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5 Reasons you need Applied MLD

Updated: Jun 9

The human lymph system is responsible for the health of every cell in your body

Dr Vodder's MLD works directly with the lymph vessel system to support all tissue health and healing.

Most widely known as the Gold Standard in Lymphoedema Management, there is another whole world of lymphatic therapy that can be achieved using the original Dr Vodder method.

Applied to most chronic and acute conditions, MLD is an effective and pain-free treatment for almost any inflammatory condition or pain. Here are my top 5 reasons to both learn and receive Dr Vodder's MLD.

1. Neurodegeneration and the glymphatic system.

Whether it's brain fog in long-COVID, cerebral oedema after stroke or prolonged damage from long-term inflammation, discovery of the glymphatic system has brought into sharp focus the importance of clearing the lymph-obligatory-load from the neural tissue.

Can long term MLD prevent dementia?

As a potential pathway to deliver therapeutic interventions in degenerative diseases I'm sure we will see more research on glymphatic drainage in brain health.

In the meantime, our Dr Vodder Special Techniques can drain the cerebral spaces via the olfactory nerve pathway using the soft palate. Techniques to drain other deep cavities of the head are also effective ways to reduce the neuro-inflammatory load.

Therapists using Applied MLD commonly report success with symptoms of chronic sinusitis, tinnitus, traumatic brain injury, oesophageal oedema, snoring and trigeminal neuralgia.


2. Age and stress.

The lymphatic system is integral to the ability of your immune system to protect you from disease and infection. Constant lymph pumping (it never stops) effectively vacuum cleans the underside of your skin, sucking up any invasive or toxic materials that get across the skin, or the mucosal linings in your gut and lungs.

Is MLD the World's Best Kept Beauty Secret?

woman using vacuum cleaner
The lymphatic system vacuum cleans your tissues

When we are stressed, the lymph system, and other 'housekeeping' activities like digestion and tissue repair are slowed down. This is our body prioritising to stay alive, pumping blood away from your digestive organs and skin, and increasing blood flow to your brain and muscles. Even if the stressor is mental or emotional and not physical this response is hard-wired in us.

But the effects of long term stress are not good for our health.

When stress levels are high, lymph vessels are constricted, which means the small peripheral lymph vessels vacuuming cleaning the underside of your skin are slowed down. This results in a sub-optimal environment for your skin cells leading to unwanted skin and tissue changes, making us appear older than we really are.

A healthy lymph flow creates a healthy environment for cells. Healthy skin cells make you to look and feel better than unhealthy skin cells.

Dr Vodder's MLD has been described as the worlds best kept beauty secret.

Image by Andre Mouton on Unsplash

I've had direct experience using MLD to reduce my own dark eye circles, and have treated numerous cases of dark circles and eye bags, using MLD.

MLD has a profound effect on autonomic tone, improving digestion and sleep, which we know are important in how we look and feel. Regular MLD supports the lymph system in its daily task of removing anything that could be harmful to your tissue cells including your brain, muscles, organs and skin.

Regular MLD is a great way to give all your 'housekeeping' systems a chance to do their job properly and keep you looking and feeling your best.

3. Joint replacements and general body maintenance.

I got into MLD after too many years of deep remedial work. I knew my body would give out eventually, and I also felt that I had gone as far as I could with what could be achieved using oil massage.

Work Smarter, Not Harder!

Image by Conscious Design on Unsplash

Professor Hutzschenreuter showed that Vodder Therapists performing basic MLD techniques also experienced a significant reduction in sympathetic tone, with increased borborygmus sounds (digestive activity) recorded in both client and therapist.

Once I start using MLD for my clients, not only did my wrist and elbow pain resolve, but I hadn't had an episode of Reynard's for over 30 years, until 2020 when I performed almost no MLD.

When performed correctly there is no stress on the Therapist back or neck, and no need for pressure through the thumbs or wrists.

I knew MLD was gentle for the client, but I hadn't expected that doing MLD was also resolve so many of my own issues.

Prevention is better than cure!

Mum's second knee replacement. Both times she had a least 2 pre- and many post-surgical MLD treatments.

Used pre-operatively MLD can improve immediate post-surgical outcomes and aid lymph vessels recovery.

Applied early in the post-operative period, MLD can be used to control swelling, promote the regrowth of lymphatic vessels through the operated area, and reduce scar tissue.

Applied MLD is also the treatment of choice for chronic issues, or healing of skin and tissue in the post-acute phase, for example in a knee replacements that hasn't recovered well.

Hard to treat issues like DeQuervain's, trochanteric bursitis and CRPS all respond well to MLD.

The list of conditions that we have observed to benefit from regular MLD is very long. Think anything inflammatory and not-infected.


4. Resolve symptoms in Long-COVID

The Vodders developed their original techniques treating people in the south of France, with chronic respiratory conditions.

People with chronic respiratory issues were the first to receive MLD.

More recently we have multiple reports from Vodder Therapists using the Special Techniques of Applied MLD for respiratory drainage, reporting less cough and chest soreness in long-COVID.

There are also flow on benefits in reducing 'brain fog' and fatigue.

Image by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Two case reports on MLD for long-COVID were published in 2023. The authors reported positive benefits for a range of symptoms, some of which completely resolved within a few treatments (1).

New connections between long-COVID and other virus-derived diseases such as chronic fatigue help us to connect the dots and understand why MLD has such a positive effect in this new post-COVID client group.


5. Improve your chronic oedema treatments

Too often we can get overly focussed on the lymphoedema, missing or ignoring other niggling issues.

What if your arm lymphoedema client also has a frozen shoulder?

Over many years of applying MLD in all scenarios, it became apparent to me that approaching every issue from a lymphatic perspective delivered the best the treatment outcomes in most cases.

Treating lymphatically means following the principles of MLD, always treating the most proximal problem first, and using pain free techniques.

Once shoulder mobility is restored, much of the arm oedema will resolve making the lymphoedema treatments more effective.

"Shoulder Specials"

Applied MLD can be used to address almost all skeletal muscular issues, including releasing trigger points and resolving piriformis syndrome - treatments that are not generally associated with MLD.

If you are a lymphoedema therapist of any kind, Applied MLD will give you effective lymphatic drainage skills to treat many of the co-morbidities presenting among your lymphoedema clientele.

Overall, B.; Langley, K.; Douglass, J.

Manual Lymph Drainage for Post-COVID-19 Related Cough, Breathlessness, and Fatigue; Two Case Reports. Healthcare 2023, 11, 3085.

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