What is Manual Lymph Drainage? ( MLD)

The Lymphatic System transports a watery clear protein rich fluid called lymph - located between cells, and returns this fluid back to the blood circulatory system. This helps maintain fluid balance, defends the body against disease by producing lymphocytes and absorbs lipids (fats) from the intestine and transport them.

A Manual Lymph Drainage treatment is a gentle, non-invasive massage technique which assists in the drainage of this fluid (lymph) back into the lymphatic system. MLD is proven to be effective as a stand-alone treatment and in combination with other therapies.

Developed by Emil and Estrid Vodder, Manual Lymph Drainage has grown to be the most well known manual technique to assist lymph flow and aid in drainage of soft tissue.

How does it work?

The skin is stretched and torqued in a specific manner, based on scientific, physiological principles that have proven to encourage lymph flow. When performed with the correct pressure, direction and speed, this can greatly enhance recovery and facilitate drainage.

Through the pumping and stretching effect on the lymph vessels, Manual Lymph Drainage stimulates the contraction of smooth muscles in lymph vessels, helping to move the lymph forward and drain the connective tissue.

Fluid movement in the connective tissue (interstitial fluid) as well as the movement of lymph is assisted through Lymph Drainage. By stimulating microcirculation and lymph vessel motility, Manual Lymph Drainage can be successfully employed in oedematous (swelling) conditions, such as lymphoedema, soft tissue swelling (ankle sprain, tendonitis, epicondylitis) and post operative swelling.

Indirectly it may also affect the immune system. By assisting lymph flow, Manual Lymph Drainage is thought to bring pathogens quicker to the lymph nodes where they can be neutralized.

It can also help a patient to recuperate from chronic illness by stimulating their parasympathetic nervous system. MLD is calming and relaxing to receive and patients often feel a sense of well-being after treatment.

Vodder Therapists

Therapists acquire excellent hand skills in the original Dr. Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage with Vodder School certified instructors. Expertly trained and certified Dr. Vodder instructors have developed the skill required to attain the best possible results with every patient. Vodder therapists are reviewed regularly to ensure best practice in treatment.

Maria Mudford is a fully certified therapist trained by the Dr. Vodder School, Walchsee Austria in Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT) and the Dr. Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD®).