Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymphatic drainage massage is a specialised form of gentle massage that promotes the flow of lymph through the body.

The lymphatic system flows all throughout the body, and transports mainly white blood cells as part of the body's immune system. It helps regulate inflammation and the immune response, and removes waste and toxins from the body. Certain health conditions can interrupt the normal flow of lymph, causing a buildup in certain areas - also known as lymphedema. Examples include swollen ankles after a long-haul flight, or a swollen arm after breast cancer treatment.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage by a specially qualified practitioner can help promote the circulation of lymph and reduce swelling and associated pain and discomfort. You should only have Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage from a specially trained massage therapist.

In an Oncology setting, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) has been found to be a safe and effective tool for managing cancer treatment related lymphedema. Lymphedema can commonly occur after surgery (particularly if lymph nodes have been removed), or after radiation treatment. Lymphedema can be very painful and increases your risk of infection, so it is important to identify and treat this as soon as possible.

How does Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage work?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage is a very gentle type of massage, using light touch to promote circulation. It is not painful, and in fact is very relaxing and therapeutic. 

The lymphatic system runs very close to the skin, ie the surface of the body. To stimulate it's flow, your massage therapist will very gently move and stimulate the skin. This is to not compress the lymph vessels and maximise the flow and drainage. It is very different to a Remedial Massage, and has a different clinical purpose.

What to expect during a Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage for cancer.

There is a very specific technique behind this type of massage for patients with cancer.

First, the practitioner will warm up your body and circulation in general. They will then focus on the particular area that they want the lymph to drain into. This may often be the abdomen or chest area. Then the therapist will very gently and methodically stimulate the skin around the area of swelling in order to stimulate circulation and drainage. It should not hurt, and you should be able to notice results straight away. 

An MLD massage usually takes 1.5-2 hours however can be modified to your needs. Afterwards, we recommend staying very well hydrated to encourage elimination of excess fluid.

All of our Lymphatic Drainage Massage Therapists are experienced in treating patients with cancer. MLD is beneficial and safe before, during and after treatment.

Private healthcare rebates apply. 

For more information, or to make an appointment for your Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage in Carnegie, Melbourne, please contact us

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MIOG offers evidence-based Complementary Medicines to patients with cancer: before, during and after medical treatment. MIOG staff are not Medical Oncologists. MIOG recommends that patients with cancer consult a Medical Oncologist for appropriate support.