Lymphatic Drainage & Lymphatic Massage

What exactly is Lymphatic Drainage?

Lymphatic Drainage, or Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), is a gentle, rhythmical massage technique that stimulates movement of lymphatic fluids in order to assist the body in cleansing. In short, it’s a gentle technique that helps pump or move fluid. MLD effectively reduces traumatic and post-surgical swelling, and can provide symptomatic relief of migraine headaches, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), stress, fatigue, and is also appropriate for maintenance of lymphedema. MLD induces general relaxation and detoxification.

MLD is based on the techniques pioneered in the 1930’s by husband and wife, Dr. Emil Vodder, Ph.D., MT and Estrid Vodder, ND.

Our Lymphatic Sessions

Post-op Lymphatic Drainage

Our post-op lymphatic drainage sessions focus on all aspects of the recovery process and include coachig and education on nutrition and water intake, compression garment sizing, and activities that further support the healing process and overall long-term wellness.

Incisional drainage is NOT performed, nor do we use machines/pumps. Lymphatic drainage is done by our hands, so that we can be gentle and find the areas that need a little extra attention. Our sessions are painless!

Per-Session price: $110
Series of 6 Followup Sessions: $595
Series of 12 Followup Sessions: $1120

Full-body Lymphatic Massage

Your Full-body Lymphatic Massage session is structured to help with symptoms caused by more systemic conditions, such as Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia, RA, long-haul COVID, migraines, stress, and fatigue (and more). These sessions encompass the whole body, not just one specific area of concern.

Gentle Swedish massage strokes complement the lymphatic techniques for an exceptionally soothing session. Our 60-minute session focuses on head, arms, and legs; 75-minute sessions include  abdominals. Please note: this is NOT a MLD session for Post-op or Lymphedema care.

60-minute Session (full body): $110
75-minute Session (full body, plus abdominals): $125

Lymphedema Management

Our targeted MLD sessions are suitable for lymphedema management after a successful course of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is concluded. One or more quadrants may be the focus for your session, depending upon the location, severity, and diagnosis of your lymphedema.

We do not bill insurance, however, we are always happy to provide receipts with the info your insurance company would request for reimbursement to you.

Kat is a fully certified Manual Lymph Drainage Therapist in the Vodder techniques.

50-60 minute Session: $110

Your Comfort and Safety Matter!

At Healing Journeys, we do NOT perform incisional drainage techniques. We strongly feel that this is not safe. Massage – and especially lymphatic drainage – should not be painful. It is also outside the scope of practice for massage therapists in most states of the US.

Our team is trained in the Vodder techniques of Lymphatic Drainage, and has successfully completed the rigorous 45 contact hour MLD certification with Klose Training. Successful completion of this certification requires a written and practical exam. We also have additional, specific training in Plastic Surgery Recovery and Fibrosis. We remain up-to-date on current medical research and trends.

You matter to us, and we are committed to being with you on your healing journey!

When Lymphatic Drainage is Not Suitable

A contraindication is when the treatment maybe detrimental to your health due to an existing health condition. Contraindications can either be absolute or relative. Your physician or specialist may choose to override relative contraindications if they find that there would be no or low risk, but an absolute contraindication means that MLD is strictly prohibited.

These contraindications and cautions are in place because MLD treatment increases the flow of fluid around the body and can further aggravate an existing medical condition.

Absolute Contraindications:

  • Acute inflammation caused by bacteria, virus, or toxic agents is contraindicated (including cellulitis and other infections). Tissues typically will be red, warm to the touch, and painful, with swelling sometimes also accompanied by fever. Lymphatic drainage will spread the toxin or infection throughout the body, which may be life-threatening. It is best to wait a few days until the condition is not acute and the body has had a chance to clean up the area. A physician’s approval for MLD may also be advised.
  • Acute untreated deep venous thrombosis (DVT) – can lead to free floating blood clots in the circulatory system, which may be life threatening.
  • Untreated congestive heart problems – if the heart is not fully functioning, edema can be lymphodynamic due to a lack of venous return. Pumping more fluid to the heart may stress it more than the actual condition.
  • Fever

Relative Indications/Cautions:

  • Malignant tumors/disease – including tumor recurrence or metastases, due to a concern for spreading the cancer. Note: if MLD is palliative in nature, then proceeding with MLD to reduce symptoms/edemas and improve quality of life may be advised.
  • Renal dysfunction (kidney disease) – check with physician/specialist before receiving MLD.
  • Thyroid problems – hypo/hyperthyroidism indicate reduced treatment around the throat.
  • Chemotherapy and other medications – caution is needed, due to the risk of impacting the dosage and timing of the drug’s passage through the body.
  • Menstruation/Endometriosis/polycystic ovaries – further assessment will be needed, as MLD can increase the flow.

If you have any concerns regarding MLD treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or consult with your physician/specialist.

See MLD in Action

This video of special imaging shows the movement of lymphatic fluid during MLD. Watch the bottom of the video for the prompt telling you MLD has begun.

From the video information as posted on YouTube:

Stimulation of lymphatic propulsion in the foot and calf of a normal healthy volunteer before and during manual lymphatic drainage. The fluorescence from the indocyanine green (ICG) becomes scattered by tissues as the lymphatic vasculature drains into deeper vessels. The shadow on the ankle arises from black plastic that covers the injection site so that the ICCD (intensified charged coupled device) camera is not oversaturated.