Why is the lymphatic system important? What are the benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?

The lymphatic system is tied to immunity. I often refer to it as the great recycling system - it cleans out the waste product that gets accumulated in our tissues. Lymph nodes, which are located in the neck,  armpits, spleen, abdomen, top of the thigh, and behind the knees and elbows, contain white blood cells, macrophages and lymphocytes that act as detectors that signal to your immune system to destroy unwanted invaders. 

Excess waste in the body gets absorbed and transported through a network of pathways. The lymphatic system runs like rivers similar to your bloodstream. However, it doesn't have a central pump, like the heart, to move the fluid. MLD increases the intrinsic movement necessary to maximize the lymph nodes' effectiveness. These nodes break down cellular toxic debris so that the lymphatic fluid returns to the bloodstream toxin-free.

  • Your lymphatic system is responsible for absorbing, transporting and filtering out your body’s waste - sometimes the system becomes overwhelmed and doesn't function optimally

  • MLD can help the lymphatic system by reducing stagnant fluid in your body, which increases your immune response by defending your body against illness and disease

  • Regular lymphatic treatments can lessen inflammation and bloating

  • MLD can improve recovery time from surgeries and injury

  • Lymphatic treatments can improve the appearance of the skin, scar tissue and often cellulite

  • MLD's gentle, rhythmic, relaxing treatment can calm your nervous system, promote healing and feels rejuvenating

When do people typically come to see you?

People come to see me for a couple of reasons.  There are those who come because they know or have heard that MLD should be a standard aspect of their health regimen. There are also those who come because their stress, digestion, hormonal in-balances, surgical procedures or other symptoms cause inflammatory responses in their bodies. Among my clients are patients recovering from elective surgery, new moms, pregnant women, and injured athletes. 

Many clients start lymphatic treatments after a cancer diagnosis - MLD can help relieve the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Some of my clients are at risk for developing lymphedema, for which MLD and CDT (Complete Decongestive Therapy) are administered.

What is Lymphedema and how does someone get it?

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid, which is the result of a malfunctioning lymphatic system. This swelling typically occurs in the arms or legs but can occur in other body parts as well. There are two types of lymphedema, primary and secondary. Primary lymphedema is the hereditary result of a malformed lymphatic system. Secondary lymphedema occurs when the lymphatic system is damaged due to a trauma such as, but not limited to, cancer treatments like radiation, lymph node removal and infections. Filariasis is another leading cause of lymphedema. Lymphatic filariasis occurs mainly in tropical climates where parasitic worms are transmitted to humans, damaging the lymphatic system. 

What are the symptoms of Lymphedema?

Symptoms include achiness, heaviness or swelling of a limb. People often feel tingling, numbness and limited range of motion. Others report fluid accumulation in a particular area, discoloration of their skin, or weeping wounds that don't heal properly. The lymphatic system will swell many times over before symptoms are visible to the eye.

Can Lymphedema be cured?

There is no current cure for lymphedema, but with proper treatment it can be managed. Early detection and knowledge of signs and symptoms can help prevent lymphedema from progressing. Current clinical trials and surgeries are underway to simplify treatment options and improve quality of life for those afflicted with lymphedema. If you think you may be at risk for developing lymphedema, seek advice from a certified practitioner in your area.

Are there any side effects associated with MLD?

There are no known side effects of MLD. Some people report feeling tired after a session so I always recommend that people allow themselves time to relax afterwards. 

As with any technique designed to enhance how your body functions, having a certified therapist is imperative.

Do you accept insurance?

I do not accept insurance.

Where is your office?

My office is located in Los Angeles, California. There is convenient, complimentary parking.