Manual lymphatic drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a type of gentle massage which is intended by proponents to encourage the natural drainage of the lymph from the tissues space body. The lymph system depends on intrinsic contractions of the smooth muscle cells in the walls of lymph vessels (peristalsis) and the movement of skeletal muscles to propel lymph through the vessels to lymph nodes and then beyond the lymph nodes to the lymph ducts which return lymph to the cardiovascular system. Manual lymph drainage uses a specific amount of pressure (less than 9 ounces per square inch) and rhythmic circular movements to stimulate lymph flow.[1] [edit]History Manual Lymphatic Drainage was pioneered by Danish Dr. Emil Vodder in the 1930s for the treatment of chronic sinusitis and other immune disorders. While working on the French Riviera treating patients with chronic colds, Dr. Emil Vodder and his wife Dr. Estrid Vodder noticed these patients had swollen lymph nodes. In the 1930s, it was considered taboo to tamper with the lymphatic system due to the medical profession's poor understanding of this system. The Vodders were not deterred by t is, and in 1932 began to study the lymph system, and developed careful hand movements to cause lymph movement. In 1936, after four years of research, they introduced this technique in Paris France. [edit]Recognition It is now recognized as a primary tool in lymphedema management. Therapists can today receive certification through special classes conducted by various organizations specializing in MLD. Scientific studies show mixed results regarding the efficacy of the method in treating lymphedema and further studies are needed.[2] In several unique studies on animals, MLDT (Manual lymphatic drainage treatment) has been shown to increase lymph uptake and thoracic duct flow, but the same evidence has not yet been shown for human subjects. Lymphedema (lymphoedema in British English), also known as lymphatic obstruction, is a condition of localized fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system. The lymphatic system returns the interstitial fluid to the thoracic duct and then to the bloodstream, where it is recirculated back to the tissues. Tissues with lymphedema are at risk of infection.