Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a type of gentle massage which is intended to encourage the natural drainage of the lymph, which carries waste products away from the tissues back toward the heart. The lymph system depends on intrinsic contractions of the smooth muscle cells in the walls of lymph vessels (peristalsis) and the movement of skeletal muscles to propel lymph through the vessels to lymph nodes and then to the lymph ducts which return lymph to the cardiovascular system. Manual lymph drainage uses a specific amount of pressure (less than 9 ounces per square inch or about 4 kPa) and rhythmic circular movements to stimulate lymph flow.
Manual lymphatic drainage was pioneered by Danish Drs. Emil Vodder and Estrid Vodder in the 1930s for the treatment of chronic sinusitis and other immune disorders. While working on the French Riviera treating patients with chronic colds, the Vodders noticed these patients had swollen lymph nodes. In the 1930s, the lymphatic systemwas poorly understood. The Vodders were not deterred by this and, in 1932, began to study the lymph system, developing light, rhythmic hand movements to promote lymph movement. In 1936, they introduced this technique in Paris, France, and after World War II, they returned to Copenhagen to teach other practitioners to use this therapy.
MLD is now recognized as a primary tool in lymphedema management. Therapists can today receive certification through special classes conducted by various organizations specializing in MLD, or through a complete lymphedema treatment certification course.
**Jennifer Vaughn LMT, CMLDT has been Certified in Vodder Method of Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy by the Klose Training & Consulting, LLC. This training authorizes Jennifer Vaughn LMT, CMLDT to perform MLD, this certification does not authorize to fit clients for Compression nor to treat extreme cases of Lymphedema. For these issues we can refer you to a Complete Lymphedema Therapist in our area.