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Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

Manual Lymphatic Drainage can be helpful:


- In reducing most tissue swelling, eg after injury or surgery

- After cosmetic surgical procedures including liposuction, VASER, tummy tucks and face lifts. (See the Post-surgical MLD page).

- After most surgical procedures eg joint replacement, ceasarean section, gender reassignment surgery etc  


- For managing inflammatory response in lipodema


- For improving cellulite and skin anomalies and as a parallel treatment to scar-tissue reduction massage

- For those detoxing, clearing medication build-up from their systems and/or on rapid weight-loss programmes and wanting help to flush waste products from their system

- To those suffering from fluid-retention due to being sedentary, eg the elderly, wheel-chair users, after long-haul travel

- In managing the symptoms of arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia

- For people who experience frequent colds, chest infections, sore throats, migraines, sinusitis etc

- As a relaxation aid for people experiencing anxiety, stress, depression or insomnia

- In the management of lymphoedema as a key component of 'Complete Decongestive Therapy'

lady having manual lymphatic drainage treatment after liposuction
MLD for swollen legs

About Manual Lymphatic Drainage

MLD is NOT massage (that is a common misconception), it is a skin stimulation technique pioneered by Dr Emil Vodder in the 1930s which increases the flow of lymphatic fluid around the body, aiding the removal of excess water, bacteria, metabolic waste and foreign substances from congested tissues &/or sluggish lymphatic systems. 

The lymphatic system is strongly involved in our bodies' immune response, so when it becomes less effective, eg due to poor diet, injury, infection or sedentary lifestyle, manual encouragement of lymphatic flow can be beneficial in boosting immunity and for the maintenance of good health.


Applied correctly, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is extremely safe and non-invasive. It does not involve the 'massage of muscles', but the systematically applied stimulation of skin-receptors. In turn, these generate tiny muscular pulse-activity in lymphatic vessels beneath the skin surface, which then pump lymph through the body at an increased rate. Manual Lymphatic Drainage therefore feels super-light in comparison to other types of massage therapy and due to its rhythmic application is also incredibly soothing and relaxing.


Treatment is always tailored to the goals of each client, but is usually best, especially in cases involving edema (swelling caused by excess fluid) to be performed daily in the first week in conjunction with excellent self-care (eg gentle exercise and the avoidance of alcohol and salty/processed foods). The course of treatment is then usually extended less frequently over the next few weeks

Dr Vodder Trained Therapist

How many MLD treatments will I need?  Treatment is always tailored variably to the goals of each client and how many treatments you might need will be discussed and explained in detail during your first visit following visual assessment of the issue - but it is important for all clients to understand that for any issues with swelling, MLD works best with treatment repetition in close succession in order to increase lymphatic flow for long enough to have an effect on tissue congestion. For example, if you have lower leg swelling which has built up over a long period of time, it may take 2-3 treatments on a daily (or every other day) basis before you notice a significant reduction, and you may then require further treatments to take the swelling down completely. Your onward course of treatment is then usually extended less frequently over the next few weeks to maintain. Feel free to ask what schedule is recommended for your particular goals in advance, but be aware that your response to MLD will very much be determined by the cause of the issue, its severity and your adherence to home care advice provided during the course of your treatment. A single treatment is good for relaxation purposes, but is rarely maximally effective for achieving remedial therapeutic goals.

A Vodder therapist:  Our therapist is qualified to the highest level in Manual Lymphatic Drainage in the Dr Vodder methodology, a full member of MLD UK and a registered DLT (Decongestive Lymphatic Therapist, meaning she is qualified to work with people who have lymphoedema). Credentials are an important point to consider when looking for an MLD therapist as the industry is broadly unregulated. The UK's national register of certified MLD therapists can be found on the MLD UK website, along with useful information about MLD and its applications.

Prices (for treatments at the practice)

MLD 1st appointments: £90 (70mins) 

A 70 min appointment is required for all 1st MLD appointments at Richmond Park Therapies. This includes a consultation to discuss your treatment aims & aftercare advice, plus 60 mins treatment.

MLD subsequent appointments: £80 (60mins) OR £90 (70mins)

Most subsequent & maintenance MLD appointments last 60 mins. If you are using MLD for deep-relaxation, have a complex medical case, or have had cosmetic surgery/liposuction to several body areas at the same time however, you will require 70 mins for follow-up appointments. In each of these cases, please call/email before booking to check, also see more info on Post-Surgical MLD.

MLD Packages:

a) 10 appointments (1st 70 mins + 9 subsequent 60 mins): £760

Saving 6.2%, ie £50 off the pay-as-you-go rate

b) 10 appointments (10 x 70 mins): £844

Saving 6.2%, ie £56 off the pay-as-you-go rate

Packages are not available via the booking system & must be booked in person by phone before the first appointment is scheduled. 

Terms for MLD packages & multiple appointments:

When booking more than one MLD appointment, you will need to transfer a holding fee at the time of booking them, this includes Packages if you do not intend to pay in full amount immediately. The holding fee will be used to pay for your final appointment (unless there have been deductions for no-shows, late cancellations etc) or will be deducted from the package price when you complete full payment.

For MLD Packages you will need to have paid the full cost of the entire package by bank transfer at least 48 hours before your 1st appointment. 

Packages cannot be taken out retrospectively and must be requested and confirmed by email prior to your first appointment. Full Ts & Cs including details for package cancellation will be provided at the time of enquiry.

Please note that MLD is not safe for everybody and you should NOT receive Lymphatic Drainage when you have:

- Untreated malignant disease, including tumour recurrence or metastases.

- Acute inflammation caused by bacterial infection, viruses, chemicals etc.

- An acute allergic reaction.

- Cardiac insufficiency

- Acute phlebitis or thrombosis (incl. DVT)

NB: There are other health conditions which require modification of MLD treatment, which will be discussed with you at your first appointment, if applicable to you as identified via your Health Information Form.

Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT2         9am-6pm: 07791 966278
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