Massage Therapy & Fitness

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?

MLD is a massage technique that involves gentle, precise movements over the skin that stimulate the lymphatic system. This technique is always performed pain-free, and has a calming effect on the nervous system. It helps to speed up the flow of lymph, reduce inflammation, promote relaxation, and decrease edema (too much fluid and waste products in the connective tissue).

It is a thoroughly researched massage therapy method, and has been demonstrated to decrease recovery time after surgery, decrease healing time from trauma, reduce and maintain lymphedema, and aid in managing pain resulting from a variety of acute and chronic health issues.

What are some conditions that MLD can treat?

  • Arthritis
  • Lymphedema (primary and secondary)
  • Venous Insuffiency
  • Acne/Rosacea
  • Wounds, scars, and burns
  • Muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries
  • Orthopedic Surgery recovery
  • Headaches, including due to sinus irritation
  • Concussions
  • Stress and insomnia
  • Digestive issues including constipation and irritable bowel
  • Pre-operation procedures
  • Postoperative swelling after essential or elective procedures
  • Cystic Fibrosis

What is Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT)?

CDT is the comprehensive treatment of lymphedema using Manual Lymphatic Drainage, compression bandaging, skin care, and remedial exercise. Before treatment begins, a thorough examination is conducted to ensure that the treatment plan is tailored to each client’s individual needs. Once the treatment plan is agreed upon by both the therapist and client, treatment is performed in two phases: the Initial Phase and the Maintenance Phase. The Initial Phase involves intensive MLD and compression bandaging to reduce the edema, as well as remedial exercise to be performed at home. Once the volume reduction has stabilized, a custom compression garment is prepared, and treatment progresses to the Maintenance Phase. At this point, the client continues to wear the garment, perform home exercises, and return for MLD sessions as needed (typically every few months).

For more information about the Vodder method of Manual Lymphatic Drainage, please click here

For more information about lymphedema and its treatment, please click here.