Massage & the Lymphatic System
Specialized techniques (manual lymph drainage-MLD) increase lymphatic flow in the superficial lymphatic capillaries. The increase may be as much as nine times the normal rate of flow.
Massage techniques move lymph by mechanically pumping the lymphatic fluid through the lymphatic capillaries. Compression empties the capillaries, while decompression allows them to refill; causing the pressure within the capillaries to reduce, allowing lymph to flow.
Massage improves lymphatic flow and is used to reduce edema, ease pain secondary to edema, lower the chance of scar tissue formation and remove metabolic wastes secondary to edema and inflammation.