What is manual lymphatic drainage?

Manual lymphatic drainage is a very gentle massage technique used to stimulate the flow of lymphatic fluid (‘lymph’) – around your body. Using specific slow, light strokes, manual lymphatic drainage works on the connective tissues immediately below the skin (not the deeper muscles like remedial massage).

By promoting fluid circulation and decongesting the lymph nodes, manual lymphatic drainage helps boost the immune system and detoxify the body. Manual lymphatic drainage can help treat a wide range of health conditions and illnesses (see below).

Woman receiving shoulder massage


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How does manual lymphatic drainage work?

Made up of lymphatic vessels and nodes, your lymph system is your body’s first line of defence against disease and infection.

The lymph nodes contain a large proportion of your white blood cells, which fight disease and infection. As the lymph is filtered through the nodes, the immune cells identify any toxins, such as viruses and bacteria. Your body can then fight off infection and ‘remember’ those toxins the next time they appear.

The lymphatic system is also responsible for removing other toxins from your body. Lymphatic fluid picks up toxins such as food additives and preservatives and filters them out for removal from the body.

Having a healthy lymph system is vitally important to your wellbeing. Manual lymphatic drainage is a treatment designed specifically to help maintain a well flowing lymphatic system that protects your health and immunity. So why not make an appointment for a manual lymphatic treatment with Vital chi today?

Treatable Conditions

Manual lymphatic drainage is useful for treating a wide range* of health conditions, injuries and illnesses including:

  • Arthritis (even during flare ups)
  • Breast surgery (segmental, simple or total mastectomy)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Dermatological conditions (e.g. eczema, psoriasis)
  • Fluid retention
  • General fatigue
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Low immunity
  • Musculoskeletal pains and conditions
  • Oedema (e.g. lymphoedema, oedema/swelling during pregnancy)
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Pre-surgery (to soften and relax tissues to be operated on)
  • Post-surgery (to reduce healing times and scar tissue formation, and reduce chance of infection)
  • Sinusitis
  • Sports injuries (e.g. bruises, sprains and even fractures (in acute stage) where remedial massage is not indicated)
  • Weight gain

*Please note. There are a few conditions that cannot be treated with manual lymphatic drainage, and others that will require prior consultation with your GP or primary healthcare professional. Please mention any specific medical conditions to us when you make your booking so we can be sure manual lymphatic drainage will be suitable for you.

What results can you expect from manual lymphatic drainage?

The primary result from manual lymphatic drainage is an increase in the lymph flow, which can reduce swelling and oedema. A full body manual lymphatic drainage treatment can increase the flow of lymph through the heart from two litres per day to over 25 litres per day!

Depending on the condition you are seeking treatment for, other benefits generally include:

  • Detoxification
  • Pain reduction (by sedation of the sensory nerve endings)
  • Relaxation
  • Reduction in healing time post-surgery or post-injury. (Manual lymphatic drainage is gentle enough to be used immediately after surgery or injury).

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