About Dr. Vodder’s Method of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)

Jump to MLD for Plastic Surgery Patients  or MLD for Wellness or MLD for Women’s Health

Dr. Vodder’s MLD is the oldest and the most effective method of manual lymph drainage. It is successfully used in physical therapy for treatment and management of various types of edema (tissue swelling), including lymphedema. The method was developed by Dr. Emil Vodder in France in the 1930s. Dr. Vodder’s MLD is a light touch technique, yet it effectively aids in drainage of interstitial fluid from connective tissue, removing stagnation and waste products from the affected areas of the body, helping the tissues heal faster and more efficiently. The Vodder method of MLD primarily acts on the nervous, lymphatic, and connective tissue systems of the body, treating a variety of conditions caused by or associated with dysfunction of the lymphatic system.

Therapeutic benefits of Dr. Vodder’s MLD

  • Optimization of the body’s natural lymphatic drainage
  • Reduction of swelling (edema)
  • Local and systemic pain relief
  • Relaxation of the sympathetic nervous system (improved mood, sleep, stress reduction1)
  • Marked improvement of tissue regeneration and healing
  • Tissue detoxification

MLD & Lymphedema

Please, note that Katya is not treating patients who currently have or have had cancer with lymph node irradiation or removal, lymphedema or other cancer-related pathologies of the lymphatic system. These patients should be treated by a manual lymph drainage therapist certified in Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT). To find a lymphedema/CDT specialist in your area, please visit Dr. Vodder School page.

Contraindications for MLD

Absolute contraindications (MLD is not recommended):
Untreated cancer
Acute infection
Cellulitis (erysipelas)
Congestive heart failure

Relative contraindications:
(Adjustment to treatment is necessary)

Treated cancer*
Precancerous skin lesions, nevus*
Chronic inflammation
Thyroid dysfunction
Bronchial asthma

Full list of conditions treated and managed with Dr. Vodder’s MLD

Dr. Vodder’s MLD enhances the efficiency of the natural lymphatic drainage, which is instrumental in the management and treatment of the conditions listed below.


Dynamic and mixed edemas

  • Local lymphostatic edema
    after surgery or trauma
  • Burn scars
  • Cosmetic surgery scars
  • Cyclic idiopathic edema
  • Lipedema
  • Adiposity (obesity)
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Venous leg ulcer
  • Diabetic ulcer
  • Vein stripping
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Phantom limb pain

Diseases of the rheumatic form-cycle

  • Acute or chronic polyarthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Peripheral osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Spondylosis
  • Degenerative disc disease

Connective tissue diseases

  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Scleroderma

Soft tissue rheumatism

  • Tendinitis
  • Tendosynovitis
  • Epicondylitis
  • Bursitis
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture
  • Whiplash injury
  • Fibromyalgia


  • Acne vulgaris
  • Acne rosacea
  • Allergic and chronic eczema

  • Hematomas
  • Joint distortion – dislocation
  • Meniscus lesions in the knee
  • Myorrhexis (torn muscle fibers)
  • Bone fractures
  • Transverse lesion of the spinal cord

Diseases of the CNS with local edema

  • Transient ischemic attacks
  • Migraine
  • Chronic headache
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Cerebral concussion
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

Diseases of the head region

  • Meniere’s disease
  • Tinnitus, acute hearing loss
  • Chronic headache
  • Chronic rhinitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Detached retina

Diseases of the digestive tract

  • Habitual constipation
  • Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, IBS
  • Diverticulosis
  • Celiac diseae


  • Acne vulgaris
  • Acne rosacea
  • Allergic and chronic eczema


  • Lymph stagnation due to sedentary life style
  • Lactational mastitis
  • Lyme disease.

Location & scheduling

103 Kenrick Street
Boston, MA 02135
Tel. (617) 855-5852

Sign up for Katya’s newletter