recommended that conversation be restricted during the session, so that a direct and full affect can be felt on the nervous system via the skin sensors, allowing the autonomic system to make changes.

The Lymphatic System
The lymphatic systemsí primary function is to transport products that canít use the venous system, such as proteins, large fat molecules, waste products, bacteria, viruses, excess water and large inorganic materials. The lymph system not only serves to clean the tissues through drainage, but also acts as a protection and defence mechanism.

The contents of the lymph vessels is called lymph which is similar to blood plasma having similar components. Lymph vessels look like a string of pearls consisting of valved segments called lymphangions and lymph flow through these vessels occur by contraction of the musculature of the vessel itself (lymphangio-motoricity), from the pulsation of neighbouring arteries, contraction of skeletal muscles, abdominal breathing and by using MLD.

During the journey through the body, lymph passes through lymph nodes. There are more than 600 lymphatic nodes in the body, of which approximately 160 are found in the neck region. These act as biological filtering stations which contains lymphocytes that attack and break down antigens (immunological function) to ensure that only purified lymph reaches the blood, avoiding contamination.

What effect does MLD treatment have on the body?
In a healthy person the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is balanced. Daily stress, pain, fear, ones environment, striving for success, are all factors contributing to the fact that we no longer have balance in this system. As a result the Sympathetic Nervous System puts the body into an alarm state (fight and flight) which causes a rise in blood pressure and pulse rate, as well as the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, which can lead to problems such as the risk of heart attack, hypertonia etc. MLD has a stimulating effect on the Parasympathetic Nervous System which leads to relaxation and feeling calmer. Immunological effects - Antibodies are present in all bodily fluids, blood, lymph and connective tissue and are primarily produced in the lymph nodes. One theory suggests that MLD supports the immune reactivity by stimulating lymph flow in order to drive the disease causing substances more quickly into the lymph nodes where they can be neutralised.

What conditions can MLD treat?