Lumps and Bumps: Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Pregnancy Massage
By Kate Whitemore, Massage and MLD Level 1 Therapist, London Road Clinic
Pursuing my strong believe in the deeply beneficial effects of massage on physiological and mental wellbeing, two years ago I furthered my therapy practice by training in Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) with the London Vodder School UK, and I now practice at London Road Clinic, which was set up by the eminent MLD specialist, Anne Schreiber.
MLD uses a specific dry-touch technique that gently manipulates the skin to stimulate the lymphatic system - the body’s waste disposal system that removes excess interstitial/tissue fluid containing toxins and waste that accumulates around our cells. If too much of this fluid collects, swollen limbs, puffy skin or chronic Lymphoedema may occur. Emil and Estrid Vodder’s drainage techniques pioneered in France in 1932 have been shown to have profoundly positive effects - helping to detoxify the body, support the body’s immune system and reduce oedema (swelling), as well as being beneficial for people undergoing chemotherapy. In addition, people who do a lot of travelling; who sit a lot in their lifestyle; who are very active or sporty; who are recovering from small operations, cosmetic surgery, burns or twisted/damaged limbs; and who have acne, rosacea, puffy eyes, or rhinitis - can all benefit from MLD. MLD is also an incredibly relaxing therapy that can help reduce stress, and in turn boost the immune system and aid sleep.
My increasing focus is the use of MLD to help pregnant women and new mothers who may suffer from swollen lower limbs during and after pregnancy. Although this type of oedema can indicate unwelcomed pre-eclampsia, a small amount of tissue swelling is normal during pregnancy - a time when the body naturally retains more water and there is increased pressure placed on the circulatory system, especially in the third trimester.
Expanding my interest in the use of complementary therapies during pregnancy, I now also practice pregnancy massage, which offers a plethora of benefits for childbearing women. To name a few, pregnancy massage can help alleviate stress on weight-bearing joints; increase circulation to the womb; stablize hormone levels; reduce stress; and encourage good posture, muscle tone, joint flexibility and skin pliability. Pregnancy massage can also help to remedy numerous discomforts experienced during pregnancy, including: muscular aches; headaches; leg cramps; sciatica; stiffness, tension and knots; carpal tunnel syndrome; heartburn and acid reflux; tiredness; varicose veins; nasal congestion; shortness of breath; oedema; neck, pelvic and back pain; and constipation. An MLD and/or prenatal massage session for pregnant women, as well as new mums, will also have the added benefit of encouraging a deep relaxation and a well-deserved nourishing pampering.
Why not treat yourself or someone you know to a hugely beneficial MLD or pregnancy massage session at London Road Clinic, where I also practice classic Swedish and Indian Head massage. A perfect way to welcome in the approaching Spring, and I am sure that you will not regret it.