Vodder MLD Face - Calm and Clear - copyright

My sinuses have been mostly clear despite having had a cold /cough which has made me quite phlegmy.  For the first time in an age I can breathe clearly through my nose and also the cold didn’t make my head thick and sinuses throb. My ears also have stopped ‘cracking’ and feel clear again. when I got up and looked in the mirror in the bathroom the morning after I had my treatment, I was really surprised at my reflection – my face looked much less drawn, my eyes had less deep circles underneath them and my complexion seemed brighter.

MLD Face

What is Manual Lymph Drainage?

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is an advanced therapy where the practitioner uses a range of specialised and gentle rhythmic pumping techniques to move the skin in the direction of the lymph flow. (taken from MLD UK).

The name describes some of what the treatment does. Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a very gentle form of massage aimed at moving the lymph under the skin, however it does not involve draining the whole of the lymphatic system away. It aids the formation and transport of lymph around the body.

The lymphatic system has many functions in the body. It forms an important part of our immune system and is also designed to assist in the removal of waste products from the cells of the body.

The circulation of the lymphatic system is not mechanically controlled by the body, therefore this system has to rely on muscular movement, blood circulation and the nervous system to assist circulation around the body.

The lymphatic system can become very sluggish and doesn’t work at it’s best due to a variety of reasons, including lack of muscular movement, poor diets, disease and infections. A sluggish lymphatic system can lead to the body not eliminating it’s waste efficiently, and this can lead to the body suffering from a build-up of lymph which shows as an oedema, or water retention.

This gentle massage technique is designed to activate the musculature of the lymph vessel system so that they contract more often, there by increasing the rate of absorption of fluid and waste products from the surrounding tissues. It is a non-invasive way to remove excess fluid and waste products more quickly.

This is an excellent treatment for anyone suffering from primary or secondary lymphoedema, lipoedema or recovering from any surgery.


History of MLD

Manual Lymph Drainage was first developed in the early 1930s by Dr.Emil Vodder and Estrid Vodder in France. They premiered it to the world in 1936 in Paris and from this they went on to teach it around the world.

Since Vodder’s pioneering work, MLD has spread world wide and has become a popular treatment in many European hospitals and clinics. It is now beginning to gain acceptance in the UK as a part in the treatment and control of lymphoedema and oedemas.


What happens during a treatment?

At Calm and Clear Complementary Therapies® a full and detailed consultation is taken before the massage, checking for any contraindications to treatment. Details about general health, medication, diet and hobbies will be discussed.

The treatment itself is held in a warm, comfortable room where you will be asked to lie down on the couch. You will be covered with blankets or towels throughout the treatment.

A massage, tailor made for your needs, will then commence. Each treatment can be from one hour to one and a half hours, this can vary depending upon your personal needs. The client often sleeps during the treatment as it is so relaxing. Unlike other massages no oils or powders are normally used during the treatment.

The treatment will focus on the neck and face areas primarily. The areas that will be treated will be discussed with you at the time of your appointment should it seem relevant to work in other areas.

After the massage you will be given some follow up and after care advice. General lifestyle advice will also be given related to your individual needs, including some dietary advice and muscle stretching. Some information about using natural products at home may also be given if appropriate.


Benefits of Manual Lymph Drainage

There have been many benefits reported from receiving Manual Lymph Drainage, and a lot of research has been done for this (see below for some projects). MLD has been used both as a preventative and as a remedial method.

Some of the conditions clients have used MLD for includes:

  • Pregnancy related water retention
  • Hormonal issues
  • Stress and anxiety – deeply relaxes and soothes
  • Aiding a detox programme
  • Sinus congestion
  • Migraines/headaches
  • Toothache (non-infected)
  • Pre and post dental work
  • Ear issues
  • Puffy eyes
  • Bloating
  • Wounds and burns
  • scars (including old scars) – helping to reduce the appearance of them
  • Skin Conditions
  • Pre and post Cosmetic surgery – to aid healing and reduce swelling
  • Pre and post most surgery – to aid recovery, reduce bruising and swelling
  • Recovery from chronic infections
  • Fluid congestion
  • For general well being


By encouraging the removal of waste and excess, stagnant connective tissue fluid the skin gets its nutrients more quickly and begins to look fantastic.

Typically you can expect skin to look clearer and feel softer, eyes to be brighter, dark areas below the eyes to lighten, puffiness and congestion to reduce and a more defined jaw-line.

Head, eye, ear, nose, mouth, dental, throat, sinus and skin problems resulting from lymphatic related congestion can respond positively.  Some people use this treatment to help fight the ageing process.

This is also an excellent treatment to have pre and post dental work, for any facial puffiness, ear issues, nerve pain (inc Bell’s Palsy) and sinus conditions.


If you suffer from any of the following then please contact us prior to booking a session of Manual Lymph Drainage:

  • Currently active cancer
  • Chronic infection
  • Current allergy
  • Thrombosis
  • Heart problems
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nevus moles
  • Skin infections
  • Any current colds/flus or fevers