Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Manual Lymphatic drainage is a gentle, rhythmic massage. Although gentle it has powerful effects to help with pain relief, cleansing and relaxing properties with immunological effects.  


Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) helps to promote the functioning of the lymphatic vessels that lead to the circulatory system.

MLD helps to do the following:

  • removal of metabolic wastes

  • Excess water

  • Toxins

  • Bacteria

  • large protein molecules

  • foreign substances 

It pushes these products from the tissues into the lymphatic vessels and the venous capillaries. 

Due to the nature of how we live our lives today with diet, increased stress and not being hydrated enough this leads to a build up of toxins and waste in our system due to anaerobic respiration. 


The Benefits of lymphatic massage:

  • relaxes the sympathetic nervous system

  • reduces pain

  • enhances the activity of the immune system

  • can help treat a range of issues from Oedema, Skin Disorders, Headache, Sinus congestion, sprains and aches stress, Digestive disorders. It can be used before and after surgery to remove tissue congestion and minimize scar formation. It can be useful as part of post mastectomy therapy to help reduce oedema, fibrosis, reduce pain and tension.  

Contraindications to treatment

It is NOT advisable to have lymphatic massage if you have any of the following:

  • Acute infectious/ early onset inflammatory disease and fever. e.g. Cellulitis, Erysipetas (a streptococcus bacterial infection of the Dermis) Influenza or active tuberculosis. 

  • Active cancer patients or an undiagnosed lump

  • malignant melanoma

  • Serious circulatory problems i.e Thrombosis 

  • Major Heart Problems i.e Acute Angina pectoris and coronary Thrombosis (heart attack) This is because lymphatic techniques increase cardiac load. 

If you have any of the following it is advisable to seek a GP/ Consultant referral and take the suggested precautions for the following conditions prior to making an appointment:

  • Diabetes (Always bring your blood testing kit with you, any medication and food)

  • Low Blood Pressure

  • Thyroid Problems

  • Kidney Problems 

  • Bronchial Asthma 

  • Epilepsy

  • Removal of the Spleen

  • Organ transplants (Safe for treatment as long as they are no longer taking anti rejection medication)

  • Joint Replacements (Safe providing you have been signed off by your consultant)

  • Advisable to avoid whilst women are menstruating. 

How many lymphatic massage sessions will I need? 

A question commonly asked is how many session will I need? This is just a rough idea as all patients progress at different rates. Please be aware with certain cases the sessions are more frequent in the beginning in order to see progression. When certain conditions are under control we can progress onto a maintenance. Here are some examples below.

Post Surgical

Overall 5-12 sessions initially these need to be every other day for 2 weeks minimum. Depending on how the swelling responds we will then progress onto a monthly maintenance for 5 months after the surgery.

These can be area specific

Initially 3 times a week for approximatly 3 weeks. Progression onto maintenance once a month afterwards. 

These can be area specific


1-2 times per month

This can be Full or Half body. To feel the full effect I would recommend a Fully Body treatment.

This can vary from once a week to once a month. 

This can be area specific but in order to feel the full effect I would recommend a fully body treatment. 

Generally Healthy / Physically Active 
Immune System

I would recommend 2 - 4 sessions a week over a 2 - 4 weeks period. Alongside a Healthy balanced diet.  I would recommend a full body treatment to feel the full benefit. 

This is normally increased during Cold and Flu season this is patient preference. From 1 session a week to one a month. 

I would recommend a full body treatment to feel the full benefit. 

If you have any further questions about Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage please send a message using the contact box.