Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Provided by: Cassandra Thorne (RMT)

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a type of massage that specifically focuses on reducing swelling from lymphedema. Lymphedema is commonly caused by the removal of, or damage to, your lymph vessels or nodes. It is a result of a blockage in the lymphatic system, which is a part of your immune system. The goal of MLD is to move fluid from the swollen area back into circulation by promoting drainage to a place where the lymphatic system is working properly.

MLD is pain free and the therapist uses gentle pressure that is relaxing. The movements are very light to ensure that the small lymph vessels are not flattened.

Although lymphedema has no cure, MLD does have benefits that help to decrease the impact of lymphedema on an individual’s daily life.

The common goals of MLD:

  • Increase functional movement
  • Decrease swelling
  • Preventing infection
  • Maintain skin and tissue health