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Boosting your immune system with Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

Most of us are in the throes of quarantine and social distancing in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and stress is likely more elevated than on an average day perhaps 4 or 5 months ago. I bet you feel like you need a massage. I know I do! Massage engages the Parasympathetic Nervous system, “rest and digest” and now more than ever is the time for resting and digesting. In addition to helping you rest and digest, a Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage can significantly boost your immune system. While it’s optimal to have an in-person MLD massage at the office, current circumstances do not permit this. Therefore, I hope you will consider taking advantage of the following self-MLD procedures until you can schedule an appointment with our staff.

 

The benefits of MLD are numerous: boosts immunity, reduces inflammation and flushes toxins from your body and the contraindications are few (do not self-MLD if any of these are present): active blood clots, active cancer, infection/fever or organ failure

 

The Lymphatic System

Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage

 

Self MLD Procedure

 

*It is recommended to drink 16oz of water within an hour before and within an hour after MLD*

 

 

  1. Clavicle: Using your left hand find the indentation between the top of your right collarbone and your neck. Keeping your fingers straight place your fingers flat on this area and move your hand slowly stretching (not pressing) the skin toward your neck in an arc “comma shape” (like the top of a lower case n) pivot your and do it again you should be able to get 3 movements in the space. Do this 10 times

 

  1. Turn your head slightly to the left. Using the same part of your flat left hand as above, place it behind your ear and stretch the skin downward, lift your hand and repeat, do this all the way down your neck to your collarbone. Do this 10 times

 

  1. Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the other side Do this 10 times

 

  1. Axillary: using your left hand reach under your right armpit using the flat of your fingers stretch the skin upward toward your neck and inward toward your collarbone in a “comma shape” do this 10 times

 

  1. Repeat step 4 for your left side. Do this 10 times

 

  1. Thoracic: (here your diaphragm is working for you). Place your hands gently across your belly button. Breathe in deeply imagining your navel pressed against your spine. Breath out ALL THE WAY really extending your belly. Do this 10-20 times

 

  1. Inguinal: Sit pretzel style. Place the flats of your fingers on your inner groin area. Stretch the skin down toward the floor and then upward toward body using the “comma shape” motion

 

  1. Sit with your knees bent up using both hands one over the other fingers facing downward consecutively stroke your calf upward from ankle to crook of knee. Repeat on the other calf.

 

If you have any questions or need clarifications please reach out. I’d also love to hear feedback on how this helped you. Be safe and healthy until we meet again.

 

P.S.  Blowing bubbles is a fun way to breathe deeply and breathing deeply helps lymph move through the system!

 

Author
Christine Brett LMT

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