This gentle massage technique can improve quality of life for cancer patients
Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre (DHTC) is an alternative medical centre providing a unique blend of eastern and western medicineImage Credit: SuppliedDubai Herbal & Treatment Centre (DHTC) has recently introduced the manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage. Elena Naranjo and Sandra Serrano, Physiotherapists, DHTC, answer some of our questions about this technique.
Could you explain in simple terms how MLD works?Manual lymphatic drainage was developed by Dr Emil Vodder in 1930 in France. MLD is described as a gentle type of skin massage technique that promotes lymph to drain out of the limb into an area that drains normally.
inRead invented by TeadsWhat is MLD primarily used for?The main application is in the treatment of extensive lymphoedema of the limbs. These may be primary or secondary lymphoedema, like those formed after mastectomy with axillary lymph nodes removed, or after tissue damage caused by radiation therapy to the axillary or inguinal lymph nodes or the iliac or lumbar lymphatic pathways. It is important to know that MLD is rarely able to completely eliminate edema in these cases, but it greatly improves the patient’s general condition by reducing edema size, improving their lifestyle and self-esteem. MLD treatment is completed by bandaging and active exercises guided by a physiotherapist.
MLD can also be used in traumatic injuries such as haematomas, distortions, muscle fibre tears, sport injuries and after plastic or trauma surgeries.
In scar therapy, MLD has demonstrably improved wound healing and leads to good scar formation. This technique can be also be used in lipedema, chronic venous insufficiency, palliative care, and in patients with high levels of stress or difficulty falling asleep, chronic and complex pain disorders such as fibromyalgia, migraines and chronic fatigue.
MLD can help in mastodynia, fibromyalgia, scleroderma and in treating cellulite. Healthy people also find benefits in MLD. Women have long appreciated its benefits for swollen legs and its prophylactic use against stretch marks during pregnancy. Post-natal lymphatic massage promotes lactation in nursing mothers.
This can be used to reduce water retention in limbs, especially after long-haul flights or standing for long.
Manual lymph drainage with deep oscillation leads to a significant reduction in pain, reducing swelling in patients with lymphoedema after breast cancer and improving their quality of life.- Sandra Serrano, Physiotherapist, DHTCHow does MLD help improve the quality of life for cancer patients?MLD has demonstrated to improve quality of life for cancer patients in terms of reducing the sensation of pain and the swelling of the extremities decreasing the edema size. It also improves the restricted movement of the affected limb as well as the restriction of the spine and cervical area. This improves the patient’s self-esteem, confidence, physical conditions in terms of strength and quality of movement, preventing lymphedema formation.
In short, manual lymph drainage with deep oscillation leads to a significant reduction in pain, reducing swelling in patients with lymphoedema after breast cancer and improving their quality of life.