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Available at MOVE Surrey


Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a gentle no oil manual therapy which promotes lymph flow and drains the affected tissue of excess water and protein. 

The Dr. Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) works with continuous circular strokes of increasing and decreasing pressure. This constant change in pressure generates a pumping effect in the lymphatic vessels of the skin. This gentle technique is mostly applied to the skin. In some instances, a deeper pressure is used to stimulate lymph nodes or to soften dense fibrotic tissue. These hand movements should not cause pain or reddening of the skin as this would have a negative effect on the lymph flow. It is important to use light pressure in order to access the tiny lymphatic vessels in the skin.  (Wittlinger, n.d.)


Translation of Near-Infrared Fluorescence Imaging Technologies: Supplemental Video 2

(Annual Review Extra, 2012)



Wittlinger, D. (n.d.). Information about Dr. Vodder’s method of manual lymphatic drainage.

Annual Review Extra. (2012, October 9) Translation of Near-Infrared Fluorescence Imaging Technologies: Supplemental Video 2. [Video} YouTube


Medical conditions often benefited by Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD):

  • Lymphedema

  • Traumatic and repetitive strain injuries

  • Post cancer/reconstruction surgical care and side effects from cancer treatments (i.e. radiation, chemotherapy)

  • Pre/Post surgical care (orthopedic/cosmetic)

  • Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)

  • Pre and post-natal care

  • Lipedema

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Burns

  • Psoriasis

  • Post-fracture

  • Neurites

  • Chronic Sinusitis

  • Dysmenorrhea/Breast pain (i.e. Endometriosis, PCOS)


Manual Lymphatic Drainage is contraindicated for individuals with:

  • Untreated Bacterial infections

  • Untreated blood clots

  • Kidney failure

  • Congestive heart failure


If you are unsure if this service is for you, contact us at

How to book for Manual Lymphatic Drainage Treatment


MLD treatments at Move are performed by RMTs certified in Vodder Method of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT).  They are covered under “Registered Massage Therapy” in your extended insurance plan.


For MLD to be effective it is essential to both competently apply the specialized techniques and to adjust therapy sessions to symptoms of the individual patient. MLD sessions require different lengths depending on the condition being treated.  Your therapist will advise on the lengths of sessions for your follow up treatments.


Our Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) service includes:

  • 90-min Initial Assessment: Your RMT will assess, take measurements, provide professional clinical observation, introduce care plan and treatment options, and perform a hands-on therapy

  • 60/75/90/120-minute Subsequent Appointment: re-assessment and treatment


Before Your Appointment: Please provide as much information about your medical condition as possible in your intake form.  If you had surgeries, surgical reports are very helpful to the therapists.  Your medical history information will help therapists make informed decisions about your treatment plan.  If you are currently experiencing an active cancer, prior to booking your MLD appointment, schedule a consultation with your Oncologist to obtain referral and permission for MLD treatment.  If you notice any symptoms of a cold, please contact us to reschedule your appointment.


Initial Assessment:  Therapists certified in Manual Lymphatic drainage will assess you and obtain information from your medical history.  Your therapist will provide you with a home care plan, treatment options, and perform hands-on therapy.   If you are coming in for the treatment of edema (swelling) please bring any compression garments you are using (or have used) to manage your condition to show your therapist.


Follow-up Sessions:  Subsequent appointments include re-assessment, continued learning, and hands-on therapy.  Frequency of treatment is dependent on patients and their condition.  Your therapist will advise the frequency needed based on your agreed treatment plan. Frequency may range from a few times a week to once every 3 months.


After Sessions Plan to have a restful day after treatment and increase in water intake



Your RMT/ MLD therapist may advise on appropriate types of compression garments (ie: stockings, sleeves, gloves, bra, Circaid reduction kit, compression bandages) which can help reduce or manage your edema.  Some products may be ordered or purchased at Move Health & Wellness.  Ask your therapists.



What is the Lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system. Canadian Cancer Society.


What is Lymphedema/Lipedema?

BC Lymphedema Association - What is Lymphedema.


Self bandaging arm and Self bandaging leg

Wittlinger Lymphedema Clinic -Pillar 2: Bandaging.


Decongestive Exercise

Wittlinger Lymphedema Clinic -Pillar 2: Bandaging.


Cancer Patient Support

Inspire Health : Homepage.


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