Skip to main content

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Video property of Md Abuzar on 2015-01-13.

Manual Lymph Drainage also known as MLD is a highly specialized treatment using gentle, non-invasive techniques that can be used immediately after injury to enhance recovery. Light touch is applied to the tissues in order to stretch the tissue in specific directions to increase the amplitude and speed of lymph vessel contraction thus increasing lymph flow.

Developed by Dr. Emil Vodder in France in the 1930s. The Lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system. It is a one-way system that functions as a filter by removing wastes, cellular debris, toxins, and fluid from the tissues. The gentle, rhythmic, pumping technique to assist lymph flow, tissue drainage and return it to the blood circulatory system.

It can be used as a stand-alone treatment or combined with other therapies, including taping and compression therapy.

MLD can be applied to the following acute or chronic conditions:

Some of these conditions have had extensive research studies while others are based on clinical observations.

  • Lymphedema Primary and Secondary
  • Sports Injuries
  • Pre and Post Surgery (cancer, orthopaedic, cosmetic, dental)
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) /
    Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
  • Breast Health
  • Pregnancy
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Concussions
  • Orthopaedic Injuries (such as fractures and sprains)
  • Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
  • Burns
  • Edema / Swelling / Inflammation
  • Dermatological (scars, stretch marks, acne, rosacea)
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes

Benefits of MLD:

  • Better circulation of lymph, which improves/boosts the immune system (increased lymphocyte production)
  • Decreased pain by affecting the nervous system and removing pain-inducing chemicals from the affected area
  • Prevention, treatment, and control of lymphedema (commonly occurs after cancer treatment)
  • Helps aid the body’s recovery process/helps the body repair itself
  • Maintains healthy connective tissue
  • Aids the body’s natural process of waste removal and detoxification
  • Reduces swelling, fluid retention, and inflammation
  • Calms the nervous system

Our Experts


Candace Racanelli

My interest in becoming a RMT stemmed from personally benefiting from massage therapy. Massage helped me as I trained for a half marathon and overcame an MVA injury. Such experiences motivated me to learn how I could help others prevent and recover from injuries and meet their personal goals.

I believe that the body has an inherent ability to heal itself. My goal is to determine the underlying issue through clinical assessment and to make corrections through clinical treatment and home care such as strengthening exercise, stretch and hydrotherapy.

I work with each patient, creating an individualized treatment plan, and view the recovery process as a team effort. I believe effective massage therapy can provide lasting change for a healthier you. I work with your individual needs and goals so you can be at your best!

Candace is a graduate of Vancouver College of Massage Therapy’s 3000 hour Registered Massage Therapy program. She is also certified in Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT), Lymph taping and Graston’s technique.

Schedule with Candace