Manual Lymph Drainage is a therapy using lightly applied techniques in specific patterns to help reduce the abnormal buildup of lymph fluid in the body, also known as lymphedema. It is identifiable by the swelling of the one or more extremities and even the face and head.
Lymphedema can be caused by several different factors, the least common of which is heredity. Other, more common, causes are injury, surgery, radiation and even the result of infection by a type of parasite.
The most common cause of lymphedema in the world is the parasite spread by transfer from the bite of a mosquito that live in tropical regions. This type of lymphedema can be managed with medicine.
The second most common cause (the most common in the US) is the result of surgery and radiation from breast cancer. Anytime the lymph nodes are removed or damaged there is a constant possibility of lymphedema. That goes for any cancer treatment involving surgery and radiation.