Manual Lymphatic Drainage

What is manual lymphatic drainage? 

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is part of the complex physical decongestion therapy (KPE) for the treatment of lymphedema. It is primarily used as an edema and decongestion therapy for swollen body regions such as the torso, arms and legs, which can occur after injuries or operations. This therapy is particularly often prescribed by the doctor for lymphedema, which can occur after cancer treatment or lymph node removal. 


How is a treatment with manual lymphatic drainage structured?  

The therapist uses special hand movements that move the liquid towards the throat through rhythmic, circular and pumping movements of the flat hands on the body. A suction effect is sometimes achieved through breathing and the stimulation of distant lymph nodes, which supports the removal. In this way, swelling of the tissue occurs, pain is reduced and the tissue becomes looser and softer again, so that mobility also improves. In addition to manual lymphatic drainage, therapy is supported with compression bandages or custom-made compression stockings as well as skin care and special movement therapy. Lymphatic drainage should not be used if certain diseases are present. These include advanced heart failure, fever, inflammation or deep vein thrombosis.