Manual Lymph Drainage- Is Manual Lymph Drainage good for you?

As a Registered Massage Therapist, I am trained and specialize in the soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints. In my practice, I see a variety of cases from concussions, knee or hip replacements, frozen shoulder and many more. What I started to notice about my practice is that there were many patients that were experiencing edema, aka swelling, due to an injury or condition.

Manual Lymph Drainage is a trained skill that is offered and taught by 3 institutes in Ontario. Manual Lymph drainage (aka MLD) can only be performed by an individual that is certified by one of these three institutions. With an increase in demand for MLD and a lack of resources in the Muskoka area, I thought it was time for a change.

I, Jaimee Clarkson, RMT at ProActive Rehab am now certified in Level 2 Manual Lymph Drainage. This allows me to assess and treat dynamic edema. Dynamic edema is a type of swelling that is caused by conditions that create excess lymph fluid that are not associated with an impaired lymphatic system; meaning your lymphatic system is not the root cause of the swelling, but another cause such as pregnancy or inflammation is.

Some of the most common conditions that can be treated with Level 2 MLD (for those not affected by an impaired lymphatic system) are concussions, knee/hip replacements, frozen shoulder, migraines, tendinitis.

MLD in comparison to typical deep tissue massage is a little different. MLD is a light, gentle, rhythmic manual technique that has benefits on fluid movement but also enhances the nervous system because of the light calming effects of its techniques. Whereas the more common massage therapy techniques are heavier in pressure and may focus more on the tone and tension found in muscle tissue.

As a certified Level 2 MLD provider, there are some contraindications and restrictions to consider when providing treatment. Primarily, I am unable to provide treatment to those who have a compromised lymphatic system until certified in Level 3. These individuals may be experiencing Lymphedema, Lipedema, have been diagnosed with cancer, may have had a lymphadenectomy or possibly were born with a lymphatic system defect.  Other contraindications for MLD include; untreated malignant tumors, acute infections (ex. Cellulitis), acute thrombosis, acute phlebitis or any clinically relevant heart failure. As with any form of massage treatment, there may be conditions or circumstances that require modification of the treatment or consultation with your doctor.

Booking an initial massage therapy assessment with Jaimee at ProActive Rehab will help determine if MLD is a good alternative treatment for you. It will provide you with a clear, structured treatment plan aimed at achieving your goals. If you want to learn more about MLD and how it can benefit you, call us at 705-788-1480 and book with Jaimee today!


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