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Manual Lymphatic Drainage

"Manual lymphatic drainage techniques (MLDTs) are unique manual therapy interventions that may be incorporated by medical practitioners as well as allied health clinicians into rehabilitation paradigms for the treatment of somatic dysfunctions and pathologies. The theoretical bases for using such modes of manual therapy are founded on the following concepts: 1) stimulating the lymphatic system via an increase in lymph circulation, 2) expediting the removal of biochemical wastes from body tissues, 3) enhancing body fluid dynamics, thereby facilitating edema reduction, and 4) decreasing sympathetic nervous system responses while increasing parasympathetic nervous tone yielding a non-stressed body-framework state. The physiological and biomechanical effects of MLDTs on lymphatic system dynamics in treating ill or injured patients have long been of interest to osteopathic, allied health, complementary, and alternative medicine practitionersalthough it was not until the 19th century that researchers began to theorize concepts regarding direct influences of human movement and manual interventions, predominantly massage, on the lymphatic system. Subsequent clinical scientists focused their efforts on advancing investigations on the biodynamic properties of the lymphatic system from which treatment interventions were developed for therapeutic purposes."

-National Library of Medicine

Good candidates for lymphatic drainage are people over coming acute illness, those looking to boost immune function, those with any chronic conditions that cause swelling or edema, those who are looking for post operative support, or those who benefit from the circulation of massage but cannot handle pressure comfortably. 

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