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What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage? (MLD)

MLD is a form of gentle massage that encourages the movement of lymph fluids around the body. The fluid in the lymphatic system helps remove waste and toxins from the bodily tissues, and some health conditions can cause lymph fluid to build up.

The Theoretical Basis for MLD

1) stimulating the lymphatic system via an increase in lymph circulation

2) expediting the removal of biochemical wastes from body tissues


3) enhancing body fluid dynamics, thereby facilitating edema reduction

4) decreasing sympathetic nervous system responses while increasing parasympathetic nervous tone yielding a non-stressed body-framework state

5) pre-surgery lymphatic massages may significantly minimize the risk of post-surgical complications that may occur, such as swelling, scar tissue formation, infections, and bruising.

What does a session of MLD look like?

What is the Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic system is a network of tissues, vessels and organs that work together to move a typically colorless, watery fluid called lymph back into your circulatory system (your bloodstream). It also absorbs fats and fat soluble vitamins from the digestive system.  Last and certainly not least, it defends your body against germs and diseases.  It helps fight infections and destroys abnormal cells. 

Basically, the lymphatic system helps to rehydrate your blood, get rid of waste in the cells, improve healing and allow your body (nervous system) to be in a less stressful state!  MLD supports your lymphatic system by encouraging it to run faster and more efficiently. 

Who should consider receiving MLD?

A certified therapist will review your intake form with you, go over your health history and describe the procedure to you.  Our method is very gentle and typically relaxing. 

If you’re familiar with massage but have never had MLD, you should be prepared for it to be a little different. The lymph nodes are delicate and will not drain properly with excessive pressure. For this reason, MLD is a gentle procedure that mostly involves light pressure and slow movements.

Short answer, everyone!  MLD can be helpful for overall general wellness.  However, certain conditions can likely benefit greatly from the technique. Congestion of the lymphatic system may arise as the result of various factors, which include surgery, illnesses, tissue injuries, overexposure to adverse chemicals, food allergies or sensitivities, lack of physical movement or exercise, stress, and tight-fitting clothing.

In addition to the above, MLD can benefit patients with lymphedema, active fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, certain cancers, and other conditions that cause fluid retention.

Who is MLD not for?

What about cosmetic surgery?

CHF, acute kidney and liver failure, certain cancers, current DVT, current infection, and high risk pregnancy. We always recommend discussing any treatment with your MD prior to starting. 


MLD is great for cosmetic surgery, however, the staff at Wholistic Therapeutics practices a more gentle form of MLD that is more appropriate for health and wellness

If you are looking for certain protocols for cosmetic surgery, such as Brazilian Butt Lift, we do not currently provide that service. 

Recommendations on treatment?
If you are currently having swelling, issues with your lymphatic system or preparing/recovering from surgery of any kind, we typically recommend having 2-3 sessions within a 7-10 day period of time. If you want MLD for overall health or well-being, come in for a session and a treatment plan can be discussed with your therapist. 

  Session Cost 
60 Minutes $115
75 Minutes  $145
90 Minutes $160

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