Frequently Asked Questions

Lymph is a mixture of proteins, water, waste products, and immune system elements. Located throughout the body, lymph nodes filter debris. Lymph capillaries pick up these products from between the cells and move it into larger lymph vessels and ducts to the nodes to filter and out to lymph ducts and trunks to connect into the blood circulatory system where lymph becomes blood serum.
A gentle rhythmic massage for decongesting the body. It is highly prescribed by doctors for many conditions and is one part of a four part international protocol for the treatment of lipedema and lymphedema.
Essentially the same as MLD. To this licensed massage therapist lymph drainage massage means a blend of techniques with MLD as the base, adding Dr Chikly Lymph Drainage Therapy, myofascial release, and craniosacral therapy that together will help relieve the tissue and improve flow.
The proof is in the tissues… frequently there is congestion wateriness and stiffness in the tissues just under the skin where the superficial lymph system runs. Much of the time when the treatment is over the congestion is resolved or reduced and the lymph will continue to drain at an increased rate for 72 hours.
Yes in short. If your swelling is cardiac related, then that condition must be under medical treatment before getting massage. Swelling from arthritis, surgery, hot weather, ankles that swell occasionally all are improved by MLD. Plus getting the added benefit of being informed by certified specialists, possibly referred to healthcare providers as needed.
Yes especially to let the LMT know if you are hot, cold, don’t like the music, or if there is tenderness in the tissues. Conversation is fine, though know that you may receive a better treatment if the therapist focuses on the body messages in the tissues.
Briefly, it is swelling. Extra fluid gets trapped and builds up in your tissue when your lymphatic system isn’t working well, usually because your lymph nodes were damaged or removed. It’s often a side effect of cancer treatment and can show up years later. There are also genetic or hereditary forms of lymphedema called primary lymphedema. The usual times of onset are often around puberty, giving birth or menopause.
Lipedema is characterized by increased enlargement of both legs due to deposits of fat beneath the skin. Symptoms of lipedema usually occur in women and begin around times of hormonal change, such as puberty or menopause. Symptoms may include enlargement of the upper legs, arms, pain, and easy bruising. The cause of lipedema is unknown. Many people with lipedema have a family member with lipedema, so it is likely that genetic factors are involved. Diagnosis is based on the symptoms and a clinical exam.  Other more common conditions may need to be ruled out before lipedema is diagnosed. Treatment of lipedema is focused on managing the symptoms and includes both non-surgical and surgical methods (from an NIH website)
It is good to get lymph drainage after any surgery. MLD helps to relieve pain, inflammation and swelling that often accompanies medical procedures. Depending on how your body responds to liposuction, it is likely some protein deposits under the skin may form. These feel like knots and need to be worked out. Part of the training received in MLD is scar tissue release.
The general contraindications for manual lymph drainage are: During acute illness or infection, untreated congestive heart failure, deep vein thrombosis. During menstrual cycle no abdominal massage.
Not generally, but it shouldn’t be done during acute illness or infection.
The most frequent reports heard from clients are: “I feel so much better then when I came in”, I feel so much lighter” and “I feel so relaxed”
Rarely someone will feel detox symptoms like headache, fatigue, malaise after manual lymph drainage (MLD) This may be an indication to bump up your fluids.It is very important to be well hydrated to flush the congestion out.
Manual Lymph Drainage isn’t generally painful. There can be discomfort during deep techniques and it is important to keep your therapist apprised of your pain or discomfort level so pressure can be adjusted.
Yes in fact many are instructed to do self MLD daily.
Some complain of feeling sluggish, sticky congested, or puffy. Some c/o swelling in the ankles or face and neck. For those with missing lymph nodes generally after cancer treatments, feelings of heaviness in the affected area or limb may be an alert to seek treatment for lymphedema of which part of that treatment is MLD.
MLD. Move your body! Deep abdominal breathing gets lymph pumping! Swimming is the best exercise for lymph drainage and trampolines or rebounders are also tops on the list.
3 days to 21 days. The speed and efficiency of the lymph flow is increase over the next 72 hr. after MLD.
Excess fluids and waste products enter the lymph system from the interstitium or space between cells, it travels through lymph nodes where waste product get eaten up by specialized cells. The lymph vessels then connect into the veinous system at the neck’s subclavian vein and become the blood’s serum. Then is processed through the kidneys.
Be well hydrated and have an empty bladder.
Feeling better! Some detox symptoms like headache or fatigue can happen which signal a need to flush by drinking fluids!
Don’t forget to drink water! Don’t do stressful work, enjoy the relaxation for a while.
At Oregon Lymphatics & Massage it’s $100 for an hour
Essentially no difference. Manual lymph drainage (MLD) is trademarked and is prescribed in international protocols to treat lymphedema. MLD is the basis for many styles of lymph drainage techniques. For this LMT, lymph drainage massage is a mash-up of a few styles of lymph drainage.
Yes, mld is usually done while reclining or lying down.
There are videos on-line that show how to do self MLD, but basically massage your neck first while doing deep abdominal breathing. Massage under your arms and in your groin where there are large collections of nodes. That will get you started! Ask for instruction on self mld strokes when you get a lymphatic drainage massage!
MLD speeds up the lymph system. Move your body! Deep abdominal breathing acts as a lymph pump. Swimming is the best exercise for lymph drainage. Jumping on trampolines or rebounders is also tops on the list.
The massage focuses on clearing away swelling, congestion and inflammation from the body through the lymph system.
Manual Lymph Drainage normalizes- Emil Vodder. There are many benefits of MLD including reduction of swelling, puffiness, pain and tenderness, reduction of inflammation, better sleep, reduced stress from time spent in the parasympathetic nervous system aka rest and digest nervous system, reduced sinus and overall congestion. Relaxation and release of tightness, reduction in headaches and lymph node pain.
Dr. Emil Vodder After providing massage on the French Riviera with his wife and Naturopathic physician Estrid Vodder he began wanting to focus on the chronic colds and congestion he was seeing in his clients and developed new techniques focusing on clearing the lymphatic system. He had great interest in the lymphatic system and help bring the presence and anatomy of its workings to the world.  Prior to his work there have been many cultures, like Ayurveda, with their own techniques of cleansing  body waters and detoxing the body.