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Remedial Massage & Lymphedema Therapy

improve quality of life


Education Therapy

facilitate positive outcomes

Dr Vodder's Manual Lymphatic Drainage

The Lymphatic System is involved in the health of all the body tissues. It acts to cleanse and assist in the regeneration of connective tissues, keeping it free of irritants, removing by products of metabolism and foreign particles. The Lymphatic system also helps to maintain blood volume, circulates proteins, transports large fat molecules and is inextricably integrated with the proper functioning of the immune system.

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD®) is a gentle, soothing, non-invasive technique, which significantly improves the activity of the lymph vessels. Its effectiveness lies in its subtlety, precision and focus.

Estrid and Emil Vodder developed their technique in the 1930's and later worked with other lymphatic pioneers to develop a unique and highly effective treatment.

The Dr Vodder method of MLD® is the most extensively researched and widely taught manual drainage technique.

Unlike regular massage, MLD® does not increase the movement of fluids from the blood vessels into the tissues and therefore does not increase tissue congestion. In fact research shows that MLD® significantly reduces tissue congestion and oedema.

As well as being highly effective in the treatment of a broad range of acute and chronic conditions, MLD® can be used as part of a health maintenance program to clear toxins from the body and generally aid the circulation of the lymph.

MLD® has an effect in

The nervous system

The immune system

Smooth muscle

Tissue drainage


MLD® has an effect in:

The nervous system

The immunea system

Smooth muscle

Tissue drainage


  • MLD® assists the lymph system to remove metabolic wastes, excess water, toxins, bacteria, large protein molecules and foreign substances from body tissues.
  • MLD® through its gentle, rhythmical and precise hand movements, alleviates pain by greatly reducing the pain signals sent to the brain.
  • MLD®affects the sympathetic nervous system and helps to relieve stress.
  • MLD® supports the action of the immune system.
  • MLD® helps the body to heal more quickly from injuries, surgical trauma and chronic conditions.
  • MLD® helps to minimize scar formation and can be use to soften scar contracture.


Nervous System


The light, slow rhythmic and repetitive movements act on the autonomic nervous system to reduce sympathetic activity, allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to function fully. This is excellent for stress and sleep disorders.


Alternating light pressure acts on the mechanoreceptors ( light touch receptors) which can inhibit pain pathways. Because the method is so gentle, it can be used immediately to reduce the pain of recent traumatic injury.It will also reduce swelling and bruising and assist in the healing process. MLD® is also valuable in the treatment of chronic pain, fibrositis, arthritic pain, rheumatoid pain, headache and migraines, whiplash, muscle tears and all sports injuries.

Immune System

The lymph system is a site of production of antibodies and lymphocyte reproduction. These elements of the immune system act to destroy and remove pathogens and foreign cells. MLD® can be used in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions ( when the immune system is depleted ), ulcers and other conditions.

Smooth Muscle and Drainage

Stretching the lymph vessels stimulates contraction in the smooth muscle in the walls of the vessels thereby increasing lymph flow in the vessels and increased removal of wastes and toxins from the tissues.The action of MLD® in the sympathetic nervous system dilates the per-capillary sphincter which increases blood flow through the capillary without increasing blood pressure or tissue congestion. The action of MLD® in the SNS indirectly allows for increased digestion function.

INDICATIONS - Physiological characteristics that can be treated with MLD


Constipation, digestive problems, poor bowel movements

Poor circulation in extremities

Diabetic and venous ulcers

Tissue congestion, muscle tears, bruising, whiplash

Post event removal of lactic acid

Adjunct to cleansing diets

Adjunct to cellulite treatments


Relative - Conditions that must be treated with Caution

Treated cancer

Chronic infections

Treated thrombosis

Pregnancy ( no deep abdominal work)

Low Blood Pressure


Hyper / Hypothyroidism


Suspicious moles

Allergy related skin conditions

Absolute - Not suitable for MLD Therapy

Acute inflammation with infection

Recent thrombosis

Active malignancies

Cardiac oedema/congestive heart failure



Post mastectomy / hysterectomy

Pre-surgical preparation

Post-surgical swelling/recovery

Pre-/post cosmetic surgery

Post –amputation

Post vein stripping

Ear, Nose and Throat

Allergies / Hayfever


Tinnitus/ Menieres disease


Tension Headaches/ Stress


Carpal Tunnel syndrome


Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) / Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

Multiple sclerosis



Diabetic/venous ulcers

Burns /scars


Muscle/ ligament tears

Fractures/ dislocations



Neck Pain / whiplash

Chronic pain

Sprains /strains



Toxic Poisoning

Chronic fatigue


What is Involved in a MLD® Therapy Session

Your Therapist will interview you.

There are no oils used in MLD® therapy, the clothing is removed as appropriate to the treatment.

MLD® is applied as a light pressure and only stimulates the skin and loose connective tissues.

MLD® is a very methodical and rhythmical technique and works best in a calm, warm environment preferably without music.

An MLD® session optimal time is 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour's. The lymphatic vessels need time to respond to the stimulation of MLD®.

If the treatment is for an injury or a specific purpose, a treatment plan may need to be arranged for optimal recovery.

MLD® works best when applied as often as possible within a shorter time period, for example - 5 treatments within one or two weeks would achieve better results than 5 treatments in 5 weeks.

A course of MLD® will usually involve establishing what you expect to achieve and tailoring the treatments to the desired outcome i.e. Do you want to get back on your feet after an unexpected injury that hinders your work capacity or quality of life? Will a complete detoxification program suite your lifestyle and health goals?

MLD® can also be a useful adjunct to many other types of physical therapy.



Below are some links to find more information about Dr Vodder's Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Lymphology.

If you have a diagnosed Lymphoedema or any of the other indications listed above please click here to fill out a contact form.