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  • Christophe Fien


Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Butterfly cross fibre to abdomen side

I. Introduction

A. Brief overview of Brazilian MLD

Brazilian Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a specialized massage technique designed to stimulate the lymphatic system and encourage the natural flow of lymph fluid throughout the body. This gentle, rhythmic and linear massage technique helps to remove waste, toxins, and excess fluid, ultimately improving overall health and wellbeing.

Originating in Brazil (where MLD is considered mandatory post plastic surgery) this method of MLD incorporates a unique set of movements that are more vigorous, dynamic and linear compared to traditional MLD techniques. It takes the original Vodder method to another level, combining it with some of Leduc and Godoy-Godoy manoeuvres.

Brazilian MLD has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness in post-surgical recovery, particularly in plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures such as liposuction and Brazilian butt lifts. The treatment aids in reducing swelling, bruising, and inflammation, accelerating the healing process. In addition to its post-operative benefits, Brazilian MLD also provides relief for individuals with chronic conditions, enhances the immune system, and promotes relaxation and stress reduction.

B. Importance of lymphatic system and lymphatic drainage

The lymphatic system is a crucial part of our body's immune system, responsible for maintaining fluid balance (homeostasis), removing waste and toxins, and defending against infections. Lymphatic drainage is the process by which lymph fluid is circulated throughout the body, ensuring the efficient removal of waste products from tissues and organs. Proper lymphatic drainage is vital for maintaining good health and preventing the buildup of harmful substances that can lead to inflammation, swelling, and a weakened immune response. By promoting healthy lymphatic flow, manual lymphatic drainage techniques, such as Brazilian MLD, support our body's natural detoxification processes, enhance immune function, and contribute to overall wellbeing.

The lymphatic system

II. The Brazilian Technique Difference

A. Comparison of traditional MLD and Brazilian MLD

Traditional MLD and Brazilian MLD are both massage techniques designed to stimulate the lymphatic system and promote the natural flow of lymph fluid. However, there are notable differences between the two approaches. Traditional MLD, developed in Europe in the early 20th century, focuses on gentle, slow, and rhythmic movements that encourage lymphatic flow with minimal pressure. In contrast, Brazilian MLD, incorporates a more vigorous and dynamic set of movements that can also provide faster and instantly noticeable improved silhouette results. While both techniques aim to enhance lymphatic function, Brazilian MLD requires the use of massage oil such as grapeseed or almond, and is particularly well-suited for post-surgical recovery, especially in cosmetic procedures, due to its ability to effectively reduce swelling, bruising, and inflammation.

B. Unique aspects of Brazilian MLD

Vigorous and dynamic movements: Brazilian MLD uses more vigorous, dynamic, and faster-paced strokes compared to the gentle and slow movements of traditional MLD. This enhances lymphatic flow and provides more rapid results.

Focus on post-surgical recovery: Brazilian MLD is particularly popular for post-surgical recovery, especially in cosmetic procedures like lipo360 and breast augmentation. Its effectiveness in reducing swelling, bruising, and inflammation makes it a preferred choice for many patients and practitioners.

Adaptability: Brazilian MLD practitioners can adapt their techniques to cater to the specific needs of individual clients, ensuring optimal results and a personalized treatment experience.

Natural body sculpting: Using BMLD with fast paced strokes will reduce puffiness and swelling, leading to a more defined body line, a better skin tone, enhanced complexion and an overall instantly noticeable sculpted and contoured body shape.

Natural body sculpting, modelling and contouring

Holistic approach: Brazilian MLD is often viewed as a more holistic treatment, taking into account the client's overall wellbeing and promoting relaxation and stress reduction in addition to its primary function of improving lymphatic flow.

Growing popularity: Due to its unique approach and proven effectiveness, Brazilian MLD has gained widespread recognition and acceptance in the world of massage therapy and wellness, with a growing number of practitioners incorporating it into their practices. I personally decided to focus solely on Brazilian MLD as the majority of my clients prefer this type of MLD massage versus more traditional (and to be honest a bit boring...) ones like Vodder.

C. Benefits of Brazilian MLD

Post-surgical recovery: Accelerates healing and reduces swelling, fibrosis, bruising, and inflammation post plastic surgeries such as Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL), Lipo360, Breast Augmentation, Mummy Makeover and ArmLift/BodyLift.

Immune system support: Enhances the body's natural defenses by promoting efficient lymphatic function.

Detoxification: Aids in the removal of waste, toxins, and excess fluid from the body.

Chronic condition relief: Alleviates symptoms and discomfort associated with conditions like lymphoedema.

Stress reduction and relaxation: Provides a soothing and calming experience for overall wellbeing.

Enhances skin tone: a BMLD massage will results in a better complexion, less puffiness and a very satisfying glow.

Natural Body sculpting, contouring and modelling with instant and visible results, even after just one session (especially great for abdomen and legs).

Hormonal Rebalancing, especially applicable and effective for women experiencing menopause symptoms. Other conditions can benefit of an BMLD like PMS.

Cellulite reduction: naturally reduces the appearance of cellulite

Rejuvenation: Accelerate cellular metabolism for collagen and elastin synthesis

Face complexion, immunity booster, cellulite buster, post plastic surgery care

III. How Brazilian Manual Lymphatic Drainage Works

A. Techniques and methodology

Directional strokes: Practitioners use directional strokes that follow the natural pathways of the lymphatic system, encouraging lymph fluid to flow towards the lymph nodes where waste and toxins are filtered out.

Rhythmic light pressure: Brazilian MLD involves applying rhythmic pressure using the hands and fingers, with a focus on more vigorous and dynamic movements compared to traditional MLD. This helps to create a pumping effect, moving the lymph fluid more effectively.

Skin stretching: By gently stretching the skin, practitioners stimulate the opening and closing of the lymphatic vessels, which facilitates the movement of lymph fluid through the system.

Sequential approach: The massage is performed in a specific sequence, beginning with the areas closest to the lymph nodes and gradually moving outward. This helps to clear the lymphatic pathways and ensures efficient drainage.

Individualized treatment: Brazilian MLD practitioners tailor their techniques to each client's unique needs and preferences, taking into account factors like the client's medical history, specific concerns, and treatment goals.

Brazilian vs. Vodder MLD

B. Understanding the lymphatic system's role

The lymphatic system is a vital part of our body's immune system, responsible for maintaining fluid balance (homeostasis), filtering out waste, toxins, and harmful pathogens, and defending against infections and diseases. It is composed of a network of lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, and other lymphatic organs, such as the spleen and thymus.

Lymphatic vessels transport lymph, a clear fluid containing white blood cells, proteins, and waste products, throughout the body. Lymph nodes act as filtration stations, where harmful substances and pathogens are removed before the lymph fluid returns to the bloodstream.

The importance of the lymphatic system

The importance of the lymphatic system lies in its key roles:

Fluid balance: The lymphatic system helps maintain the balance of fluids in our body by returning excess fluid from the tissues back into the bloodstream.

Immunity: The lymphatic system is crucial for our immune response, as it produces and transports white blood cells (lymphocytes) that defend the body against infections and diseases.

Detoxification: The lymphatic system plays a significant role in detoxification by filtering out waste, toxins, and harmful substances from the body's tissues.

Fat absorption: The lymphatic system aids in the absorption and transport of dietary fats from the digestive system to the bloodstream.

Proper functioning of the lymphatic system is essential for maintaining good health and preventing the build-up of harmful substances that can lead to inflammation, swelling, and a weakened immune response.

C. The importance of skilled practitioners

Safety: A well-trained and experienced practitioner ensures that the massage is performed safely and effectively. Inadequate knowledge or improper technique can potentially cause harm or exacerbate existing health issues.

Effectiveness: Skilled practitioners have a thorough understanding of the lymphatic system and the Brazilian MLD methodology. This enables them to deliver optimal results by tailoring the treatment to each client's unique needs and concerns.

Post-surgical care: In cases where Brazilian MLD is used for post-surgical recovery, a skilled practitioner is crucial for proper healing, reducing the risk of complications, and ensuring a smooth recovery process.

Client comfort: A proficient practitioner creates a comfortable and nurturing environment for clients, allowing them to relax and fully benefit from the treatment. Their expertise helps to build trust and ensures a positive experience.

Education and advice: A knowledgeable Brazilian MLD practitioner can provide valuable guidance (but never medical advice - will always refer to GP for advice or treatment consent) on self-care techniques, lymphatic system maintenance, and ways to enhance the treatment's effectiveness.

IV. Contraindications to having a BMLD

While Brazilian Manual Lymphatic Drainage (BMLD) can offer numerous health benefits, there are several contraindications where the treatment may not be appropriate or should be administered with caution, often after having received a GP’s approval. Some serious contraindications include:

Acute infections: BMLD can spread infections throughout the body by stimulating the lymphatic system, so it should be avoided during active infections.

Congestive heart failure: If the heart is not functioning properly, the increased fluid movement caused by BMLD could put additional strain on the cardiovascular system.

Blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT): BMLD could potentially dislodge a blood clot, leading to severe complications such as a pulmonary embolism.

Active cancer or a very recent history of cancer: BMLD should not be performed on individuals with active cancer or those with a recent history of cancer, as the treatment may stimulate the lymphatic system and potentially spread cancerous cells.

Kidney problems: In cases of severe kidney dysfunction, the increased fluid movement may put extra strain on the kidneys.

Acute inflammation or injury: BMLD should not be performed on areas of acute inflammation or injury, as it could worsen the condition.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure: Patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure should consult their GP before undergoing BMLD, as the treatment may temporarily raise blood pressure levels.

Uncontrolled diabetes: Patients with uncontrolled diabetes should consult their GP before undergoing BMLD

It's essential to disclose your medical history and any current health conditions to your practitioner before undergoing a BMLD treatment. A qualified and experienced therapist will be able to determine if BMLD is appropriate for you, if you need GP's approval to proceed and if any modifications to the treatment are necessary based on your individual circumstances.

V. What to Expect During a Brazilian MLD Session

A. Preparing for the session

Hydration: Drink plenty of water before your appointment to help support the lymphatic system and facilitate the flow of lymph fluid.

Light meal: Consume a light meal or snack at least 1-2 hours before your session to prevent discomfort or feelings of fullness during the massage.

Comfortable clothing: Wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment, as you may need to undress partially or completely, depending on the areas being treated. During the treatment, a bikini-style underwear or swimsuit (bottom and top) is strongly recommended.

Medical history: Be prepared to discuss your medical history, any existing health conditions, recent surgeries, or injuries with your practitioner. This will help them tailor the treatment to your specific needs and ensure your safety.

Communicate preferences: If you have any preferences or concerns, communicate them to your practitioner before the session begins. This may include areas you'd like them to focus on or avoid, and the pressure or touch you're comfortable with.

Relaxation techniques: Engage in relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, before your appointment to help calm your mind and body. This will enhance the overall experience and make it easier for you to fully benefit from the treatment.

Arrive early: Plan to arrive at your appointment a few minutes early to allow time for any necessary paperwork, consultations, and to settle in comfortably.

B. Duration and frequency of treatments

Relaxation: 60 or 90 min once or twice a month.

Body sculpting: 60 min once a week for 4 weeks then one or two sessions per month.

Post-op Care: get started right after the surgery, 24 hours post surgery. The earlier the better. 3 shorter more targeted sessions of 30 min per week for one month so 12 sessions in total then space these out to once or twice per month for maintenance for 5 months. So a total of a 6-month treatment period.

C. Typical sensations and experiences during the session

Relaxation: The calming atmosphere and gentle touch of the practitioner help to create a sense of deep relaxation, allowing clients to let go of stress and tension.

Warmth: As the practitioner works on your body, you may experience sensations of warmth, which can be attributed to improved circulation and increased lymphatic flow.

Tenderness: Some areas of the body may be more sensitive or tender due to localized fluid retention or inflammation. Communicate any discomfort to your practitioner, who can adjust their technique pressure accordingly.

Emotional release: The gentle nature of Brazilian MLD can sometimes trigger an emotional release as tension and stress are released from the body. It's normal to feel a range of emotions during the session, and practitioners are trained to support clients through this process.

Light-headedness: Due to the increased lymphatic flow and blood circulation, some clients may experience mild light-headedness or dizziness during or after the session. This sensation is usually temporary and can be alleviated by taking slow, deep breaths and staying hydrated. Be extra careful when driving after the massage.

Tingling or pulsating sensations: As lymph fluid moves through the body, clients may experience subtle tingling or pulsating sensations, indicating that the treatment is effectively stimulating the lymphatic system.

Stomach rumbling: Noises coming from your tummy indicates that the treatment is effective, and fluids are moving (unless it is a sign of getting hungry, or both!)

Increased urination: Following the session (or sometimes during the session), clients may notice an increase in urination as the body flushes out excess fluids and toxins. This is a normal response to the treatment and a sign that the lymphatic system is functioning optimally.

Diarrhea and Nausea can occur post treatment. The lymphatic system is really our body’s cleaning network.

Increased sweating during and/or post-treatment.

D. Post-treatment care and recommendations

Hydration: Continue to drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins and support the lymphatic system in its function of maintaining fluid balance.

Rest: Allow your body time to recover and integrate the benefits of the treatment by getting ample rest, especially if you've undergone a massage for post-surgical recovery.

Gentle exercise: Engage in light activities, such as walking, stretching, or yoga, to help maintain lymphatic circulation and promote overall wellbeing. Avoid strenuous workouts immediately after the session.

Healthy diet: Consume a balanced and nutritious diet to support your immune system and general health. Focus on whole foods, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, while minimizing processed foods, excessive salt, and sugar.

Avoid tight clothing: Wear loose, comfortable clothing for a day or two after the treatment to prevent any constriction that could hinder lymphatic flow.

Skin care: Moisturize with a gentle, hydrating product to maintain skin health.

Monitor for any reactions: While side effects are generally minimal, pay attention to any changes in your body or any discomfort that may arise. If you experience pain, swelling, or any other unusual symptoms, contact your GP for guidance.

Follow-up sessions: Brazilian MLD often requires multiple sessions for optimal results, especially in post-surgical or chronic conditions. Follow your GP's recommendations for the appropriate frequency and duration of your sessions.

Avoid heat treatment (hot bath, sauna…) for at least 2 hours.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine and hot spicy food for at least 12 hours.

By adhering to these post-care guidelines, you can maximize the benefits of your Brazilian MLD treatment and support your body's natural healing processes.

VI. Finding a Qualified Brazilian MLD Practitioner

A. Importance of seeking a certified and experienced professional

Seeking a certified and experienced therapist for Brazilian MLD is crucial for several reasons: safety, technique mastery, customized treatments, optimal results, trust and comfort, professional and ethical standards.

By choosing a certified and experienced therapist for Brazilian MLD, you can trust that you are in competent hands and are more likely to achieve the desired results from your treatment.

B. Questions to ask before booking a session

Training and certification: What specific training and certification have you received in Brazilian MLD? How many years of experience do you have in this field?

Specialization: Do you specialize in any specific conditions, such as post-surgical recovery, lymphedema, or simply relaxation?

Customization: How do you tailor the treatment to meet each client's unique needs and concerns? Will you take my medical history and preferences into account when planning the session?

Techniques and methodology: What specific techniques do you employ during the treatment, and how do they differ from traditional MLD?

Expected outcomes: What kind of results can I expect from the treatment? How many sessions may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome?

Contraindications: Are there any medical conditions or circumstances that would make Brazilian MLD unsuitable or risky for me? (Be prepared to discuss your own medical history and any concerns you may have.)

Pre- and post-care: What should I do to prepare for the session, and what kind of post-care recommendations can I expect?

Privacy and comfort: How do you ensure client comfort and privacy during the treatment? What measures do you take to create a safe and nurturing environment?

Fees and scheduling: What is the cost of the treatment, and what is your availability for scheduling sessions? Are there any package deals or discounts available for multiple sessions?

C. Tips for finding the right practitioner

Research certifications and qualifications

Read reviews and testimonials

Ask for recommendations

Schedule an initial consultation

Compare pricing and availability

VII. Conclusion

A. Recap of the benefits and importance of Brazilian Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Brazilian Manual Lymphatic Drainage (BMLD) is a specialized massage therapy that provides numerous benefits, such as reducing swelling, enhancing relaxation, improving circulation, and supporting the immune system. It also aids in post-operative recovery and detoxification by stimulating the lymphatic system. Regular BMLD sessions contribute to overall well-being and optimal lymphatic function. To ensure the best results, it's essential to find a certified and experienced practitioner, prepare effectively before a session, and follow post-treatment care recommendations.

B. Encouragement to explore Brazilian MLD as a wellness option

I encourage you to explore and discover the rejuvenating power of Brazilian Manual Lymphatic Drainage (BMLD) and embrace its natural wellness, relaxation, remedial and beauty features that will transform your well-being.

With numerous benefits such as reducing swelling, improving circulation, and supporting the immune system, BMLD is an essential therapy for maintaining optimal health.

Its gentle, rhythmic and linear movements promote deep relaxation and stress relief, while its detoxifying effects contribute to a radiant complexion and overall vitality.

By incorporating BMLD into your regular self-care routine, you'll experience a new holistic approach to wellness that nourishes your mind, body, and spirit, leaving you feeling content, refreshed, balanced, and rejuvenated.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to elevate your wellness journey - book a session today!


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