What is MLD?

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Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) was first discovered and developed by Dr. Emil and Estrid Vodder in France in the 1920’s and 1930’s. They premiered it in Paris in 1936 to great acclaim and went on to teach their method in many countries all over the world.

Manual Lymph Drainage now sits comfortably in both the medical world and the complementary world and is an accepted part of rehabilitation units, physiotherapy departments and massage departments.

The unique method that the Vodders’ discovered is an exceedingly light skin manipulation that uses no oils or powders. Moving the skin gently over the underlying tissues triggers the musculature of the lymph vessel system to contract more frequently – increasing the absorption of excess fluid and waste products.

The many effects that MLD has on the body started as theories and anecdotal observations. Since the 1950’s most have been investigated and papers have been published by the Vodders, Wittlingers, Foldi, Mislin and others making MLD one of the most investigated therapies available.

As Emil Vodder himself said, ” Our therapeutic treatment often produced surprising and rapid results. Positive effects were always obtained if correct, slow and rhythmic movements were employed – whether we were treating the patient for skin rejuvenation, haematomas caused by accidents, eczema, varicose veins or ulcerous legs.”

What does it do?

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Manual Lymph Drainage activates the musculature of the lymph vessel system increasing it’s rate of absorption from the surrounding tissues.

It’s a non-invasive way to remove excess fluid and waste products more quickly.

It is as effective on the swollen feet of the person who has been standing all day as it is on the swollen leg’s of the person suffering from lymphoedema or the woman who is 8 months pregnant.

Lymphoedema is an important indication for MLD. MLD alone on truncal or facial (“mid-line”) oedema regardless of cause and MLD in concert with specialist bandaging, skin care and exercises (DLT) for limbs.

It’s the perfect antidote to the swelling associated with pregnancy adding nothing toxic to the body whatsoever. These gentle movements are pleasant to experience as excess fluid is collected from the tissues by your own body’s system and sent on its way.

The effects of MLD on the nervous system make it one of the most relaxing treatments available. Perfect for stress and pain control.

Post-operative MLD is common in the plastic surgery field. A facelift patient in France is normally given a prescription for 30 daily MLD treatments to reduce the swelling and bruising, speed the healing and calm the patient.

Old scars can be greatly improved with MLD – normalising the colour and flattening out unsightly scar formation. Migraine and arthritic problems, “glue ear’ in children and congested sinus” can all be positively affected.

The list of indications is a long one and the training given covers the whole body with specific movements for special situations.

Dr. Vodder’s MLD is unique. It is difficult to learn to do well but the rewards are well worth the effort. As one recent student said, “A massive thank you for simply the best week. ” K.G. Sign up now!