Manual Lymphatic Drainage

therapist performing MLD Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a specialised, rhythmic massage which is done to encourage natural drainage of the lymphatic system. This technique was developed in the 1930s by Emil Vodder.
A therapist trained in MLD uses specific, circular hand movements to provide a gentle pumping action on the skin. Although this is a type of massage, no oils are used. This ensures that the maximum skin stretching effect is gained with the minimum of pressure. As a result, lymph flow improves without increasing capillary filtration. The increased flow helps to remove infections and prevents damage. These movements also calm the nervous system and help inhibit pain.

MLD and Lymphoedema

MLD is known to have a number of physiological effects. These include; Improved drainage enables fluid to be redirected away from oedematous areas and towards the functioning lymph nodes in unaffected areas, an important principle in lymphoedema management.

It has also been suggested that MLD influences the sympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation. A simplified version of MLD, often referred to as simple lymphatic drainage (SLD), is commonly taught in the UK to patients suffering from lymphoedema, and to their relatives, as a self-help measure.

MLD is used as a treatment procedure for the following conditions;

Our MLD Services
We provide training in MLD to healthcare professionals and SLD to patients. We also provide MLD services to patients at our centre.
To learn more, read our ebook on Lymphoedema care. For any enquiries, please contact us at