Manual Lymph Drainage

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a gentle, rhythmical technique to stimulate the movement of lymphatic fluids in order to assist the body in cleansing. MLD effectively reduces traumatic and post-surgical edema, and can provide symptomatic relief of migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), and stress, fatigue, and is also appropriate for maintenance of lymphedema. MLD induces general relaxation and detoxification.

MLD is based on the techniques pioneered in the 1930’s by husband and wife, Dr. Emil Vodder, Ph.D., MT and Estrid Vodder, ND.

When Manual Lymph Drainage is not suitable

A contraindication is when the treatment maybe detrimental to your health due to an existing health condition. Contraindications can either be absolute or relative. Your physician or specialist may choose to override relative contraindications if they find that there would be no or low risk, but an absolute contraindication means that MLD is strictly prohibited.

These contraindications and cautions are in place because MLD treatment increases the flow of fluid around the body and can further aggravate an existing medical condition.

Absolute Contraindications:

  • Acute inflammation caused by bacteria, virus, or toxic agents is contraindicated (including cellulitis and other infections). Tissues typically will be red, warm to the touch, and painful, with swelling sometimes also accompanied by fever. Lymphatic drainage will spread the toxin or infection throughout the body, which may be life-threatening. It is best to wait a few days until the condition is not acute and the body has had a chance to clean up the area. A physician’s approval for MLD may also be advised.
  • Acute untreated deep venous thrombosis (DVT) – can lead to free floating blood clots in the circulatory system, which may be life threatening.
  • Untreated congestive heart problems – if the heart is not fully functioning, edema can be lymphodynamic due to a lack of venous return. Pumping more fluid to the heart may stress it more than the actual condition.
  • Fever

Relative Indications/Cautions:

  • Malignant tumors/disease – including tumor recurrence or metastases, due to a concern for spreading the cancer. Note: if MLD is palliative in nature, then proceeding with MLD to reduce symptoms/edemas and improve quality of life may be advised.
  • Renal dysfunction (kidney disease) – check with physician/specialist before receiving MLD.
  • Thyroid problems – hypo/hyperthyroidism indicate reduced treatment around the throat.
  • Chemotherapy and other medications – caution is needed, due to the risk of impacting the dosage and timing of the drug’s passage through the body.
  • Menstruation/Endometriosis/polycystic ovaries – further assessment will be needed, as MLD can increase the flow.

If you have any concerns regarding MLD treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact me, or consult with your physician/specialist.


Lymphatic Drainage (50-60 min): $95
Fibrosis Treatment (60 min): $125
Lymphatic Massage (60 min): $95

Post-Surgical Package

After your initial session, purchase a five-session MLD package* for $425 and save more than 10%.

See MLD in action

This video of special imaging shows the movement of lymphatic fluid during MLD. Watch the bottom of the video for the prompt telling you MLD has begun.

From the video information as posted on YouTube:

Stimulation of lymphatic propulsion in the foot and calf of a normal healthy volunteer before and during manual lymphatic drainage. The fluorescence from the indocyanine green (ICG) becomes scattered by tissues as the lymphatic vasculature drains into deeper vessels. The shadow on the ankle arises from black plastic that covers the injection site so that the ICCD (intensified charged coupled device) camera is not oversaturated.