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5 Reasons why you need Applied MLD

Updated: May 17, 2023

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 are going to see more research on glymphatic drainage in brain health. In the meantime, Vodder Special techniques to drain the soft palate have been shown to be effective in reducing cerebral oedema, and drainage of all the deep cavities of the head using MLD is an effective way 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) ensures background clearing of any invasive or toxic materials that have entered the body through the skin or across the mucosal linings in your gut and lungs.

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

When we are stressed, the lymph system, and other 'housekeeping' activities like digestion and tissue repair are slowed down. This is our body prioritising staying alive in the face of whatever is stressing us, even if the stressor is mental or emotional and not physical, and even if the effects of stress are not good for our long term health.

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The main effect of stress on the lymph system is to vasoconstrict the small peripheral vessels which are vacuuming cleaning the underside of your skin. If stress is your primary state, your skin cells will be living in a sub-optimal environment for extended periods, and the tissue architecture will change accordingly.

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, as well as delivering 356 neck and face treatments in 3-months and noticing some dramatic effects on eye bags and dark circles among the women in the study.

There are also many Applied MLD techniques to address stress on a systemic level. We know from research by Professor Hutzschenreuter and others that MLD has an effect on automatic tone, reducing sympathetic activity which Hutzschenreuter called sympath[ic]olysis.


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.

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 surgical outcomes, and applied early in the post-operative period can help to control swelling and promote the reformation of new lymphatic pathways through the operated area. Applied MLD is also the treatment of choice for more choric issues like knee replacements that didn't go well, or hard to treat issues like DeQuervain's, trochanteric bursitis and CRPS. The list of chronic conditions that we have observed to benefit from regular MLD is very long, think anything inflammatory and not-infected.

MLD is applied with no pain for the client and no stress for the Therapist.

Image by Conscious Design on Unsplash

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. 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.

Professor Hutzschenreuter did research on Vodder Therapists during MLD and found that they also underwent a sympatholytic effect with increased borborygmus sounds (digestive activity) also recoded in both client and therapist.

Once I start using MLD for my clients, not only did my wrist and elbow pain resolve, but I haven't had an episode of Reynard's until 2020 when I hardly performed any MLD.


Dr Vodder Therapists get an automatic discount when they upgrade to the new Certificate in Applied MLD.


4. Long-COVID

Anecdotal reports from Vodder Therapists indicate that the Special Techniques for respiratory drainage and all those ways we have to reduce neuroinflammation are having positive benefits for people suffering a range of long-COVID systems, often with complete resolution within a few treatments. The new connections being made with other virus-derived diseases such as chronic fatigue help to connect the dots about how MLD has such a positive effect in this new post-COVID client group, but we really need some research to provide empirical evidence for what we are observing in our clinics.

Image by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

One way to fill the research gap is to publish our case studies, and a handful of Dr Vodder Therapist are well on the away to submitting the first case reports on MLD for long-COVID.

You can follow our progress in an online course that is being developed on case writing for all health professionals at Moving Lymph Online.


5. Chronic oedema

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

Too often we get so focussed on the lymphoedema that other niggling issues get ignored. Over many years of applying MLD in all scenarios, it became apparent that approaching every issue from a lymphatic perspective delivered the best the treatment outcomes. This means always treating the most proximal problem first, and using pain free techniques. Once the shoulder mobility is restored, much of the arm oedema will resolve making the oedema treatment 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.


Lymphoedema Therapists get an automatic discount on the Certificate in Applied MLD.


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