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Manual Lymph Drainage and Combined Decongestive Therapy



Sub-group: Manual and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy



Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a gentle, non-invasive manual technique that has a powerful effect on the body. Research in Australia, Europe and North America has proven its efficacy as a stand-alone treatment and in combination with other therapies. Developed in France in 1932 by Emil and Estrid Vodder MLD has grown to be the most well known manual technique to assist lymph flow and aid in drainage of tissues.

The skin is stretched and torqued in a specific manner, based on scientific, physiological principles that have proven to encourage lymph flow.  If performed correctly with the correct pressure, direction and speed, this can greatly enhance recovery and facilitate drainage.  It also has profound effects on systems in the body.

Therapists acquire excellent hand skills in the original Dr. Vodder method of MLD with our certified instructors.  Our expertly trained and certified Dr. Vodder instructors focus on you as an individual and help you to develop the skill required to attain the best possible results with every patient.

We not only teach the basic Vodder techniques but also a range of advanced techniques that enable you to apply MLD to orthopedic, burn, edema, dermatological and other applications.



Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is a combination of the Dr. Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage, remedial exercise therapy, compression bandaging (or compression garments in the maintenance phase) and therapeutic skin care. It may also include breathing and aquatic exercises, adjunct therapies such as low-level laser as well as dietary measures.

According to the International Society of Lymphology, this is the treatment of choice for lymphedema. Results of scientific research have been documented and published inpeer-reviewed Journals. Treatment involves an Initial Phase and a Maintenance Phase for successful, long-term results.


Online certification No


Certificate programme

Basic - a prerequiste to Therapy I

Therapy I - taken after Basic and this is a prerequisite to Therapy II & III

Therapy II & III - the final course to become fully certified in MLD and CDT

Recertification / Review

Advanced Courses


Certificate Title: Certified in MLD and CDT




Special equipment required: 




Dr.Vodder's Manual Lymph Drainage: A Practical Guide

Lymphedema (LDT) Book by Profs. H. Weissleder MD and C. Schuchhardt MD, 2008. 



Low Level Laser


Official website:



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