Thursday, February 22, 2007

MLD

My first MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage) massage session this afternoon went well. I learned about MLD from the Yahoo Support Group message board. It's basically a light face/neck massage to help your lymph system to more effectively transport fluids where they belong, and therefore help reduce swelling and speed up the healing process.

My OS says he doesn't typically recommend physical therapy to his patients until at least eight weeks post op (he had never heard of MLD), but he gave me the greenlight with the condition that I, well, keep it light.

And light it was. My therapist applied gentle pressure to my lower face and neck with her fingertips, moving the fluids in my swollen chin where they belong. It felt so soothing I actually dozed off. Immediately after the one-hour session, I could already feel the tension in my face and neck lessen, and could turn my head sideways with a bigger range of motion and less pain. Even now, my face and neck don't feel as tense as before.

Let me share with you an exercise she taught me. Lie flat on your back with a pillow under your head. Take a DEEP breath with your nose. Expand your rib cage to the max and fill up your lungs. Stop. Exhale through your mouth. Expell every last breath you've got. Repeat a few times every hour. This is supposed to help your lymph system do a more effective job transporting those fluids, therefore reduce swelling and speed up the healing process.

She's not cheap ($112 an hour if no insurance). I'll have to find out tomorrow how much Aetna will cover. But, it felt so good, I've already made another appointment for next week.

1 comment:

Darlene said...

I just had surgery about 20 days ago and ran across your blog today. You've done such a great job detailing your progression which is very helpful. I had never heard of MLD but will be scheduling an appt with a therapist tomorrow. I'm so tired of being swollen :(