What’s the theory behind manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) pregnancy?
Developed by the Danish physiotherapist Dr
Emil Vodder in the 1930s, MLD, as its name suggests, deals with the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s waste disposal system. This complex network of lymph nodes and ducts, as well as other lymphatic organs, drains a clear fluid called lymph from body tissues and filters it to trap bacteria, toxins, and cell debris before returning it to the bloodstream to maintain the fluid balance in the body. Lymph also contains numerous proteins as well as lymphocytes, which are white blood cells vital for the body’s immune system.
Muscle movement is responsible for the flow of lymph around the body and illness or poor health cause the system to become slow or even blocked, which weakens our bodies. All around our body there are lymph nodes that we tend to notice when we are unwell particularly those in our neck and under our arms -because they often become swollen. Those in the groin filter waste in the lower part of the body, including the pelvic area.
There is no actual drainage involved in manual lymphatic drainage; instead, gentle manual pressure is applied to the skin in slow, rhythmic movements to stimulate the lymphatic vessels and promote the uptake of waste-containing fluid. This helps to unblock the system and restore good lymphatic flow. Each session lasts approximately one hour and it is usually deeply relaxing – as indeed are all forms of massage.