The Lymphatic System

is a complex network that transports lymph fluid, containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body and is responsible for removing waste products! It's vital for our immune system function. 


Manual Lymphatic Drainage:

The lymph nodes lie at the very surface of our muscles, just under the skin. Manual Lymphatic Drainage therapy (MLD) is a type of massage utilizing broad contact and light touch to facilitate movement of the lymph fluid in the appropriate direction without squishing the lymph nodes. In general, the neck and face drain into the clavicle nodes at the collar bone, everything above the belly button drains in the axillary nodes in the armpits and everything below the belly button drains in the inguinal nodes in the groin. [It is very important that you inform your practitioner if you have ever received chemo or radiation therapy or have had any lymph nodes removed as the body is intelligent and often re-routes the fluid. It is critical for your safety that the practitioner be informed of this to avoid further congesting an area and causing life-threatening edema.] Light, board contact is applied in the direction of lymph flow beginning closest to the large group of main lymph nodes and working away to the distal extremities and then back again. 


  • Reduce edema (which often accumulates in the extremities and the midsection).

  • Reduce pain often associated with an over-active nervous system by activating the parasympathetic nervous system to relax and restore as well as utilize the gait-theory for pain relief.

  • Reduce symptoms of congestion where the large group of lymph nodes reside especially in the armpits after activities such a air travel.

  • Reduce duration of bacterial or viral infections by stimulating and supporting the immune response.

  • Reduce fluid retention that is often associated with thyroid conditions and pregnancy.

  • Support for the immune system and detox pathways during the treatment of conditions such as chronic lyme or toxic mold exposure.

  • Reduce sinus congestion due to a head cold or allergies.

What Conditions can MLD affect:

Neck and Face

  • Congestion/Puffiness

  • Hematoma

  • Post cold or flu congestion

  • Sinusitis

  • Whiplash

  • Headaches

  • Acne

  • Rosacea

  • Bell’s Palsy

  • Trigeminal Neuralgia

  • Tinnitus

  • Pre and post cosmetic surgery

  • Pre and post dental

  • Post surgical incisions


  • Constipation

  • Digestive Congestion

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Crohn’s Disease

Lower Extremities

  • Varicosities

  • Strains and Sprains

  • Total knee replacements

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Compartment syndrome

  • Sacrum swelling

  • Sciatica and pseudo-sciatica

Women’s Health

  • Maternal care for leg edema or striae gravidarum

  • Mastitis (without infection)

  • Fibrocystic breasts

  • Pre-menstrual swelling

  • Pre-menstrual syndrome

  • Feeling of tightness or heaviness in arms

  • Mastodynia


  • Chronic low back pain or strains

  • Pre and post orthopedic surgery

  • Acute and chronic coughs

  • Legs feel heavy

  • Stress Reduction and Relaxation

  • General Regeneration

  • Scars

  • Keloids

  • Panniculosis

Upper Extremities

  • Tendinitis

  • Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome

  • Repetitive Stress Injuries

  • Frozen Shoulder

  • Arthritis

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Dupuytren’s Syndrome

What to expect:

Most clients find MLD very relaxing.

During the massage you might feel a sensation of increased circulation in your hands and feet. You might experience a tickle  or cough in your throat as your sinuses drain. Most likely your arms and legs will feel lighter after the massage and you may notice increased range of motion and mobility in your neck, shoulders, low back and hips depending on the areas of focus. You may noticed reduced pain as the fluid is removed and takes pressure off the nerves as well as the nervous system calms down. You may experience increased urination after the massage  as excess fluid eventually makes its way to your kidneys and bladder. If you are fighting an active infection, you may initially feel an increase in your symptoms as the immune system responds more vigorously to fight the infection. (Please notify your practitioner if your body tends to be more sensitive due to conditions such as, but not limited to, fibromyalgia, chronic lyme disease and co-infections, CIRS or mold illness.) As with any other detox protocol please 1) consult your physician for approval and 2) consider taking a binder prior to the session to help reduce the toxic load on your organs. 

Lymphatic Self-Care:

Ask Katy about: 

  • Dry brushing

  • Rebounding

  • Self lymphatic drainage