Manual Lymphatic Drainage method

Kathy Kavanagh

6th March 2018

6th March 2018

Manual Lymphatic Drainage method is an advanced discipline in the field of medical massage. It should only be applied from a specially trained therapist. It is a gentle circular massage carried out with precise rhythmic movements exerting different intensities of pressure. Additional circular/pumping and cupping motions aim to re-direct fluid away from swollen areas towards the healthy lymphatic nodes where the fluid can be drained by normal routes back into the circulation system. Overall this method of Manual Lymphatic Drainage is used to increase the transporting capacity of all lymph-collecting vessels and with that decrease any swelling appearing in the body.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage not only stimulates the vital functions of the skin, tissues and internal organs, but also serves to eliminate cellular waste and stimulate the parasympathetic relaxation response inhibiting muscle tonus and pain. Research has also shown that Manual Lymphatic Drainage stimulates the immune system to produce more immunity.

This method of MLD ® treatment :

  • stimulates and supports the healthy functioning of existing lymph vessels
  • results in a healthier and more robust lymphatic system
  • removes metabolic wastes, excess water, toxins, bacteria, large protein molecules and foreign substances from the body tissues (removes fluid from the tissues)
  • helps the body heal more quickly from injuries, surgical trauma and chronic conditions
  • softens scar contracture
  • supports the action of the immune system
  • greatly reduces the pain signals sent to the brain
  • lymphoedema management
  • relaxation
  • pain relief
  • possible secondary lymphoedema prevention
  • excellent for general health care
  • oedema reduction
  • pre and post surgery
  • before or after a long flight


Manual Lymphatic Drainage benefits conditions such as:

 Lymphoedema (Primary and Secondary)


‣ Skin conditions such as Eczema and Acne

‣ Swelling and the associated pain

‣ Pre- and post-cosmetic surgery

‣ Sinusitis and congestion

‣ Fluid retention