Manual lymphatic drainage is encouraged by gentle stretching of the skin over numerous lymph nodes and vessels, aiming to promote the removal of the excessive or stagnant tissue fluid.
The aim of the massage is to move fluid from the swollen/ congested area into an area where the lymphatic system is working normally. To do this the person massaging you first massages and clears the area they want the fluid to drain into. It might seem strange to have them massage your chest and neck if you have oedema in your arm. But it means that the fluid has somewhere to drain to when they massage your arm.
You usually lie down to have massage. But if you have fluid congestion in your head and neck, you sit up.
When you have the massage you feel a gentle pressure. It is not a deep massage. If it is too deep it won’t work because it flattens the small lymph vessels so that the fluid can’t drain. The movements are slow and rhythmic so the lymph vessels open up.
About your treatment
Your therapist will take a case history and create a treatment that is unique to your needs. Please bring with you any medical tests or scan results as well as list of medication you are taking.
It’s important to tell your therapist if have any medical condition or if you are pregnant.
Massage is a cumulative therapy; an individual session can be very beneficial but for help with specific problems, or as a preventative treatment, regular sessions are recommended.