Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)

Table of Contents

Related Articles

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) (sometimes referred to as Manual Lymphatic Drainage) is a form of specialised massage (offer through our sister division Core Concepts) to assist the natural circulation of the lymph through the body. MLD primarily focuses on activation of the lymphatic system to support the natural flow of the lymphatic fluid and targets to reduce swelling.

It is the primary tool for the management of primary and secondary lymphedema. It is also used in the management of the following conditions:

  • Swelling after surgery or trauma (Post-Operative Swelling)
  • Post-treatment removal of cancerous cells
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Non-infected inflammatory conditions (e.g. sprains and strains)
  • Ulceration
  • Dermatological conditions
  • Circulatory disturbances
  • Sports injuries
  • CRPS (RSD)
  • Burns

The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system consists of lymph vessels, lymph nodes and lymphatic tissue. It is found in most parts of the body, except the brain, nails, hair and joint cavities. It is a very important system. A well-functioning lymphatic system is of utmost importance in maintaining health by removing wastes material from the interstitium.

The lymph vessel system carries excess water, proteins and wastes from the connective tissue back to the blood stream.

During the transportation process the lymph is cleaned, filtered and concentrated. Many immune reactions occur in the lymph nodes. There are approximately 500-600 nodes are distributed throughout the body, with clusters found in the underarms, groin, neck, chest, and abdomen.

If the pathways become congested, blocked, damaged or severed, then fluids can build up in the connective tissue. Insufficiency of this system leads to edema mainly in the extremeties and can result in fibrosis. Eventually cell pathology may begin.

If there is a damage in the connective tissue (e.g. burns, chronic inflammation, ulceration, hematoma from injuries or post-surgery), then the lymph vessel system must transport the damaged cells, inflammatory products and toxins away from the area. The quicker this can happen, the faster recovery will be. Early diagnosis and consistent treatment from qualified therapists are a requirement for a successful therapy. The main goal of the therapy is to reduce swelling and halt the progressive course of a lymphostatic edema.

MLD Service

We offer MLD through our physiotherapist at selected Core Concepts clinics, please call us at 6226 3632 or email us at for more information and to make an appointment.