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Manual Lymphatic Drainage: A Brief History and Current Uses

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?

Manual lymphatic drainage is a type of gentle massage that has become integral in the treatment of lymphedema. To briefly describe, the lymphatic systems carries waste products away from the tissues and depends on the intrinsic contractions of the smooth muscle cells in the walls of the lymphatic vessels. Lymphedema is a condition of fluid retention that can be caused by birth defects, parasitic infections or cancer treatments. Most cases of lymphedema in the United States are secondary to radiation or lymph node dissection to treat cancer. Without a working lymphatic system, fluid retention can cause pain, discomfort, decreased range of motion and fibrosis (hardening or thickening of skin).

Dr. Fauci, from the NIH Allergy and Infectious Disease Center, stated in a recent AIDS study:  “This condition results in providing a breeding ground (especially for the HIV virus) for pathogenic material.  The lymph system acts as a reservoir of infection, churning out billions of HIV-infected immune-system cells that eventually spill into the blood stream, where they travel to other parts of the body.  Much later, after enduring years of viral proliferation, the immune system begins to falter, and infectious disease marches in.”  Studies reveal that “up to ten times as much virus may reside in the lymph system as in the blood.”

While studies of Manual lymphatic drainage were first conducted over 40 years ago, research in the area has been growing over the last few decades. Below, we outline some features of Manual Lymphatic Drainage.

Features and Principles of Manual Lymphatic Drainage

According to the review article by Williams, the following are features and principles of MLD:

1. Hand movements are used to stretch the skin in specific directions and promote variations in interstitial pressures usually without the use of oils

2. Movements are slow, repetitive, and soporific, and usually incorporate a brief “resting” phase, where the skin is allowed to return to its normal position.

3. Pressures vary according to underlying tissues but aim to promote lymph drainage without increasing capillary filtration and hyperemia

4. Deeper or firmer movements may be incorporated when treating areas of fibrosclerosis, with compression therapy usually applied afterwards.

5. The MLD sequence starts proximally and centrally, often with treatment to the neck

6. Functional and healthy regional lymph nodes are treated, for example the contralateral (opposite side) axilla and ipsilateral (same side) inguinal nodes in an upper limb lymphedema, or both axillae in a lower limb lymphedema

7. Breathing techniques are commonly used with MLD, often combined with controlled hand pressures by the therapist, to influence drainage in the deep abdominal lymphatic vessels and nodes



Our Integrative Approach

A complete evaluation and comprehensive review is completed for each patient.  Together we will explore your goals and discuss your treatment plan options.

A therapeutic technological device called BELD Bio Photonic Lymphatic Drainage Treatment is a new Paradigm in Wellness Care. We are the ultimate in cellular cleansing by utilizing the body’s Lymphatic System. Our proprietary LED technology is designed specifically for removing blockage efficiently from the Lymphatic System.  It is utilized at the Center for Natural & Integrative Medicine to promote decongestion, restore fluidity and maintain nutritional balance to the entire lymphatic system.

Through a combination of energetic technologies, the BELD is capable of repolarizing proteins throughout the body.  When the polarity of the blockages is reversed, the material slowly erodes and safely flows out through natural channels, providing relief more efficiently and effectively.

The BELD has been shown to improve breast lumps, inflammations, chronic pain, joint aches, allergies, sinus pressure and infections, respiratory problems, headaches, prostate problems, hormone imbalance and chronic female conditions, dental trauma, heavy metal toxicity, neuromuscular, immune and fatigue syndromes/
Lymphatic Drainage is valuable as part of a weight loss and detoxification program. It aids in moving toxins through the lymphatic system and they are excreted from the body through urine.

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