Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs most often in one the extremities such as arms or legs. Lymphedema is the result of the abnormal accumulation of protein rich edema fluid in the affected area. Secondary lymphedema is much more common and is the result of surgery and/or radiation therapy for cancer. Secondary forms may also occur after injury, scarring, trauma or infection of the lymphatic system. The most effective treatment for lymphedema is Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) which includes Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD).
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a gentle manual technique with light, skin-stretching massage that helps promote the movement of lymphatic fluid out of the swollen limb. MLD is applied to your unaffected areas first, making it possible for the fluid to move out of the affected area, or “decongest” the region. MLD helps to open the remaining functioning lymph collectors and move protein and fluid into them, as well as to help speed up lymph fluid flow through the lymphatic system thus helping to reduce the symptoms of Lymphedema.