What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

One of the services at NeoTherapy is manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), which helps your body to detox itself faster, and potentially boosts the immune system.  The lymphatic system is your body’s detox system, cleansing waste products that travel from the blood, through the various lymphatic vessels and into the lymph nodes, of which we have about 600-700 in our bodies.  Lymph nodes help to filter out antigens, which are tackled in addition by other lymph structures: the spleen, macrophages (a type of white blood cell) and dendritic cells (also connected to the immune system). Anything that can’t be recirculated is expelled in the urine or by sweating.

MLD involves specific techniques that speed up the flow of lymph to the lymph nodes.  Due to the way lymph is pumped around our bodies, a gentle and rhythmical approach is very effective (different to sports massage!) making this a very relaxing treatment. Oil is not usually used, as the therapist works with the sebum in the skin instead.  Catherine at NeoTherapy is trained in the Vodder technique, which is internationally recognized and was developed in the 1930s.  Scientific reports over the years have found some positive evidence for the effectiveness of this treatment:  https://vodderschool.com/bibliography_of_research_articles


The main benefits of MLD are:

  • Decongesting and detoxing: Helping the body to clear toxins and waste products.  It can be very effective at reducing swelling, e.g. after an operation or injury, as well as water retention.  As with massage, it can help the digestive system, and it can be good for the skin/complexion.
  • Relaxing: It has a soothing effect on the autonomic nervous system and can, therefore, be good to treat areas of chronic pain.

Please note that we do not treat most cases of lymphoedema at our clinic.  For lymphoedema therapists, please visit: http://www.mlduk.org.uk/therapists/