Bendigo Myotherapy
lymphatic drainage

lymphatic drainage

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a specific technique used to facilitate and accelerate the flow of lymphatic fluid (lymph) around the body. The Lymphatic system is the body’s primary defence against disease and infection. It is also effective in detoxifying the body by transporting metabolic waste, oedema, toxins and bacteria out of the body. A congested or blocked lymphatic system can result in fatigue and poor health.

MLD was pioneered by Emil Vodder in the 1930s at a time when very little was understood about the lymphatic system. He developed a sequence of careful hand movements that stretch and twist the skin/connective tissue that are to be applied at a precise pressure best suited to stimulate lymph flow. Since the 1930's a lot has been learned about the lymphatic system, Vodder's techniques while refined by science are still the basis of most MLD techniques used today.

lymphatic drainageAnatomically, the lymphatic system is a major organ of the body's immune system. It is made up of the lymphatic vessels, lymphoid tissues and organs. Lymph flow relies on pressure from movements in skeletal muscle as well as the diaphragm movement with breathing. Generally speaking the lymphatic system on its own can circulate 1.5 - 3 litres of fluid a day, whereas the efficient activation of lymph circulation can increase this figure to 15 - 30 litres per day. MLD directly affects the lymphatic vessels and nodes through manually stimulating lymph circulation.

As not all fluids are reabsorbed directly back into the blood stream, lymphatic capillaries 'mop up' the substances that have escaped from the blood. These substances (now called lymph) enter a vast network of lymphatic vessels which include one-way valves. The lymph is filtered through nodes, cleansing it before it renters the blood stream via two lymphatic ducts near the heart.

The filtering system in the nodes is quite remarkable and complex. In simple terms, there are cells within these nodes that attack and destroy unwanted micro organisms such as bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders. Lymph nodes are often referred to as glands and found scattered throughout the body, including clusters in the neck, arm pit, groin and deep in the abdominal cavity.

MLD facilitates more effective processing of lymph by aiding it to cross physiological boundaries to functioning nodes where others may be congested. Depending on the condition you are being treated for, benefits generally include:

  • Reduced Swelling/Oedema,
  • Detoxification
  • Reduction in Healing Time Post Surgery
  • Reduction in Post Infection recovery time
  • Pain Decrease
  • Relaxation

Treatable conditions:
MLD can have a profound effect on the following conditions. The benefits can often be immediate and long term:

Fluid Retention Acute Injury
Pre Surgery Post Surgery
Excess Oedema/Swelling Arthritis
General Fatigue Pregnancy swelling and Pain
Lymphoedema Fibromyalgia
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Gastroenterology Disorders
Boost Low Immune System Sinusitis/Hay Fever

Conditions Requiring Medical Clearance
While MLD is effective for a wide range of clients, it is not always advisable for everyone. If you have any of the conditions listed below, the clinic requires written approval from a medical practitioner before proceeding:

Malignant Tumours Acute Viral or Bacterial Infection
Acute Bronchitis Heart Valve Insufficiency
Thrombosis Asthma Due To Heart Problems
Very Low Blood Pressure Localised Skin Changes
Cervical Artery Sclerosis Undiagnosed Abdominal Pain
Hyperthyroidism Crohn's Disease

MLD is recognised by western medicine as an effective form of treatment. It is used in many hospitals by Physical Therapists to treat a wide range of conditions. Published studies have proven the benefits of MLD for both Lymphoedema and post operative care for breast surgery.

Important Information For Patients
At Bendigo Myotherapy 90 minutes is allocated for a fully body MLD consultation.

Tight garments impede lymph flow, so patients are advised to wear loose fitting clothes and under garments for 24 hours before and after a MLD treatment.

As MLD treatment accelerates toxin and waste removal from the body, patients may experience some minimal unpleasant after effects. These can include a feeling of tiredness and lethargy, various aches and pains, slight nausea, an increase in sinus discharge, more intense body odour, and dull headaches. Water is an essential part of toxin and waste removal from the body, drinking plenty of water will help reduce any of these effects.

Cleavers tea is another great way to help the body after MLD as it aids in the detoxing process. It is an herbal remedy that is available at the clinic and health food shops.

Many people do not engage their diaphragm well, causing them to breathe shallowly. The MLD practitioner will explain further the importance of a full breath and give the client techniques to accomplish deep diaphragm breathing which can be used throughout the treatment and at home as a way to increase lymph flow.




38 Sternberg Street,
Bendigo 3550,
Ph (03) 5441 1908
Bendigo Myotherapy