Q&a ABOUT mld

When's the last time you tried something new for you?

  1. What does MLD stand for?
  2. What is MLD therapy?
  3. Is MLD just massage therapy by another name?
  4. What's my lymphatic system got to do with swelling and pain?
  5. What does MLD do?
  6. How does MLD help detox my body?
  7. Why use MLD therapy instead of physio or other therapies?
  8. ​Can I use MLD when I'm getting other therapies?
  9. Do MLD therapists have special training?
  10. ​How come I've never heard of MLD before?
  11. ​What's a MLD therapy session like?

1. What does MLD stand for?
Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) therapy. Okay, we know this clinical term isn’t the most appealing, but the MLD therapy experience is! MLD is also known as lymphatic massage therapy. Regardless of what you call it, MLD therapy reduces/eliminates swelling and pain from injuries, post-surgical situations and chronic swelling conditions. More about MLD.

2. What is MLD therapy?
It’s a gentle physical therapy that uses specific hands-on techniques designed to engage with the lymphatic system to move lymph fluid and reduce swelling and pain. Learn more.

3. Is MLD just massage therapy by another name?
No! MLD isn’t massage therapy. MLD therapy techniques work directly with the lymphatic system to achieve results. Therapists who provide MLD must have specific training and certification to do so. The MLD Clinic has specialized in MLD therapy for over a decade.

4. What’s my lymphatic system got to do with swelling and pain?

The lymphatic system is the central player in healing and immunity, while regulating fluid levels throughout your body. Think of it like a highway system where lymphatic fluid flows, picking up bacteria and cell debris, and ensuring they are disposed of through normal body functions. When there’s a block in the road – damage caused by injury, disease or surgery – this process is slowed or stopped. The blockage causes swelling, pain and restricted mobility. ​MLD therapy techniques get the lymph fluid moving around road-blocked areas so healing can progress. Check out this video

5. What does MLD do?

MLD effectively treats a wide range of health conditions, injuries and post-surgical situations where swelling and pain are present. Therapy is covered by most insurance and doesn't require a doctor's note.


6. How does MLD detox my body?

Beyond a buzz word or fad, your body detoxes every day. All by itself.  It does this through your lymphatic system, which is designed to clear out cellular debris, infection and excess fluids. Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) techniques are specifically designed to engage with your lymphatic system to promote this process and speed healing. Learn more about detoxing with MLD.

7. Why use MLD instead of physio and other therapies?
Like all physical therapies, MLD therapy promotes healing and well-being. However, two important factors set MLD apart from other therapies:

  • First is purpose - The core purpose of lymphatic massage therapy is to reduce and eliminate swelling. Swelling is your body's natural response to damage and disease. Before healing can begin, swelling must be addressed.
  • Second is technique - MLD therapy uses gentle hands-on techniques designed specifically to engage with the lymphatic system. When lymphatic function is damaged from disease and trauma, MLD techniques are proven to move lymph fluid and reduce swelling.


8. Can I use MLD when I’m getting other therapies?
Absolutely! MLD works very well alone and in coordination with other therapies. In fact, once swelling is reduced/eliminated, clients often make even better progress with other on-going physical therapy or self-directed recovery at home. Give us a call.

​9. Do MLD therapists have special training?

Yes. Our therapist,Terry Kemp, is one of only about 20 people in Nova Scotia (and 300 in Canada) with his specialized level of MLD training.

10. How come I’ve never heard of MLD therapy before?
MLD is widely known and used around the world. Many physicians and others know MLD as the go-to therapy for the swelling disorder lymphedema (generally caused by breast cancer surgery). Because MLD is so effective in treating swelling and pain, it’s also considered a valuable therapeutic approach for injury and surgery recovery. MLD was pioneered in the 1930s by Drs. Emil and Estrid Vodder. Learn more.

11. What's a MLD therapy session like?

When we ask clients to describe their first MLD experience, they most often say, "relaxing" and "gentle." Next they say, "It's not what I expected" (we're pretty sure they mean that in a good way!). When a session is over, patients tell us they're experiencing relief and can see/feel a change in their swelling or pain levels. Sessions are provided on a comfortable treatment bed in a calm, quiet space. MLD techniques are light, repetitive and soothing. Is MLD right for you? Let's talk.

Why haven't you tried MLD yet?