Lymph Drainage Therapy

What is MLD or LDT? 

MLD stands for Manual Lymphatic Drainage and was the early creation of Drs. Emil & Estrid Vodder in the 1930’s to treat chronic sinusitis and diffuse acne.

LDT stands for Lymph Drainage Technique, which was developed by Dr. Bruno Chikly through research and scientific diagnostics to better understand how the lymphatic system functions within the body. He developed a unique and gentle hands on method to help drain excess or stagnant fluid enabling the different systems & structures within the body to function optimally. 

How does it work?

The therapist learns to follow the flow of the lymphatic fluid using their palms & fingers to gently stimulate the lymph vessels just below the surface of the skin (like waves lapping at a beach). Advanced practitioners learn to assess & help the body reroute lymphatic flow that has been disturbed or has an abnormal pattern of flow. 

What can patients expect from a treatment?

The pressure used is very light (5 grams) and sometime feels like the skin is being slightly stretched. LDT is very relaxing, many patients fall asleep during treatment.

What does MLD/LDT treat?

  • Edema (swelling)
  • Lymphedema
  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency 
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Detoxification, Improvement of the immune system
  • Skin conditions – acne, rosacea, wrinkles, cellulite
  • Reduce: stress, chronic pain, fatigue
  • Stretch marks, menopause symptoms
  • Chronic constipation, IBS, Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s, MS, Vertigo, Peripheral Nerve disorders
  • Headaches, Migraines 
  • Neck pain, whiplash
  • Allergies, Bronchial asthma, Hay fever
  • Gout, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, fascial restrictions & scars
  • Sports preparation, sports injuries, muscle spasms, muscle cramping, traumatic edemas from torn muscles and sprained ligaments or articulations. 
  • Pre & Post surgery treatment, Symptoms associated with post -trauma, dislocations & sprains

Are there any side effects for an MLD/LDT treatment?

Sometimes release of toxins may cause the patient to feel unwell after a treatment with symptoms such as; nausea, muscle aches, pain, tiredness & possibly a sluggish feeling; these usually do not last long. Patients may also notice a change in frequency of urination, either going more often or a larger amount, and there can also be a change in smell due to toxins being transported out of the body. Alterations in sleep patterns are also another common reaction. Patient may have a pleasing tiredness which will make them want to sleep for longer or, on the other end of the spectrum, they may feel more alert and therefore stay up later in the evening but will still feel like they have more energy the next morning. 

Final comments

Therapeutic Lymph Drainage Therapy can be very beneficial to many individuals, it can help improve the immune system and create a better quality of life. Everyone should try it!

Chikly B (2017) Silent waves, theory and practice of lymph drainage therapy. With applications for lymphedema, chronic pain, and inflammation. 3rd ed. I.H.H. Publ, Scottsdale, AZ, USA. 

*Massage Therapists do not provide diagnoses; only doctors provide diagnoses for medical conditions.*