Manual Lymphatic Drainage Explained

I have recently qualified as an Oncology Massage Therapist and in Manual Lymphatic Drainage and have had several clients asking about the treatment and what it involves. Therefore, I hope that this Blog will help to answer some of their questions.

The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is a one-way drainage system, it removes excess fluid from the body’s tissues and returns it to the circulatory system and helps to fight infection.

Lymphatic vessels form a network of tubes that extend all over the body which carries a fluid called lymph. Along the network of lymphatic vessels are lymphatic nodes which filter bacteria and micro- organisms from the lymph. The cleansed lymph is collected by two main lymphatic ducts, the thoracic and the right lymphatic ducts which empty the lymph into the bloodstream.

The lymphatic system returns excess fluid which accumulates in the body’s tissues back into the bloodstream, while at the same time filtering micro-organisms and releasing antibodies to help the body to fight infection.

What is Lymph?

Lymph is a transparent, colourless, watery liquid which is make up of tissue fluid and is contained within lymphatic vessels. It resembles blood plasma in composition, except that it has a lower concentration of plasma proteins. Lymph contains only one type of cell: these are called lymphocytes.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) was developed in the 1930s, a MLD therapist will apply light pressure in the form of circular movements to the skin always working towards the heart. This technique lightly stretches the walls of the lymph vessels and encourage lymphatic drainage. MLD can be applied to bare skin or over clothes, no oils or lotions can be used in order for the treatment to be effective.

How MLD works

The Lymphatic system is responsible for helping fluid and waste leave the body and for regulating the immune system. When the lymphatic system becomes blocked, then fluid begins to build up and stagnate making us feel sluggish and more susceptible to viral/ contagious diseases.

What is it good for?

MLD is particularly effective for individuals who suffer regularly from common illnesses like colds and flu. It is also recommended for people who lead sedentary lifestyles, or those who want to reduce puffiness or swelling. It can have a positive effect on problem skin, cellulite, dysfunctional respiratory systems and people with low energy.

It can be used as a treatment to reduce lymphoma which is swelling in the arms or legs which can be as a result of surgery e.g. post mastectomy.

What are the benefits?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage boosts the immune system so, as well as helping the body fight off illness, treatment can help people to feel more healthy and increase vitality.

It also has a positive physical effect, improving the appearance of the skin and reducing puffiness caused by water retention, poor circulation or pregnancy. It can also help with pain from fractures, sprains or rheumatism, and it promotes the body’s own healing mechanisms. I can also help to improve your metabolism so can be used to Detox the body.

I have tried to make this blog informative but also make it easy to understand I really hope I have achieved this happy medium. If you wish to ask me any more questions then please email: and I will do my very best to answer them.

If you wish to book in then follow my BOOK NOW link throughout the website – what are you waiting for?


So, things are getting back to some sort of normality but how are we all feeling about it?

In the treatment room I am still asking clients to wear a face covering where possible, I feel that we are not quite at the stage to remove all of the PPE just yet. I have had 4 clients cancel appointments this week because they have been pinged by the track and trace app which just proves me that sadly COVID hasn’t gone away and is still out there.

People do say to me “you’re young you’d be fine if you got it”, which of course I would hope I would be, but that is not the reason I am being careful. In the tax year 2020/21 I worked 4 months out of 12, how mad is that! I am self-employed, yes I got grants from the Government (thank you!) but those are now gone and if I had to isolate or get COVID that is me closed down again. My partner is also self-employed so we would have ZERO income for the time we would have to be off work.

Therefore, please continue to wear masks, take regular lateral flow tests, social distance. It is not just for you, it is for the people around you – protect everyone and we will get out of this sooner, quicker and safely.

P.S. this isn’t a rant it is just a place for me to express how I feel – others have other options, but this is mine so please respect that 🙂 Be Kind

Waiting List

I have started a waiting list for people wanting to book in for their massages once I am allowed to open up fully.

If you would like to be added then please contact me via one of the following:

  • Email :
  • Phone: 07908588096
  • Instagram: mollysportsmassage

I am hoping to know more after the next announcement on the 22nd when the Government has said they will be setting out a roadmap for reopening the country again.

Massage and your Immune System

I recently got tagged on Facebook by a friend telling me to watch a video showing and immune response following massage. I have always known that one of the many benefits of massage includes boosting your immune system, but this blog will give you all a little insight.

Massage and Immune response

A study covered by the BBC shows that compared to baseline results, after a massage the participants showed a 70% boost in white blood cells.

“The immune system is complex, and it’s not simply the case that increasing the white blood cell count in a person who already has healthy levels will improve their health. However T-lymphocytes do perform a wide array of functions in the body involved with growth and repair, which could in part explain why massage has been reported to help with so many conditions.”

This is one study, but that is a significant increase in white blood cells, even if you’re health it is important to keep your immune system strong and healthy. Massage is a simple way to help you stay fit and healthy.

Massage and Stress

It’s a fact that high level of stress makes you more prone to injury and illness. Reduction of stress, is another benefit of massage. Stress increases your heart rate, you create more stress hormone cortisol, which leads increased blood pressure, headaches, lack of focus and sleep issues (I could name more). These all effect our immune system and make you physically ill.

Research has shown that receiving regular massage therapy helps boost our immune system and increase blood flow throughout the body. Massage increases the activity of white blood cells that help our body fight diseases and may help with reduction of cortisol.

Massage is a complementary therapy to conventional health care. It’s not meant to take place of, or stop you seeing, a health care provider for any medical or mental issues. Here are a few tips for reducing stress and boosting your immune system.

Massage and the Cancer

This is an area I am really interested in, can massage help cancer patients?

This study consisted of 34 post-surgery breast cancer patients, diagnosed with stage 1 or 2 breast cancer. They were divided into a massage therapy group receiving 30-minute massages three times per week for five weeks and a control group.

On the first and last day of the study, participants were assessed for both their psychological state and levels of immune system markers in their urine samples. The study found that immediate effects of massage therapy included reduced anxiety levels, depression and anger, while longer-term benefits showed direct impact on the body’s immune markers — such as increased dopamine, improved serotonin values and better lymphocyte levels.

They concluded that breast cancer patients experience significantly improved immune, NK-cells (natural killer cell) and neuroendocrine function after receiving massage therapy. Therefore, it could be argued that massage does in fact help – it could be psychological help but at the end of the day if it makes a patient feel better then why not give it a go?

Massage and COVID

“There is still so much unknown about the coronavirus, but having a healthy, functioning immune system will always be helpful in reducing the effects of the virus, if contracted, and, could possibly be helpful in prevention of even contracting the virus at all. Because massage therapy aids in improving the immune system, it is generally assumed that it could help reduce the risk of coronavirus infection,” said Vicky Karr LMT, a CE provider and owner of Spa Success.

My Thoughts

Okay, so this is some studies I am sure there are hundreds out there that contradict what I have said but most of the time they all do say there is some evidence of a positive immune response.

I am NOT starting a debate about COVID and massage – but surely if massage helps to keep the population healthy then why are so many spas, massage therapy clinics etc all not allowed to work? I know we need to limit the contact with others, but if we are in full PPE, purchase tests etc then why can’t we continue? (Okay I will stop now)

I for one know that I feel less stressed, more relaxed and generally feel better post massage. It is a holistic approach to your health, even 1 massage has huge benefits so why not give it a go?

I will be opening a waiting list again for when I am allowed to reopen for everyone – keep an eye on my social media to be added to the list.

Christmas Vouchers

Wow, I cannot believe its nearly NOVEMBER! Where has this year gone?

I feel incredible lucky to still be able to work and help people again. Since coming back post lockdown I cannot thank everyone who has booked appointments, likes my posts and sent lovely messages of support! You are why I love doing what I do 🙂

SO – some of you have been asking already (super organised) if I am selling vouchers for Christmas and the answer is YES!

I am selling both Pregnancy and Sports/Deep Tissue Massage vouchers, all the prices are the same as clinic prices and will all be available to purchase up until 24th December 2020.

To purchase a voucher please email: and I will explain prices and how to pay.