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Natural Awakenings Hudson County NJ

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Provides ‘Full-Body Detox’

Before and after image of Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Before (left) and After (right)

Manual lymphatic drainage was developed nearly a century ago by Drs. Emil and Estrid Vodder, as a gentle way to move lymph fluid through the system in order to boost immunity, speed healing and detox the body. While MLD is also a natural, relaxing hands-on technique, it’s very different from massage, says licensed massage therapist Victoria Radzinski, who is trained in the Vodder style of MLD.

“The goal of MLD is to increase lymph flow, whereas massage is focused on muscles,” Radzinski explains. “While their therapeutic benefits are equal in importance, they are different in performance.”

MLD involves a gentle, rhythmic pumping motion directly on dry clean skin to dilate the vessels that pump lymph fluid through the system, she says.

“This dilation increases the fluid movement rate by 10 times its normal rate,” she says. “MLD is designed to use very light pressure, because the lymph vessels lie one millimeter beneath the skin and are only as big as a strand of hair. Deep-tissue pressure applied to a damaged lymphatic system or post-surgical swelling is likely to produce more damage. That’s why swelling is a general massage therapy contraindication; however, swelling is indicated for lymphatic drainage.”

Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a central “pump” like the heart, Radzinski notes. Ideally, we would stimulate the movement of lymph fluid naturally—through muscle movement, breathing, a healthy diet and adequate hydration. But many people don’t have a lifestyle that keeps lymph flowing and filtering at a healthy pace.

“Lymph fluid moves very slowly, and without this movement your body can become a breeding ground for toxins and bacteria,” she says. “Speeding up the lymph fluid with MLD increases the body’s production of T cells to improve immunity and healing, cleanse the lymph of debris and flush out any excess fluid to create a full-body detox.”

Victoria Radzinski, LMT, has master’s-level training in manual lymphatic drainage.

For appointments or more information, visit or call 201-551-7154.

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