What is MLD?
Medical or Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is ‘a very gently skin stretching technique or massage designed to move the skin in specific directions based on the underlying structure and physiology of the lymphatic system’ (BLS 2001).
The stretching and massage techniques are designed to stimulate the lymphatic vessels which carry substances vital to the body’s defences and remove waste products. The aim of MLD is to move fluid to an area where it can flow more freely.
The lymphatic drainage used within this course will be Fluoroscopy Guided MLD (FG-MLD/’Fill and Flush’ technique).
This pioneering technique has been developed by Prof J P Belgrado (University of Brussels) following the imaging of over 1500 lymphatic systems. This had allowed to identify for the first time the usual lymphatic pathways used following a pathology. Fluoroscopy also provides real time images of the lymphatics allowing for us to see how to use our hands to move fluid better and ensure that we are carrying out an effective technique.
It is from the feedback of fluoroscopy that Prof. Belgrado has developed the new and researched based technique known as ‘Fill and Flush’.
The technique builds on existing knowledge but is devised with the most recent finding of anatomy, pathology and physiology.
Since October 2014 LTA has trained over 300 therapists in FG-MLD, the feedback has been amazing with therapists seeing faster outcomes and shorter treatment times.
See Jane explain the technique in more detail:
Who can train?
The MLD technique is taught to all healthcare professionals with degree level training, or Registered General nurses. Training is suitable for medics, nurses, physiotherapists, radiographers, occupational therapists, osteopaths and chiropractors. LTA also trains complementary therapists/Sports Therapist/Bodyworkers with degree level training and those holding a valid certificate in a recognised form of MLD (please supply a copy of this certificate on application).
In addition if you are working as healthcare support worker alongside a LTA trained therapist, you can undertake training and carry out prescribed care from your supervisor.