Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy services in Napier, Hawkes Bay

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?

MLD is a proven, gentle, hands-on therapy that reduces swelling and pain, speeds healing and improves mobility. It is a very light, pulsing or pumping massage which has a lulling, relaxing effect on the nervous system. It increases the flow of lymph through the body resulting in detoxification and the reduction of swelling and fluid retention. MLD is a great way to help the body to help itself.


What is the function of the lymphatic system?

Its main function is detox­i­fi­ca­tion, but it also plays an impor­tant role in immu­nity.


How does it work?

When your body is damaged in some way (e.g. through disease, trauma or surgery) you experience swelling, inflammation and pain.

Like a rubbish truck on its route, your lymphatic system picks up waste, bacteria and cell debris (or rubbish) and ensures they are disposed of through normal body functions. When damage happens, that process is slowed and sometimes even stopped.

The lymphatic system is responsible for handling and neutralizing toxins and wastes created from food, pollution and our own body's daily cellular activities. It also helps transport immune cells.

MLD can increase the volume of lymph flow by as much as 20 times, vastly increasing the system’s ability to remove toxins.


What is Lymph? What are Lymph vessels and nodes?

Lymph is a fluid containing white blood cells and fluid that lies between the body tissue. It enters the lymphatic system (which consists of lymph vessels and lymph nodes) and finally empties into the blood. The Lymphatic system is a circulatory system that is linked with the cardiovascular system. The lymphatic vessels contain valves, directing the flow in one direction (toward the heart). Along its path are lymphatic nodes (e.g. at the neck, armpits, groin etc). When the fluid reaches these nodes, infections, and other foreign materials are destroyed. The drained lymph then continues its flow. There is no ‘heart’ to pump the lymph, so muscular movement is required to move it.


Who can benefit from Lymphatic Drainage Therapy?

MLD is an effective therapy for oedema and pain management for a wide range of health issues. MLD can be beneficial in helping:

* Reduce swelling from injuries, trauma or surgeries.

* Relieve chronic inflammation and conditions such as acne, eczema and allergies.

* Detoxification of the body.

* Relieve chronic pain (as sometimes it is the trapped fluid in the muscles that are causing the pain).

* Reduce symptoms of conditions such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, sinusitis, concussion.

* Reduce swelling from Lymphedema (in post cancer treatment).


What might I expect from a Lymphatic Drainage treatment?

A full consultation relating to your health status, goals, expectations as well as medical history and physical examination will be completed. Based on this assessment a treatment plan will be developed and discussed with you. Treatment plans are specific to each case and individual.

Treatment sessions are usually one-hour long. The amount of sessions is determined by your health goals and condition.

Hands-on MLD therapy for oedema management will vary according to the severity of the condition (injury, surgery, disease) but will usually be about 2-3 weeks of treatment.

For Lymphedema management MLD therapy will be combined with compression bandaging and compression garments to be worn daily during the maintenance phase of therapy.

On-going maintenance will be recommended in cases of severe oedema and chronic conditions. This supports the lymphatic system function and continued reductions in swelling and pain.


What is Lymphoedema and how can I recognise the signs?

Lymphoedema is the presence of chronic swelling in the body that occurs when the lymphatic system is not working properly. It most commonly affects the arms and legs and may develop after surgery, injury or cancer treatment. There can be other underlying causes, such as venous insufficiency, that result in the lymphatics being overloaded, but lymphoedema can also develop seemingly out of nowhere.

If you are experiencing the following feelings in your arms, legs, trunk or head and neck, it may be lymphoedema:

TIGHTNESS- Jewellery, shoes or clothing feel too tight, particularly on one side, without overall weight gain. The skin may also feel tight or stretched in the same area.

SWELLING- The area looks bigger than before or compared to the other side. This may not be something that others notice; just the person who has swelling.

ACHING- The area feels achy or heavy, especially at the end of the day

We have a specialist onboard at Serenity Massage Therapy who can assess your condition and recommend treatment that could help you.


What qualifications do our Therapists at Serenity Massage have?

Sue and Lydie have a Certificate of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (Level 1 and 2).



More information can be gained at Lymphoedema NZ or Australasian Lymphology Association



Testimonials (reproduced with permission from MLD clinic, Christchurch)

“For several years I've had decreased kidney function, and have tried various body detoxes. After several treatments of Lymphatic Drainage with Hans, I have noticed an increase in energy levels, better sleep patterns, and an improvement in skin clarity. Hans is very professional and committed to his work, with each treatment being completed to an exceptional standard and the clients best interest paramount. I recommend Lymphatic Drainage as a relaxing way to assist the body in its natural process of detoxification, resulting in a general sense of well-being."


"I came to try lymphatic drainage after a series of flare-ups with Crohns disease which left me in chronic pain and unable to work. I have now been receiving Manual Lymphatic Drainage for about three months. The pain that was part of my day to day life has eased and I have so much more energy which has helped me improve my quality of life immensely. I find the treatment very relaxing and professional and would definitely recommend it to anyone in a similar situation as myself."
A. Sloane, Fitness Instructor

"Hans has helped me with the management of living with chronic pain, which resulted from a lower back injury. Whilst having Lymphatic Drainage, it is a great way to relax the body and also to know that the gentle therapy you are receiving from Hans is having beneficial effect on your body. His ability to listen and give appropriate treatments has increased my overall general well being. I would recommend Lymphatic Drainage as a means to help manage chronic pain."
Helen F

"For as long as I can remember I have had circulation problems. More recently the symptoms have extended to leg swelling, soreness, hyper-sensitivity and general discomfort in my left leg. Hans has treated me several times now with Manual Lymphatic Drainage. The results have been immediate and relieving. This treatment works for me and I would confidently recommend it to people with similar vascular and circulation problems."
Lyndal M, Driver/Guide

"After weeks of agonising pain with Bursitis in my left hip and two doctors unable to give me any relief at all. I came to Hands On where Hans worked on me with Lymphatic Drainage and Ice treatment. After one session I felt an immediate improvement and now after sessions, I'm able to walk most times completely free of pain. He saved my sanity in getting me back to normal. I would recommend him and his skills"
Fay Andreassend