If you haven’t had a chance to read our Lymphatic Drainage Massages page yet, LDMs are a form of massage therapy that moves excess fluid through the body to improve your immune system and flush out swelling caused by fluid build-up.
Table of Contents
- Why do I need an LDM after my cosmetic procedure?
- What is a lymphatic drainage massage like?
- How do LDMs help with healing and bruising?
- Are Lymphatic Drainage Massages Painful?
- How many treatments will I need?
- How soon after my procedure can MLD begin?
The goal of each post-operational lymphatic drainage massage (LDM) is to reduce inflammation and increase cell turnover so you heal faster and smoother!
Q: Why do I need an LDM after my cosmetic procedure?
More and more cosmetic surgeons are prescribing lymphatic drainage massages for their clients. Body sculpting procedures (like lipo, tummy tuck, BBL, etc.) involve surgically injecting and/or removing fat. In the diagram, you can see how surgical instruments like a cannula can leave space between the skin and muscle.
Channels formed by the cannula is where fluid can build up, causing inflammation. Post-op inflammation can evolve into fibrosis (a permanent hardening of the tissue) or a seroma (pocket of serum) can form. That is why the first few weeks after your operation are the most crucial for smooth healing. But don’t sweat, that’s where we come in! Our massage therapists are specifically certified to perform lymphatic drainage massages with a specialty in post-operational care.
Q: What is a lymphatic drainage massage like?
After an initial consultation, you will undress, and lie down on a massage table in the face-up position, covered modestly with a sheet. The atmosphere is the same as a massage treatment room with dim lighting and soft music. Although you are in a massage setting, it is important to understand that LDM is a specific form of bodywork designed to efficiently move lymph fluid in your body. LDM is completely different from massages like deep tissue and Swedish massage. Stimulation of the Lymphatic System activates the parasympathetic nervous system, producing an automatic physiological relaxation response. Many clients fall asleep! Only the area being worked on is undraped at any time.
Gentle, rotating, pumping motions with the therapist's hands and fingertips begin at the collarbone area, then focus on areas where there is a concentration of lymph nodes: the underarms, abdomen, groin, and back of the knees. Usually, the entire session is performed with you lying in the face-up position because all of the areas of lymph nodes that need to be decongested are located on the front of the body. All massage therapists at Acuspa are certified to perform lymphatic drainage massages.
Q: How do LDMs help with healing and bruising?
A: Yes. That is one of the best applications of MLD. Bruises are an accumulation of cellular debris and old red blood cells in the tissue. Lymph Drainage Therapy greatly reduces healing time for bruises by cleansing the extracellular spaces where these substances are trapped.
Q: Are Lymphatic Drainage Massages Painful?
A: Performed properly it is not painful but can be uncomfortable. Our goal at AcuSpa is to provide immediate relief by helping our patient flush their excess fluids with or without their Drain. As the treatment progresses, more pressure and movement will be applied to ensure that our patients heal SMOOOOTH. NO lumps and bumps.
Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: It is ideal to receive at least one or two MLD treatments prior to a procedure. There are many different things that can influence healing. Some patients get 3-5 treatments post-operatively and that is enough, especially if the only area of liposuction was the legs, knees, or flanks. People getting liposuction to the abdomen often find they require up to 10 sessions. Occasionally a client will need more than 10, especially if they had "Smart-lipo". Also, patients who get multiple procedures at the same time (lipo and a tummy tuck, or lipo and a buttock enhancement; Brazilian Butt Lift) may need more sessions than someone who only gets one procedure.
Q: How often is MLD applied?
A: The first week it is suggested that sessions be daily or every other day, if possible. The second week, every other day, reducing in frequency after that. It is not possible to get too much MLD and the sessions can be scheduled at your convenience.
Q: How soon after my procedure can MLD begin?
A: It is possible to begin within 24 hours. Most people wait until they can comfortably drive themselves to appointments.
Q: It has been over a month since I had my procedure. Is it too late to begin MLD?
A: No. The healing process after these types of procedure is several months. If it has been over a month since your procedure you can still get the smoothing benefits of MLD. If it has been over 6 months since your procedure and you are still feeling lumps and hardness you should contact your doctor to make sure you have not developed fibrosis or a seroma.
Q: Do I need a prescription for MLD?
A: No. Although many doctors recommend MLD, it is also perfectly fine to self-refer.