Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a gentle, rhythmic technique used to promote drainage within the lymphatic system. Developed by Physicians Emil and Estrid Vodder, MLD can help reduce swelling, inflammation, chronic pain, and more.
45 minute: $65
60 minute: $85
Lymphatic Drainage FAQ
What is the lymphatic system?
Great question! In a nutshell, the lymphatic system is a network of vessels and tissues that help detect and fight disease, and that transports fluid and helps your body eliminate waste. Your bloodstream "leaks" fluid containing plasma, electrolytes, proteins, etc. Your lymphatic system collects this fluid and transports much of it back to the bloodstream. It transports the rest to the organs of elimination (kidneys and liver). This process maintains an important fluid balance in your body that keeps you alive. It keeps you from swelling up like a balloon.
What conditions can benefit from MLD?
Evidence suggests that receiving regular MLD may provide relief from the following conditions or symptoms:
What does MLD feel like?
Why don't you offer 75 or 90 minute sessions for MLD?
How can MLD help me recover from a surgery?
MLD can reduce swelling and pain, and stimulate tissue regeneration to help you recover more quickly, with better results. From my experience, most clients feel looser and more mobile after the first session, and continue to see improvement with each subsequent session. However, healing is a process. While massages will help you get to feeling and looking better, reducing hardness and lumpiness and swelling, some people take up to a year or even 18 months to see the full and final results without any residual swelling. This is just how the body works; massage isn't a magic cure-all, but it is certainly a tool to help you recover more quickly and with less pain and discomfort.
I've recently had surgery, and I'm swollen, stiff, and in pain. How many sessions will it take me to feel better?
Surgical recovery is a process that varies for every individual. Most people feel relief after the first session, but this doesn't mean one session will get rid of all your swelling and pain. It typically takes a series of sessions over the course of several weeks; the exact number will depend on many factors, including your overall health pre-surgery, what kind(s) of procedures you've had, diet, hydration, and more. Some people will come to me for a series of 4-6 sessions, and will feel satisfied with "graduating" and simply wearing their compression garments and keeping up with self-care after that. Others will do a series of 10-12 sessions for more complete reduction of swelling, or if they have had more invasive surgeries. It is important to note that even with massages, surgeons often tell clients that it can take up to 6, 12, or even 18 months to see the full and final results of your surgery, and residual swelling can be common up to that point. The swelling you experience will fluctuate with your daily activities, hydration, diet, etc. The important thing is to continue making incremental progress towards being able to function, reduce pain and swelling, and avoid complications.
I have had lymph nodes removed. Is it safe for me to receive MLD?
Yes. I am specifically trained and certified to work with individuals who've had lymph nodes removed or radiated. I reroute the fluid using alternate pathways to protect the areas of your lymph system that are compromised. If you've had lymph nodes removed, it is always best to receive MLD from a Certified MLD Therapist (CMLDT), or a Certified Lymphatic Therapist (CLT).
Can MLD help me after a dental procedure?
Yes, it can help you with the infamous chipmunk-face and discomfort. Dental pain can also be reduced when the swelling is brought under control. I recommend coming in the following day, or even same day, after a dental procedure. A 45-minute session is generally sufficient for these situations, as I will primarily work the neck, head, and face.
How can MLD help someone with autoimmunity?
MLD has a soothing effect on the nervous system and the tissues. I see a number of clients with different autoimmune conditions in order to relieve inflammation, reduce swelling that may be part of treatment (i.e. medication or steroid infusions), and to lower the frequency and severity of flare ups. Clients often state that MLD noticeably reduces their pain, and can reduce other symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, and headaches. One thing to note-- it is best not to receive MLD during a flare, as this is sometimes too much for the body and can aggravate symptoms. MLD is best used as a tool for managing everyday symptoms, and preventing future flares or reducing severity of them.
Can MLD help me detox my body?
Detox is a bit of a buzzword right now. It is true that we do inhale and ingest pollutants in our day to day lives. In general, if you're an overall healthy person, your liver and kidneys do a great job detoxing you all on your own. Sometimes, though, the liver gets backed up and the lymphatic system has a greater volume of fluid than it can efficiently move. This may be true if you're feeling fatigued, bloated, inflamed, have unexplained skin issues, and other conditions that aren't responding to traditional medication. Many clients report feeling lighter and more energetic after a session. In rare cases, the body may truly be undergoing a detoxification process (one possible example is mercury poisoning that may occur through dental malpractice or mercury consumption). Lymphatic drainage can support you in this process, but be sure to get clearance from your doctor in such cases.
Do you offer bandaging or compression fitting for clients with lymphedema?
No, I don't offer this. It is generally much more economical for patients to visit a lymphedema clinic, or a physical therapist or occupational therapist. These practitioners are typically able to bill insurance. Once a patient has received this care, I come in as a "maintenance practitioner". This means that, as a massage therapist, I am able to provide MLD at a lower cost than most physical therapists and other medical practitioners, which makes it possible for people to receive MLD on a more regular basis to manage lymphedema.
Do you accept insurance?
No, I do not bill insurance. I am able to accept HSA/FSA payments, but every HSA/FSA is different, and I can't guarantee that yours will cover massage therapy. You will need to check with your HSA/FSA provider to confirm.
Where did you do your training? Are you certified?
Yes, I am a Certified Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist (CMLDT). I received my training and certification through Klose Institute. Following training, I spent a year apprenticing under a lymphatic therapist in Austin, TX.
How soon after a surgery can I begin receiving MLD?
This varies, and is something you should ask your surgeon. However, in general, once your drains are out and your incisions are closed, you can begin receiving massages with me. I do NOT drain fluid out of incisions; I am often asked if I offer this service. There are several reaosns I do not, and why you should not seek out massage therapy from someone who offers this: