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Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage

  • Summary
  • More Detail
  • Typical Conditions
  • Questions
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Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage is a delicate form of massage combined with soft pumping movements that stimulates the body’s lymphatic system, improving the metabolism, helping the body to eliminate toxins & excess fluid and waste whilst also providing a boost to the immune system.

By massaging and using other techniques on these particular areas we can help drain the excess fluid which builds up and causes water retention and cellulite around those hard to shift areas.

This is an ideal treatment to have before those dreaded beach holidays as it can help shift pounds by draining the built up fluid.
This is a great treatment to have in conjuction with a weight loss program as it can help promote weight loss in many ways.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage also helps with the condition lymphoedema.
































Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage - More detail - The History

During the early 1930's Dr. Emil Vodder created a unique range of movements which brought relief from chronic conditions such as sinus congestion and catarrh. This first became known in 1935 when Dr Emil Vodder and his wife were living and working in Cannes, France as massage therapists. The majority of their English patients were recovering from persistent colds and they discovered that all those patients had swollen lymph nodes in their necks. At that stage it was taboo for massage therapists to treat the lymphatic system. Vodder dared to break the taboo and treated the swollen nodes and the colds vanished. Supported by this success, he developed Manual Lymphatic Drainage commonly referred to as MLD.

Since Vodder's pioneering work, Manual Lymphatic Drainage has spread worldwide and has become a popular treatment in many European hospitals and clinics. It is now beginning to gain acceptance in the UK as a component in the treatment and control of lymphoedema and is also an ideal treatment to help with weight loss and cellulite.
Manual lymphatic drainage differs from ordinary massage - it aims to encourage movement of the lymph away from swollen areas. Manual Lymphatic Drainage is particularly useful if there is swelling in the face, neck, breast, abdomen, genitals or elsewhere on the body.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a particular good treatment when trying to lose those excess pounds as most of us carries a lot of weight in water retention around our necks, stomach, and abdomen, thighs, buttocks and ankles. And Manual Lymphatic Drainage can help drain away those stubborn pounds which diets won’t shift!

























Click on the other Tabs above for further information.

Typical conditions;

  • Reduction in oedema (swelling)

  • Regeneration of tissues (e.g., from burns and pre & post surgical scarring)

  • Immune system stimulation

  • Reduction of symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia NB Lymphatic drainage techniques are a key part of the 'Perrin Technique'.

  • Pain relief

  • Deep relaxation to aid insomnia, depression and stress

  • Effective component of the treatment and control of lymphoedema

  • Weight loss

Lymphatic Drainage for pre and post surgery for Lymphoedema

Many benefits can result from lymphatic drainage before and after surgery. Lymphatic drainage seems to promote tissue regeneration therefore reducing the formation and severity of scars which can be unsightly and sometimes painful. Treatment can begin as soon as 24 hrs after surgery, with approval of the doctor and as long as there are no contra-indications. After surgery the lymphatic pathways will be very different. Studies have shown that it takes between seven and ten days for the natural and functional continuity of the lymphatic vessels to be re-established. Perhaps the most significant benefit of applying lymphatic drainage post surgically is to prevent or alleviate oedema or swelling. Swelling can cause pain and create a predisposition to infection.

Pre and post surgical applications of lymphatic drainage

Pre-surgery: One to four treatment sessions are recommended. Benefits may include:
  • Preparation of tissue for surgery

  • Reduces oedema and swelling; it may allow surgery to be scheduled sooner

  • Stimulation of the immune system

  • Induces a state of relaxation

Post-surgery: As soon as 48hrs after surgery. Benefits may include:
  • Reduction in post-surgical oedema or swelling

  • Encourages lymphatic “re-routs

  • Pain reduction

  • Detoxification of body tissues helps reverse build-up of toxins secondary to effects of medication

  • Stimulates fluid circulation

  • Stimulates the immune system and helps prevent post-surgical infections

  • Improves skin regeneration and wound healing and optimises the scarring process.






Q Do you treat males and children as well as females?

A yes I do but under uk law a parent or guardian must be present whilst treating children. Men should wear shorts throughout their treatment.

Q How long are the treatments?

A treatments last between 30 – 90 minutes depending on why you are being treated with manual lymphatic drainage, a treatment plan is normally agreed at a first appointment.

Q What clothes should I wear?

A I suggest clients wear their underwear during treatments as they are always covered anyway and this allows me to work freely around the body.

Q I have some allergies and I am on medication, will this be a problem?

A No but I do go through a full consultation with you before your treatment and we can discuss any worries or problems you may have. Please bring a list of your medication with you. This type of treatment is safe to use even if you have allergies or are on medication.

Q Do you refer clients to other practitioners?

A. Yes. I know many excellent practitioners and I believe it is my duty to refer a client on to another practitioner if I feel they might be more suitably qualified to treat a condition that a client presents with but as I have trained in most therapies I seldom need to refer a client on. I will however recommend other treatments that I feel would suit the client’s needs an be beneficial.

Q I have heard that you ask clients to drink more water after a treatment? Is this true?

A yes. You will need to drink plenty of water after the treatment as this helps to continue to flush out any toxins in the body and helps keep the body hydrated.

Q I have lymphoedema following treatment for cancer. My massage therapist says they can treat me in a normal massage: is that advisable?

A This is only correct if the therapist is qualified in lymphatic drainage. Lots of therapists claim to include this into their massage but as this is a specialist treatment this is very unlikely. In a typical massage, therapists do work on some drainage areas in the body but they do not incorporate the specific manual techniques. I am fully qualified in both massage therapies and in Manual Lymphatic Drainage which are two different treatments.

Q I had a breast and a lymph gland removed due to cancer and I now suffer with fluid retention in my arm which can be painful, would a course of Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatment help?

A: Manual Lymphatic Drainage would be extremely beneficial in this situation. It may also be beneficial to you to combine treatments at this point for example Hypnotherapy as this has proved to be very popular in this situation as this helps you to deal with emotions too.

Q: Should I let my doctor know that I am getting Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

A: There is no reason why you cannot tell your doctor you are receiving Manual Lymphatic Drainage. For some patients we may request your permission to contact your doctor for further information.

Q: Is there an age limit that Manual Lymphatic Drainage can help?

A: There is no age limit for receiving MLD. In fact, often patients find facial MLD to be skin rejuvenating and to reduce the signs of ageing! this treatment can be used for children and adults of all ages as lots of clients use this therapy to help with weight loss and cellulite.



Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage Therapist at the Centre

Claire Bersier

Other forms of Massage available

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy Facial Massage

Body Massage (general) Swedish

Hot Stone Massage

Indian Head Massage

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Sports Massage (Remedial Massage)

Traditional Thai Massage

Traditional Thai Foot Massage

Other Related Therapies

Shiatsu (Acupressure Massage)