Enhancing Digestive Health with Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) can indeed have several benefits for belly function and to get relief from digestive disorders, particularly concerning digestion. In this blog, I´ll show you what MLD is, how it helps to reduce belly inflammation and what digestive disorders can be treated with this wonderful technique. SO, let ‘s start!

What is Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD)?

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a specialized massage technique. Its main purpose is to stimulate the lymphatic system, which helps the body remove waste and toxins,  supports your immune system, etc. First, your therapist will apply this massage technique to unaffected areas to help the fluid or wastes move out of the affected area. In other words,  She will decongest  the entire treated area. That is to say, MLD is part of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). 

How can MLD help with digestive problems?

 While MLD primarily focuses on improving lymphatic and waste circulation, it can also benefit digestive problems by:

  •  reducing inflammation, 
  • improving lymph and blood flow,
  • moving wastes and promoting their expel,
  • reducing bloating,
  • improving gut natural movement,
  • promoting detoxification, 
  • enhancing nutrient absorption,
  • regulate bowel movement,
  • relieving abdominal discomfort,
  • and enhancing overall immune function. 

However, it’s important to note that MLD is not a direct or a unique treatment for digestive issues, but it can support conventional treatments, too. 

How is MLD performed for digestive disorders?

If you have never received a manual lymphatic drainage massage  before, here you have a list of what you can expect during your treatment session:

  • You will be in a lying position in order to have a better approach to your inner organs.
  • The session starts and ends with diaphragmatic breathing (if you don’t know how to do it, don´t worry! I will be there to help you and teach you).
  • The unaffected belly area and  lymph nodes will be treated first (to start the decongestive therapy).
  • Then, your therapist moves proximal to distal to drain the affected areas.
  • She uses slow and rhythmic movements with gentle pressure – this is essential.

How long does a MLD session last? 

In most cases, each session lasts  30 to 45 minutes. Your therapist performs it in a specific sequence, using a series of massage techniques. Those techniques include soft and gentle stretching, compressing, gliding, and cupping motions. 

What are the Digestive disorders that MLD can treat?

Here are some digestive problems that might benefit from MLD:


MLD can help stimulate the movement of waste through the intestines, potentially relieving constipation by promoting peristalsis, the wave-like contractions of your digestive tract that move food through the intestines. This can promote more efficient digestion and alleviate symptoms such as bowel obstruction or sluggish bowel movements.

2.Bloating and Gas:

This technique improves lymphatic circulation, MLD may help reduce fluid retention and alleviate bloating. Additionally, it could aid in the movement of gas through the digestive tract, potentially reducing discomfort.

3.Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

MLD cannot cure IBS, however,  it may help manage symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating by reducing inflammation and promoting relaxation.

4.Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):

MLD will give you relief from symptoms, such as abdominal pain and discomfort, by reducing inflammation and supporting the body’s natural healing processes.

5.Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD):

MLD may help relax the abdominal muscles and promote overall relaxation, potentially reducing symptoms like heartburn.

6.Digestive Disorders Associated with Lymphatic Congestion:

Some digestive problems may be linked to lymphatic congestion or sluggish lymphatic flow. For that reason,  MLD can help improve lymphatic circulation, reducing inflammation and giving you relief  to digestive discomfort.

A final word…

It is key that you ask your GP or a qualified healthcare professional before using MLD for digestive issues, especially if you have an underlying medical condition or are currently undergoing treatment. While MLD is safe, it may not be suitable for everyone, each case is different so results may vary from patient to patient. For that reason, the treatment is always tailored according to your needs and condition. Last but not least, MLD must be performed by a specialized therapist to ensure safety and effectiveness of the treatment. Always look for those who treat you better!

We hope this information is useful for you. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us in Mill Hill Broadway and Islington. We are always happy to help. If you like this blog, please share!








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