Clearing the Path: Manual Lymphatic Drainage for Constipation

Constipation is a common digestive disorder that affect people around the world. But don´t worry,  some changes in your diet, MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) and exercise are your allies to get rid of constipation and improve your digestion.

How does digestion work?

The normal process of digestion starts when you eat. Then,  food breaks down in your stomach in order to pass through your intestines. After that, the walls of your intestines absorb the nutrients and what remains as waste passes along to your colon and rectum. 

But, what happens when something goes wrong and you cannot expel these wastes?

Here is when constipation starts because wastes get stock because your bowel can’t move properly.  Let ‘s go deeper!

What is constipation?

Constipation is the slow movement of food sediment through the colon. It leads to increase the absorption of fluids. As a result, it is associated with the accumulation of hard, dry stools in the descending colon. In short, constipation is the difficulty to eliminate stools.

Symptoms: How do I now if I have constipation?

According to the World Health Organization, you have constipation when there are fewer than three bowel movements per week. It is considered a common gastrointestinal disorder. That is to say that, between 2% to 20% of the general population may experience constipation at some point in their lives. Experts estimate that 15% of the population suffers from chronic constipation resulting in fecal impaction. In other words, non-treated constipation can lead to fecal impaction.

For some people going to the bathroom might be very painful, you may feel bloated and uncomfortably full or inflamed. In addition, you may feel the need to go to the bathroom without being able to.

Are there types of constipation?

Yes, there are two types:

1.Organic constipation occurs from pathologic conditions which often requires medical or pharmacologic treatment, Some of them are:

  • neoplasms,
  • partial intestinal obstructions, 
  • spinal cord compression, 
  • metabolic and neurological diseases and pharmacological interventions.

2. Functional constipation is associated with environmental or behavioral factors(lifestyle) that affect your gastrointestinal function. 

What causes constipation?

Some of the most common factors are:

  • The intake of certain medicines like: pain relievers, antacids, and antidepressants.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Poor diet, low in fiber and rich in sugars.
  • Dehydration: Inadequate water intake.
  • Stress.
  • Irregular hours between meals and inability to listen to the biological rhythm.
  • Jet lag.
  • After surgery as a side effect from the anesthesia.

In addition, there are certain diseases that affect the function of the pelvic diaphragm muscles and nerves of the colon directly influencing bowel movements. The most known are:

  • Diabetes.
  • Cancer.
  •  Parkinson’s.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Complications from pelvic or colorectal surgery.
  • Neuromuscular dysfunction of the defecation unit.
  • Spinal cord injuries.

How MLD can help you relieve constipation

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a gentle massage technique that aims to stimulate the lymphatic system, which plays a crucial role in the body’s immune system and fluid balance. When  MLD is targeted at addressing constipation, it helps to:

1.Boost circulation: the pumping movements will:

  • stimulate lymphatic vessels,
  • promote better blood circulation throughout your body,
  • enhance the transportation of nutrients and wastes in your digestive system,
  • increase  bowel movements.

2.Reduced belly  inflammation: 

Inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract is one of the causes of bowel irregularities. MLD will help you to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms associated with constipation like pain and discomfort.


Stress and anxiety are some of the most common causes of constipation and  other digestive issues. On the other hand, MLD with its gentle and rhythmic movements induce relaxation and reduce stress levels. After your first Manual lymphatic drainage in Islington or Mill hills, you will notice the relief in some of the psychological factors that contribute to constipation.

4.Stimulation of peristalsis: 

Peristalsis is the wave-like muscular contractions that moves food, fats and waste through your digestive tract. MLD and its gentle massage techniques stimulate the muscles of your digestive system, improving bowel movements.

Is everybody allowed to get a MLD for constipation?

Before booking your Manual lymphatic drainage session in Islington or in Mill Hills,  individuals with certain health conditions like congestive heart failure, blood clots, kidney problems, infections, or circulation issues should ask their GP, first.

In short

MLD massage  gives you many benefits for relieving constipation; however, you should not consider it as a standalone treatment. Remember that, some lifestyle changes must be done like diet (more fiber intake), increase hydration and exercise regularly. If your symptoms persist consult your healthcare provider.

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!

We are always happy to help!

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