Lymphedema is swelling in one or more extremities that results from impaired flow of the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system is a network of specialized vessels (lymph vessels) throughout the body whose purpose is to collect excess lymph fluid with proteins, lipids, and waste products from the tissues. This fluid is then carried to the lymph nodes, which filter waste products and contain infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes. The excess fluid in the lymph vessels is eventually returned to the bloodstream. When the lymph vessels are blocked or unable to carry lymph fluid away from the tissues, localized swelling (lymphedema) is the result. The lymphatic flow can stagnate for many reasons, such as swelling, chronic inflammation, lack of physical activity, stress, fatigue, emotional shock, age, poorly fitted brassieres, or brassieres worn for an excessive amount of time. When lymphatic circulation slows down, the regeneration of cells becomes less effective. This condition allows toxins and proteins to accumulate around the cells, causing cellular oxygenation to decrease and tissue regeneration to diminish.  

Manual Lymph Drainage Treatment ( MLD )

This is a specialized treatment that should only be performed by trained therapists. The work is extremely light and rhythmic, too much pressure can actually cause further issues with Lymphatic flow. Effective lymph nodes should be cleared before work on an affected area commences, thus opening up pathways for lymphatic fluid to travel and being able to clear out the toxins.As the Lymphatic system does not have its own pump it relies on the exchange in and out of the capillaries to move. Specialized garments are often worn after treatment which are graduated in pressure, such garments create lymphostatic pressure which promote the exchange thus keeping edema down.

What is Lymphedema