Sponsored: In conversation with Sandra Serrano from the Physiotherapy and Nutrition Department at the Maison Santé clinic, we learn about Manual Lymphatic Drainage and its importance.
Maison Santé is the ultimate destination for holistic wellness, offering a tranquil experience in the presence of professional experts in Preventive Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Physiotherapy and Psychology. Maison Santé offers a wide range of medical treatments and other health services to promote good health.
If you have ever had issues with congested lymphatic flow, Manual Lymphatic Drainage is an imperative solution. Ahead, Sandra Serrano from Maison Santé tells us about the different ways that lymphatic drainage can be managed and what you need to know.
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), one of the components of complex decongestive physiotherapy, which is accepted as the gold standard in the treatment of lymphedema, is used for therapeutic purposes in many diseases. The most well-known feature of MLD is that it helps to reduce edema. In addition to reducing edema, MLD has many effects, such as increasing venous flow, reducing fatigue, and raising the pain threshold Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is based on hands-on with specific rhythmic and gentle low-pressure techniques to move the lymph through the body. This can help to relieve symptoms of chronic diseases, such as chronic inflammation, pain, and digestive disorders.
How does it work?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a medical procedure that is applied gently on the skin to increase the contraction of the smooth muscles around the superficial lymphatic vessels, thereby increasing the lymph flow. MLD enables lymph and tissue fluid to move forward and also increases the frequency and amplitude of the contraction and relaxation movement of lymph collectors.
Why is it used?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), applied by a physiotherapist, is a technique used to help to stimulating the lymphatic system via an increase in lymph circulation, expediting the removal of biochemical wastes from body tissues, enhancing body fluid dynamics, thereby facilitating edema reduction, and decreasing sympathetic nervous system responses while increasing parasympathetic nervous tone yielding a non-stressed body-framework state. MLD is believed to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including chronic musculoskeletal conditions, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, varicose, chronic inflammation, water retention, premenstrual syndrome, digestive disorders, sleep disorders, stress, obesity, and chronic fatigue syndrome. In some cases, MLD may be all that is needed to treat a condition.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage can be part of an integrative approach, as it helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system inhibiting sympathetic activity, through the specific rhythmic and low-pressure technique by activating the vagus nerve. It’s just a help for people to understand how its over-activity of the nervous system is behind the all modern chronic diseases (metabolic, stress, sleep disorders, lack of energy, food addiction, pain, gastrointestinal disorders..). MLD can be definitely used as a part of your preventive routine.
How do you get started with MLD?
If you’re looking to start or improve your lymphatic drainage, here’s everything you need to know about Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD). MLD is a centuries-old treatment used to help clear the body of toxins and promote overall health. It’s also an efficient way to reduce inflammation. To get started with MLD, find a practitioner who is certified in the technique. They will help you determine which areas of your body need attention, and they’ll provide guidance on how to perform the procedure. MLD can be done on a regular basis, or as needed. It’s important to keep in mind that MLD is not a cure-all, but it can be an effective way to improve your health, and your quality of life.
INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOTHERAPY AND MANUAL LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE
Do we only have to book a physio if you feel pain or any other symptoms?
No, on the contrary, today the concept of just visiting the physio for muscle or joint pain is shifting to more awareness in a preventive point of view of physio treatments before symptoms like stiffness, muscle tension, lack of mobility, injuries, and headaches show up. Integrative physiotherapy helps the person with a better understanding of their ability to move, to move better in sedentary jobs, to identify the signs of muscle and or joint pain, to move optimally to prevent injuries or adapt to the workouts. Eventually learning how our body moves through a physiotherapy treatment before the symptoms appear, is essential to have a better quality of life. We still need time to realize that it is not essential to go to the physio only when there is pain, but before would be positive. We are in the right direction and there is optimism for it.
Is it essential to have lymphedema or lipedema or symptoms of water retention to book a Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) treatment or could it be included as a part of an integrative treatment?
Not at all, it is not essentially necessary to have lymphedema, lipedema or any vein problem to have a Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) treatment. It is true that those are the key pathologies for MLD. But the reality is that a lymphatic drainage treatment can be included on a daily basis with routine treatment with a curative or preventive purpose. We are living in a “rush” society, with very high chronic levels of stress, poor sleep or lack of optimal levels of physical activities, that leading to a chronic systematic inflammation stage, related to digestive disorders, chronic pain, obesity low level of energy, constant fatigue, cravings, metabolic disorders, weight gain, cravings, and hormonal problems.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage, through manual techniques with a specific direction and pressure, helps to regulate the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system through a better functioning of the vagus nerve, the nerve that connects the gut-brain axis, important to regulate the immune function, inflammation process, normal fluctuation of cortisol levels (stress hormone) serotonin and melatonin levels, essentials to have better stress, sleep and energy control. In short, Manual Lymphatic Drainage can be optimal for a preventive daily routine treatment in order to regulate optimally gut function, immune function, stress levels or sleep quality.
What is integrative physiotherapy and why is different from a conventional one?
Integrative physical therapy focuses more on the origin of the pain or injury and less on treating the symptom, as conventional physiotherapy does. Nowadays people spend long hours in sitting and in the same position, which makes them lose optimal movement capacity which could lead to injuries, and muscle or joint pain. Integrative physiotherapy, then, seeks to restore functional human movement by the understanding and the global assessment in finding the specific motion restrictions that are the cause of pain or discomfort. This fact, at the same time, could lead to a nerve dysfunction which could affect other systems and organs that are supplied by those affected nerves, such as the gut leading to digestive or immune disorders.
The chronicity of the symptoms depends on how long we suffer the symptoms. Initially, it could be just a mechanical or structural problem (muscle pain or stiffness) but over time, it could become a more complex disorder affecting not only tissues and functions but affecting the emotional and social components that could aggravate the intensity of the symptomatology and pain. Therefore, it is important to identify when you are not feeling great and visit your physio or doctor before symptoms could become chronic. Time matters.
Why is it important to understand to identify or recognize easily the information of pain?
The information about our body functions is essential in order to identify when something we notice it is not working well, like food, digestion, breathing, and circulation functions that it would be convenient to have information about.
In addition, being aware of how the information itself affects us day by day is another point to consider. The more awareness of the external and internal information that we perceive, the better decisions and actions to prevent that the situation could worsen. When we talk about chronic musculoskeletal or visceral pain, in the absence of anything that justifies it, the understanding of the information that might come up from external factors, such as people, objects, work, and traffic, which could activate our alarm system, making our brain believes that there is danger activating the sign of pain to different areas of our body, in absence to any structural injury.
To conclude, receiving the optimal information that our body gives us in order to identify the origin of pain and the individual factors that can trigger it, is the best remedy to avoid overmedication, the decline of quality of life, or even the onset of any serious chronic pathology.
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