General Effects of Manual Lymph Drainage

General Effects of Manual Lymph Drainage

  • Improvement of lymph capillary uptake
  • Increase of lymph-angioactivity
  • Soothing effect
  • Analgesic effect
  • Re-direction of fluid around blocked areas
Make an Online Appointment




Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy (MLD or LDT) is a gentle, non-invasive bodywork technique that stimulates the flow of lymph fluid in the Lymphatic System. As a scientifically proven and accepted from of treatment LDT and MLD have been administered in clinics, hospitals and spas for many years.  Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Estheticians may provide this service. Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy (MLD & LDT) is NOT massage, but an advanced modality based on the most efficient methods to move lymph.

The Lymphatic System

The Lymphatic System is composed of a network of lymph vessels, tissue and nodes that is very similar to the Circulatory System.  However, compared to the circulation of blood (propelled by the heart at amazing speed), the flow of lymph is extemely slow and easily obstructed or congested.   The purpose of the Lymphatic System is to transport lymph through the lymph vessels, tissues and nodes, filter metabolic waste products, recover important substances from the interstitial space, help regulate the Fluid Balance System and maintain a healthy Immune System by producing and delivering anti-bodies and antigens.


Lymph is the fluid carrried in the lymph vessels. All cells are bathed in lymph.  An essential component of the Immune System and the regulation of the Fluid Balance System, lymph is responsible for the cleansing of the interstitial space by diffusion and osmosis and then transporting waste products and other substances to the lymph nodes for processing.

Lymph Flow

Similar to many other body rhythms that can be felt or measured, like the pulse or respiratory rate, the Lymphatic System has it's own subtle rhythm.  With practice and patience, fingers can "learn" to palpate the wave-like flow of lymph through the lymph vessels.

Lymph Congestion

Many things can hinder the flow of lymph, resulting in swelling within the tissue and a sensation that the affected area is "tight" or "hard". Common causes of lymph stagnation are trauma from surgical procedures or injuries and a lack of physical activity.

The Goal of LDT

The goal of MLD  or LDT is to increase the efficiency of the Lymphatic System, thereby decreasing pain & discomfort and providing a healthy cellular environment.

An LDT Treatment

A feather light touch that follows the direction of the lymph flow stimulates the stretch receptors in the lymphangions (small, valvular pumps found throughout the lymph vessels) activating them to move lymph more efficiently.  This basic technique is repeated, following a sequence that is based on a thorough anatomical knowledge of the Lymph System. The gentle manipulations of the practitioner are painless and can easily be tolerated 24 hours after a surgical procedure.  LDT is so pleasant and relaxing that many people fall asleep during their one hour session.


LDT stimulates the Lymphatic System at a very deep level, suppressing the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight mechanism) and engaging the parasympathetic nervous system (an automatic, physiological relaxation response).


Although LDT is a form of manual therapy and is often administered to a client on a massage table in a relaxing setting, it is not massage.  The technique can be integrated into a traditional massage to enhance the benefits of Massage Therapy.

Cosmetic Surgery

LDT is often recommended for pre and post-op Cosmetic Surgery procedures such as liposuction, breast enhancements, body countouring and facelifts. Ideally, at least one pre-op session is advisable in order to prepare the tissue for the trauma of a surgical procedure.  LDT can then be initiated as soon as 24 hours post-op.  (Check with your surgeon). In a healthy individual with no medical complications, 1-6 treatments are usually adequate to assist in the healing process and relieve the discomfort of swelling and speed the healing of bruising.  For those who wish to return to an active, public life as soon as possible, he/she may opt to continue with a more aggressive regimen until swelling and bruising subside. Packages of 6 or 12 sessions are available at a reduced price.

General Health & Well-Being

LDT boosts the Immune System, facilitates the removal of metabolic waste products from the body and promotes deep relaxation.  A treatment plan can be developed to meet individual goals.


Although Lymph Drainage Therapy is often recommended by doctors, it is not necessary to be referred by a Physician.  Physician referrals are welcome.

Professional Training

Philippa has received training at the Advanced Level in the Chikly method of Lymph Drainage Therapy through the Upledger Institute, studying directly with Dr. Bruno Chikly. She also is a Certified Manual Lymph Drainage Therapist - Vodder Method. (CMLDT)

Copyright © Philippa Dodson, Richardson, TX, 2008