Why is lymphatic massage therapy also called MLD?

MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) is the clinical term for lymphatic massage therapy. By either name, the goal is the same -  to reduce and relieve your swelling.

How come I've never heard of MLD or lymphatic massage therapy?

We don’t know why! It's used worldwide to treat acute swelling and chronic swelling conditions like lymphedema and lipedema.

Is lymphatic massage different from 'regular' massage?

Yes it is.  In broad terms, the goal of 'regular' massage is to relax and soften muscles. The goal of lymphatic massage therapy is to move lymph fluid and relieve swelling. The techniques used are different. The training and credentials needed are different too.

Who can get MLD therapy?

Everyone! We've treated clients as young as 3 months, and as young-at-heart as 95 years. 

Do I need a Doctor's referral?

Certified MLD therapists can assess and treat lymphedema and other swelling conditions with and without a Doctor’s note. Medical-grade compression garments need a prescription. Your insurance provider may require a referral.

How much does MLD therapy cost?

MLD therapy is covered by most insurance companies.  Your initial 75 minute assessment and therapy appointment is $136.56. 

FAQ - lymphedema


What does lymph have to do with swelling?

A lot!  Lymph circulates your body to feed cells, fight infection and control fluid levels. Swelling (edema) happens when your lymphatic system is blocked or damaged.

Do I have lymphedema?

Swelling that stays and gets worse over time is the classic symptom. Your swollen arm or leg may feel achy and tight. And you tend to have recurring skin infections.

What is CDT?

CDT stands for combined decongestive therapy. It blends MLD therapy with compression wrapping. It’s used to address significant, entrenched swelling where MLD therapy alone is not as suitable. 

How can I manage my lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a progressive condition. Left untreated, the swelling will continue to worsen. The best way to manage lymphedema is to get and keep your swelling under control. MLD therapy and comfortable compression wear are your go-to strategies.

FAQ - Therapy & Compression Garments


What does lymphatic massage therapy feel like?

Our clients say it's gentle and relaxing and it relieves their swelling. MLD is provided on a comfortable treatment bed in a calm, quiet space. MLD techniques are light, repetitive and soothing. Is MLD therapy right for you? Give us a call.

Should I get MLD instead of massage or physiotherapy?

What is your main health need? MLD therapy relieves swelling and treats swelling conditions. Other therapies are used for relaxation and rehabilitation.  Lymphatic massage therapy works very well alone and in coordination with other therapies.

Do MLD therapists require special training?

Yes. MLD therapists must be trained and certified to provide lymphatic therapy for the treatment of swelling and swelling conditions.

Do I need to wear compression garments?

Compression garments are an essential way to manage chronic swelling conditions like lymphedema and lipedema.

Why didn't my compression garments help?

Many people wear compression garments before their swelling is reduced and stabilized. That means swelling can yo-yo, making garments too tight one day and loose another. MLD therapy to relieve swelling, followed by proper-fitted garments suited to your needs is a better approach.