What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage (MLD)?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is an Advanced Therapy in which the Practitioner uses a range of specialized and gentle rhythmic pumping techniques to move the lymph fluid in the direction of the lymph pathways.  It is a technique based on gentle, rhythmic and constant movements that mimic the rhythm of the body’s lymphatic system. MLD is a gentle manual technique that stimulates a malfunctioning or fatigued lymphatic system. Keeping the lymphatic system in good condition is imperative for promoting good health, and for restoring good health when the system has been compromised through events such as surgery, injury or illness.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage stimulates the lymphatic vessels which carry substances vital to the defense of the body and removes waste products. The main goal of manual lymph drainage, or “lymphatic drainage” is to improve upon or restore a drainage and transport system that is impaired or slowed down. A big part of the lymphatic system is located very close to the surface of the body, thus manual lymph drainage techniques are applied very effectively with much less pressure than regular massage.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, naturally reducing stress and stress hormones. A MLD treatment is profoundly relaxing, as it calms the nervous system, reduces pain and restores balance. Stress and fatigue can weaken our immune system. When our immunity is low we are more susceptible to viruses or other contagious conditions that might be going around.  Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage can help strengthen the immune system.

As manual lymph drainage also assists with stimulating the parasympathetic response in the body, it’s beneficial in situations where the nervous system has been compromised, such as with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Individuals can benefit from general stress reduction, detoxification and enhanced immune function.

Vodder Method of MLD

Manual Lymphatic Drainage was pioneered by Danish Drs. Emil Vodder and Estrid Vodder in the 1930s  for the treatment of chronic sinusitis and other immune disorders. While working on the French Riviera treating patients with chronic colds, the Vodders noticed these patients had swollen lymph nodes. In the 1930s, the lymphatic system was poorly understood. The Vodders were not deterred by this and in 1932, began to study the lymph system, developing light, rhythmic hand movements to promote lymph movement. In 1936, they introduced this technique in Paris, France, and after World War II, they returned to Copenhagen to teach other practitioners to use this therapy. The Vodder Method of MLD is a holistic method that has been used around the globe extensively with established results. The Vodder Method of MLD benefits over 40 conditions.

Conditions benefiting from
Manual Lymphatic Drainage




  • Pre-Surgical Preparation
  • Post Surgical Edema
    • Mastectomy
    • Hysterectomy
    • Cosmetic
    • Orthopedic
    • Amputation
  • Varicose Veins
    • Vein Stripping
  • Lymphedema
  • Strains/ Sprains
  • Muscle/Ligament Tears
  • Dislocations/Fractures
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Pain
    • Neck
    • Back
  • Tendinitis
  • Whiplash
Ear, Nose & ThroatNeurological
  • Allergies
  • Hay fever
  • Cold/Flu Symptoms
    • Head cold
    • Sinus Headache
  • Sinusitis
  • Tinnitus
  • Headaches
    • Migraines
    • Tension
  • Pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Carpel Tunnel
  • Stress
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Cosmetic Surgery 
  • Leg Ulcers/Wound Care
  • Burns/Scars
  • Lipolymphedema
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Toxic Poisoning
  • Pregnancy Edema
  • Sports Injuries
  • Weight Loss
  • Detoxification


The Reduction of Swelling

Lymphatic massage can reduce the pain, inflammation and scarring associated with fluid retention, or edema.  Whether swelling is related to injury, cancer treatment, illness or surgery.   In combination with medical attention MLD is also very effective for lipoedema and lymphedema, the chronic accumulation of lymphatic fluid in body tissues.  Swelling and other discomforts stemming from sinusitis or allergies may also be reduced.  

Skin Care and Cosmetic Surgery

Lymphatic Massage is used in facial treatments to reduce congestion and puffiness.  It is also effective in decreasing swelling and bruising from cosmetic surgery, liposuction, breast reduction or implants, laser surgery and more.  The technique can also be used to reduce the appearance of varicose and spider veins, wrinkles, rosacea, and acne.

Stress and Pain Relief

The gentle touch of Lymphatic Massage soothes and calms the nervous system.  This can improve sleep and reduce depression, anxiety, and other effects of stress.  As attention shifts to the pleasant sensation of relaxation the grip of pain may also greatly recede. This deeply relaxing technique can even help reduce chronic pain from conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis and headaches.

Breast Care

Many people hear about Lymphatic Massage due to its ability to reduce pain and swelling associated with removal of lymph nodes during breast cancer treatment.  If received regularly, if may also enhance the function of healthy breast tissue with improved lymph flow.  In addition it can reduce discomforts of breast during and after pregnancy.  Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage can be beneficial in keeping the lymph pathways open and flowing.  This can be a beneficial therapy to incorporate prior to mammograms and annual screenings.  

For Your Health and Well-being

People are looking increasingly to Lymphatic Massage to reduce the effects of stress, relieve the effect of swelling and recovery from surgery, and boost skin care regimens.  You may find this gentle, yet powerful technique to be a key to your improved health and well-being. 


Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a holistic treatment option

MLD is non-invasive and can be performed fully clothed

MLD is relaxing and soothing to the nervous system

MLD can be combined with other holistic and traditional therapies

When seeking MLD services work with a licensed practitioner who

has been trained and certified in the Vodder MLD technique