Chilly Weather nipping at your heels?
Bite back at the cold or flu with MLD!
It’s that time of year again, when the warm humid weather is replaced by cold and dry, also known as cold and flu season. It’s the time when your body is in overdrive trying to manage the new stresses of the seasons, the time change, and the approaching holiday season! But before you suffer in silence, there are other alternatives that may be able to help you feel better without having to visit the pharmacy. There are also ways through massage therapy that may be able to help thwart the cold or flu before it even starts to creep up!
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a technique used by many massage therapists to help get the lymph fluid in your body moving! It is a very gentle technique, which focuses on moving the lymph in your system through your lymph nodes.
Lymph fluid is a clear to pale yellow fluid that is made up of a blend similar to your blood plasma. The lymphatic system works to ensure that there is not an excess of fluid in your body, and assists with cleaning out any extra fluid by pushing it through lymph nodes and ducts. The lymphatic system is an integral part of your body’s defence system, including your immune system, and includes not only lymph and ducts, but a number of organs in your body as well. Taking action to make sure that your lymph system is moving properly may help with your defence against the cold and flu during this year’s season!
A Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatment may sometimes seem like the therapist isn’t doing much, but this is not the case! Very gentle techniques and pressure are required to ensure that superficial vessels are being treated, but not compressed too deeply. This allows the vessels to expand, and lymph to flow, which in turn will promote removal of wastes in the fluid as it flows through the ducts and back into the blood stream, and may also decrease inflammation if present.
MLD techniques can be performed by your therapist or your therapist can recommend and demonstrate self-care techniques for you to try at home. The lymphatic system is a very delicate and complicated system. With support, your lymphatic system can offer a shield of natural defence and immunity against the cold and flu season of 2014-2015.
Alana MacDougall, BSc., RMT
Moore, K. L., Dalley, A. F., & Agur, A. M. (2010). Clinically Oriented Anatomy . Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Rattray, F., & Ludwig, L. (2005). Clinical Massage Therapy; Understanding, Assessing and Treatin Over 70 Conditions. Elora: Talus Inc. .