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Manual Lymphatic Drainage

"Lymphatic Massage"

Manual Lymph drainage (MLD), is a technique initially developed by the Vodders (Dr. Emil Vodder and his wife, Estrid) in 1936 in Paris for treatment of swollen lymph nodes. In the 1980's Dr. Robert Lerner, the “Pioneer of Manual Lymph Drainage", brought their techniques to the USA from Europe, and the lymphedema treatment movement here was born.


MLD is a gentle massage that helps promote the movement of lymphatic fluid. It should not be confused with a traditional massage. Rather, it is a light, rhythmic, soothing pressure focusing primarily on key areas of the body where the bulk of the lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels are found. A typical MLD treatment almost always includes a significant abdominal work component, to help expedite the flow of lymphatic fluid and it's return to the cardiovascular system. MLD is coupled with deep breathing techniques called diaphragmatic breathing throughout the session to help open the deep lymphatic pathways. 


MLD is performed without the heavy application of oils or lotion. MLD is NEVER painful or performed in an aggressive manner. Though sometimes the body is "tender to touch" following surgery or injury, MLD does not hurt. The goal of MLD is to reduce inflammation, swelling, bruising and pain.


MLD is useful in the following:

  • Reducing perinatal "puffiness"
  • Releasing and preventing clogged milk ducts and improving milk production in breastfeeding mothers
  • Reducing post partum abdominal pouch and fluid retention related post partum edema
  • Lipedema, lymphedema, any other autoimmune/inflammatory diseases with symptoms of swelling
  • "Prehab" routine when you are preparing for a scheduled surgery
  • Reducing perioperative swelling following most types of surgery including dental extractions and implants, joint replacement, c-section and plastic surgery procedures.
  • Great addition to fitness routine when your goal is to reduce diet or inactivity related "bloating"