Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Deep Tissue Manual Lymphatic Drainage (DTMLD):
The lymphatic system in your body is responsible for carrying away toxins and bacteria bringing in
white blood cells (lymph fluid) that act as our immune system. The white blood cells are
responsible for attacking viruses and cancer cells, keeping the body free from invaders that
threaten our health. Consisting of lymph nodes and channels, the lymphatic system acts as a
sanitation system filtering and transporting the dirty cells to the kidneys and liver for elimination.
The veins and arteries of the circulatory system are close in proximity to the lymph channels and
assist in the flow of lymphatic fluid since the lymph system has no individual pump to carry the
fluid throughout the body. The only other means of circulating the fluid is through body movement
or muscle contractions.
It takes approximately 24 hours for the body to process about three quarts of lymphatic fluid. When
you add an injury, infection or surgery where lymph nodes are removed, the flow of fluid is
hindered, hence you get edema (swelling). Lymphedema is the chronic swelling of tissues due to
blockages and lack of flow within the lymphatic system.
With Deep Tissue Manual Lymphatic Drainage (DTMLD), the effectiveness of the lymphatics can
be enhanced by manually assisting the flow, pushing the toxins and waste products through. Most
of your lymphatic system is below the surface of the skin and there are valves that allow the fluid to
flow only one way. The practitioner uses deep tissue techniques and distinctive manual strokes to
open closed drains and ducts. Their hands are used to open drain pathways toward the vesels to
clear lymphatic stagnation and reestablish overall circulation to drain old congested toxic filled
body fluid stagnations.
These tried and true techniques provide instant relief and immediate results. During treatment, the
practitioner works on sections of the body. In some cases they may devote an entire hour to target
one or two sections in order to drain excessive edema (swelling).
Each quadrant of the body has its own drainage pattern and ducts that the interstitial fluid is
directed to drain toward. For example, the head and the upper chest drain into the Right Lymphatic
and Left Thoracic Ducts which are under the clavicle or collarbone toward the middle of the body.
The arms and lateral half of the breast drains into the armpits. There are three main sites in the
armpit that generally are very congested if you have used commercial deodorants in the past. If
that is the case, these sites tend to be very sensitive to pressure. As these ducts open and
drainage occurs, the area under the armpit can appear concave whereas before treatment it may
have had a convex or golf ball appearance. A benefit of this particular drainage is that the arms
then fall closer to the sides of the ribcage and the shoulders relax. The midline of the breast
toward the sternum drains into the ducts between the ribs near the sternum and down to the
xiphoid process. For women, underwire bras tend to block or inhibit the drainage flow pattern of
the breasts both toward the middle as well as to the outside of the breast.
allergies, congestion and puffiness of the face, post surgical rehabilitation (including cosmetic,
liposuction, breast reduction or implants, laser surgeries) and reduction of the appearance of
varicose and spider veins, rosacea, acne and wrinkles. Headaches and arthritis pain can be
reduced as well. Contraindications for DTMLD are active infection, open wounds, fever and some
kidney or heart conditions. Always inform us of any health conditions or changes in health history
that you may have.
Deep Tissue Manual Lymphatic Drainage can reduce the effects of depression and anxiety
brought on by stress, thereby improving sleep. Your health and well being can be most definitely
be improved and supported with this technique.
Example of a clogged lymphatic capillary: