The lymphatic system really is the unsung hero of your circulatory system, it is responsible for maintaining tissue health by transporting approximately 4 litres of fluid per day! It plays a key role in so many important bodily functions; immune defense, removal of waste and protein from the interstitial fluid, prevention of edema, re-circulation of lymphocytes (white blood cells), and the essential transportation of long chain fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins and other nutrients from the intestine, just to name a few.
It only makes sense to want to show your lymphatic system some love. Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a super specialized massage technique by which fluid is manually moved out of the tissue and through the lymphatic system, supporting all the functions stated above and helping to maintain optimal tissue health. It can be argued that MLD improves immune function by accelerating the rate at which lymph flows through the lymph nodes (speeding up the rate at which pathogens and waste are filtered and dealt with) and maintains tissue health by removing interstitial fluid, thereby shortening the distance (transit stretch) between your cells and the oxygen and nutrient rich blood flowing from the capillaries. MLD helps normalize the function and composition of connective tissue, supports digestive health, can improve sleep and reduce stress. The gentle and rhythmic motion decreases pain and calms the sympathetic nervous system. By removing waste products from the connective tissue and balancing the nervous system, MLD is an amazing tool in optimizing health and wellness!