What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a gentle, non-invasive, manual technique that has a powerful effect on the body and body systems. Activating the lymphatic system’s cleansing process will indirectly affect organs such as the liver, kidneys and lungs, stimulating a detoxification process and boosting energy. The only product prescribed after a lymphatic drainage therapy session is water.

Our treatments are based on lymphodynamic and lymphostatic oedema. The style and skills applied in our clinic originate from the Emil Vodder School and  the Dr Judith Casley-Smith School. This combination of methods has proven to be highly effective and beneficial for our clients.

Each therapy session begins with a proximal pre-treatment. Through this pre-treatment a proximal area is cleared for the distal oedema fluids to move through more effectively. As the treatment proceeds, this fluid can be carried away from the stagnant tissue to the area that was pretreated, and from there transported away. The strokes performed during the treatment must be done in a way that achieves the effect without inflicting damage. The hand merely slides over the skin and strokes are firm enough to stimulate relaxation.

How does Manual Lymphatic Drainage work?

MLD is primarily used to promote the optimal functioning of the lymphatic vessels and to evacuate excess protein from around cells. It is an advanced therapy in which the practitioner uses a range of specialised and gentle rhythmic pumping techniques to move the skin in the direction of the lymph flow. The skin is stretched and torqued in a specific manner, based on scientific, physiological principles that have proven to encourage lymph flow.  When performed correctly with the correct pressure, direction and speed, this can greatly enhance recovery and facilitate drainage.

A first visit will include a consultation during which the practitioner will recommend the number and frequency of future treatments. Each session will last approximately one hour. Where appropriate we will work in conjunction with your medical practitioner. When beneficial for the client, we teach them how to do a simplified version of MLD themselves at home for lymphoedema treatment or pain management.

Lymphatic drainage massage-2

Who will benefit from Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) helps by keeping the environments around the cells healthy and by stimulating the immune system function. Therefore, many conditions can be helped in some way by lymphatic treatment. It is primarily designed for treatment of Lymph oedema and other forms of fluid retention. The following indicates situations when lymphatic drainage can be very beneficial:


  • Primary & Secondary lymph oedema
  • Post-mastectomy/Post-hysterectomy
  • Varicose veins
  • Pre/Post surgery
  • Pre/post cosmetic surgery
  • Post-vein stripping


  • Acne/Eczema
  • Leg ulcers
  • Burns/Scars

Ear, Nose & Throat

  • Sinusitis
  • Tinnitus
  • Ménière’s disease


  • Tensions headaches
  • Migraines
  • Neuralgia, SRD
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stress reduction
  • Chronic Pain


  • Sport recovery
  • Acute sports injuries
  • Pregnancy relief
  • Strengthening of the immune system
  • Colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Toxic poisoning
  • Scleroderma

* Please note. There are some conditions (contraindications) that cannot be treated with manual lymphatic drainage. Contraindications happen when an increase in lymph flow would be detrimental. The physician can override relative contraindications if he or she finds good reason. Please mention any specific medical conditions to us when you make your booking so we can be sure manual lymphatic drainage will be suitable for you.

What results will be achieved with Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

The primary result from Manual Lymphatic Drainage is an increase of lymph flow, that speeds up the circulatory system. This technique will result in a reduction of oedema (swelling) or Lymph oedema. Depending on your condition, benefits generally include:

  • Reduction of lymph oedema
  • Improved immune system health
  • Detoxification
  • Relaxation and energizing effects
  • Pain reduction (Chronic)

Lymphatic drainage massage

Clinic Contact Person

For more information on Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatments, contact Lejorben Lutters on 03 383 1445 (clinic) or 021 1777 003 (mobile).
You can also contact us via email info@handsonclinic.co.nz