What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?

Manual lymph drainage (MLD) is a gentle, non-invasive manual technique that uses specific “stretch-and-release” movements on the lymph nodes. The movements act as a type of external pump that pulls lymphatic fluid through the lymph channels and enhances the release of toxins.

It is a highly specialized form of massage, which uses light, rhythmical, very precise hand movements, pressures and sequences and requires the therapist to develop a great degree of skill, having an intimate knowledge of the workings of the anatomy of the lymphatic system. The massage works at a skin level to influence the direction and speed of lymphatic flow, re-directing if necessary.

The MLD session is not the same as a traditional massage as the movements are specifically designed to increase the flow of lymph – too much pressure on the lymph nodes can cause thickening. The skin is stretched and released in a specific manner, based on scientific, physiological principles that have proven to encourage lymph flow.  When performed correctly with the correct pressure, direction and speed, MLD can greatly enhance recovery and facilitate drainage.

The efficacy of MLD is no longer doubted and it is practiced in many locations worldwide. Gradually, more massage therapists, aestheticians, physical/occupational therapists and other healthcare practitioners took up the therapy and have used it with great effect.

Who can benefit from MLD?

post-traumatic and post-surgery edema, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, tinnitus, scleroderma, migraine/sinus headache, palliative care, pain control, follow-up treatment to deep tissue work, general relaxation and detoxification, enhanced immune function, lymphedema, and lipedema, irritable bowel syndrome, lupus, acne and eczema.

Contraindications for MLD

Congestive heart failure, deep vein thrombosis, open wounds, fever or active skin infection. If you have any heart or kidney disease let the therapist know.