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Frequently asked questions about MLD

How long will a session last?

A session may last from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the condition being addressed and how many lymphatic areas are to be treated.

What is a session like? 

MLD is much different than massage and uses very light pressure as lymph vessels are superficial, located in the subcutaneous layer of the skin. The therapist follows the lymphatic pathways, pushing fluid towards the next lymph node station. The movements are slow and tend to induce a deep relaxed state. Afterwards you may feel sleepy and you may have to urinate from the cleansing effects.

How does MLD help the body recover? 


  • Reduces swelling and bruising

  • Prevents and or minimizes adhesions and scar tissue formation

  • Reduces pain and inflammation

  • Speeds the healing process

  • Regenerates broken lymph vessels and damaged tissues


Post-operative MLD


  • Same benefits as injuries

  • Special wound and scar treatments accelerates healing and reduces scarring

Pre-operative MLD (1-2 days before surgery)

  • Prepares and detoxifies the tissues to be operated on

  • Enhances immune functioning, helps prevent infections and improves healing results

  • Promotes relaxation

Migraines and Headaches:

MLD has been shown to be effective in relieving migraines, tension headaches and headaches caused by head trauma/whiplash. Routine MLD treatments can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Receiving MLD at the first sign of a migraine can prevent full onset of a migraine. 


  • Pain is reduced by MLD’s toning effect on dilated cranial blood vessels

  • Reduces concentration of pain mediators through the removal of metabolic wastes from the meningeal vessels

  • Relaxes tight neck and head muscles

  • Sufferers report feeling a reduction in pressure, throbbing and nausea during the treatment


Lymphedema is a serious medical condition, in which fluid accumulates in a limb or torso due to the lymph system being unable to transport the lymph load. Cancer treatment is the most common cause of secondary lymphedema. Lymph node removal, mastectomy or other surgery, radiation, scarring or chemotherapy can disrupt the flow of lymph. 

What are some other conditions MLD with benefit?

  • Frequent colds

  • Sluggish immune system

  • Detoxification

  • Cellulite

  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Lyme Disease

  • Burns and scars

  • Wounds/Trauma/Edema

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

  • Allergies

  • Sinusitis

  • Pregnancy related swelling

When should MLD not be used?

Manual Lymph Drainage is contraindicated in situations where increasing lymph flow would be harmful to certain medical conditions, such as acute infections, malignant tumors, serious heart problems, and acute thrombosis.

There are other relative contraindications that would be considered on a case by case basis. I will take a thorough health history and consult your primary care physician if necessary.

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