Manual Lymphatic Drainage Information

MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) is a gentle massage which helps drain lymphatic fluid.  It is often used as a therapeutic, preventative or remedial treatment before and after surgery.  It is also be used as part of Complete Decongestive Treatment (CDT) for Lymphoedema which last approximately 3 weeks 1-3.

There are several well-recognised forms of Medical Lymphatic Drainage  – Vodder (developed in the 1930s), Földi (1960s), Leduc (1960s) Casley-Smith (1970s) and FG (2014) (Foldi 2003). All schools of MLD follow the same principles and are accepted worldwide as key to the treatment and management of Lymphoedema 4-8

Style Country
Vodder Austria
Földi Germany
Casley-Smith Australian
Leduc Belgium
Fill & Flush UK


Whilst MLD should not be used as a stand-alone treatment in the management of Lymphoedema it has far reaching benefits which have a holistic effect on patient’s well-being and empowerment 9-12.

Colchester Holistic Health Clinic tailors your treatment to suit your individual needs and requirements. As a Specialist Physiotherapist and Clinical Lymphoedema Therapist with a wealth of experience in primary and secondary Lymphoedema, as well as Lipodema and post-surgical oedema from plastic or orthopaedic surgery treatments and complex post-trauma odema. You are in safe professional hands that care about your health and comfort.

MLD is very gentle technique that subtly moves and stretches the skin which influences the underlying initial lymphatics and stimulates movement of lymphatic fluid through a network of vessels and nodes in your lymphatic system. This improves the free flow and removal of waste products from your body, and increases delivery of substances vital to your immunity; promoting healthy fluid balance and healing with the natural defence mechanisms.

MLD can be safely used for patients who have Lymphoedema secondary cancer treatment such as surgery or radiotherapy, and hosts many potential benefits both physically helping compromised immune and lymphatic system and psychologically to optimise positive outcomes 13-14.  Most reputable surgeons and doctors recommend soothing MLD following surgery to optimise healing and recovery. Whatever your reason for requiring MLD you can feel reassured and confident that your best interest is our central focus at Colchester Holistic Health Clinic.

MLD may also be beneficial and promote proper functioning of your body’s immunological response helping auto-immune diseases and other disorders such as 15:

Rheumatoid Arthritis


Asthma &Eczema

Chronic Fatigue/ME

Menstrual Problems

Sinus Problems

Migraines and Headaches



1             Macmillian (2016). Lymphatic Drainage. [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from:

2             Macmillan (2018) Lymphoedema. [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from:

3             Cancer Research (2019) MLD [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from:

4             Badger C, Preston N, and Seers K (2004). Physical therapies for reducing and controlling lymphoedema of the limbs. Cochrane Database Systematic Review. 18(4): CD003141. Review

5             Giacalone G, Belgrado JP, Bourgeois P, Bracale P, Roh N and Moraine JJ (2011). A New Dynamic Imaging Tool to Study Lymphoedema and Associated Treatments. The European Journal of Lymphology. Vol XXII – Nr 62

6            De Vrieze, T., Vos, L., Gebruers, N., Tjalma, W.A., Thomis, S., Neven, P., Nevelsteen, I., De Groef, A., Vandermeeren, L., Belgrado, J.P. and Devoogdt, N., 2018. Protocol of a randomised controlled trial regarding the effectiveness of fluoroscopy-guided manual lymph drainage for the treatment of breast cancer-related lymphoedema (EFforT-BCRL trial). European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology221, pp.177-188.

7             Royal Marsden (2015) Manual Lymphatic Drainage [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from:

8             Lee, N., Wigg, J., Pugh, S., Barclay, J. and Moore, H., 2016. Lymphoedema management with the LymphFlow Advance pneumatic compression pump. British journal of community nursing21(Sup10), pp.S13-S19.

9            St Georges – Centre of Excellence UK (2020). Lymphoedema Department [Online] [Accessed 14/07/2015] Available from:

10          Gordon, K. and Mortimer, P.S., 2018. Decongestive lymphatic therapy. In Lymphedema (pp. 413-429). Springer, Cham.

11           NHS Choices Information (2019) Lymphoedema – Treatment [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from:

12          International Lymphoedema Framework (ILF) (2019) Annual Report June 2019 [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from:

13           Deng, J., Sinard, R.J. and Murphy, B., 2019. Patient experience of head and neck Lymphedema therapy: a qualitative study. Supportive Care in Cancer27(5), pp.1811-1823.

14          Achen, M., YUAN, Y., Arcucci, V. and Levy, S., 2019. Modulation of Immunity by Lymphatic Dysfunction in Lymphedema. Frontiers in immunology10, p.76.

15          Soos, J.M., Schiffenbauer, J. and Johnson, H.M., University of Florida, 2000. Method for treatment of autoimmune diseases. U.S. Patent 6,060,450.