Is the training and background of an MLD practitioner important?

In a word, YES! Here are a few facts to keep in mind when considering the hiring of an MLD practitioner:

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage is not taught in the basic education of a massage therapist. MLD is not a simple technique and requires years of mastery on the part of the practitioner.
  • MLD is not something that can be self-taught; an experienced professional must guide the student at every turn. Experienced, authoritative educators of lymph drainage are few and far between, and often travel around the country to give exclusive, intensive classes on the lymphatic system and also the manual techniques involved.
  • Working with inexperienced MLD practitioners can be ineffective and even harmful. Each area of the body requires an exact sequence of precise hand movements applied in a specific series of repetitions. MLD must be performed in accordance with the body’s natural direction of lymph flow, and this can take hours upon hours of instruction.

For your own sake, before submitting yourself to an MLD session, inquire about your therapist’s training in this area! Remember, MLD is NOT taught in massage school. If his or her training consisted of a short course completed in one weekend, it’s not likely that you will get the results you are seeking.

Total Body Clinic’s owner and operator Isabel Viveros-Ciampi is one the most highly trained MLD professionals in Northern New Jersey. See our page on Lymphatic Drainage for more on her background.