Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) Facial - A Service in Growing Demand!

With the increase of plastic surgery, skin cancer and nasopharyngeal cancers, painful post-medical treatment facial swelling is increasing amongst the American population.  MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) facial services can relieve painful and sightly swelling and as such, is a service in growing demand.

The lymphatic system is partly responsible for removing excess fluid from human tissue to relieve swelling. It collects the excess fluid that the body’s cardiovascular veins cannot collect and leaves behind. As such, swelling is a normal result when the lymphatic system is damaged or when human tissue is traumatized.

Lymphatic drainage primarily uses human touch over the epidermis to help relieve swelling. Drainage is achieved through specialized strokes and techniques that are applied in a specific order with professional training. In a lymphatic facial session, the practitioner uses their finger pads to apply these very fine movements around the collarbone, jawbone, through the neck, around the ears, and over the entire face during the service. Most lymphatic facial appointments can be completed within about 30 to 60 minutes.

About twenty years ago, lymphatic facials were mostly provided for cancer patient survivors. Oncology treatments often include the surgical removal and/ or radiation of lymph nodes, which could subsequently cause swelling. And because we now have more cancer survivors living longer, we still see plenty of this work.

Today, many lymphatic facials treatments are practiced for cosmetic procedures, with most of those being in conjunction with plastic surgeries. Unfortunately, facelifts, blepharoplasty, nose jobs, and other aggressive esthetic enhancements can result in immediate swelling. While most clients will heal beautifully, it can be a slow and painful process. Lymphatic drainage treatments can help clients recover more quickly with less pain when excessive swelling is reduced.

Lymphatic facials can also be practiced daily after a facial operation when working directly with the surgeon. Surgeons who have recognized that increased circulation aids in the healing process have started prescribing lymphatic facials before a facial procedure so that the client can have a more effective healing process and result.

Brides, grooms, models, and anyone who wishes for a noninvasive improvement of facial features can also benefit from a lymphatic facial. A lymphatic drainage practitioner can temporarily ameliorate facial puffiness and the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles. It is a wonderful option for a client who might have partied a bit too hard the night before a big event and woke up the next day wondering what happened to their face.

There are other cosmetic bonuses to a lymphatic facial. It can temporarily reduce dark under eye circles and relieve sinus pressure. While these are not lymphatic facial goals, given their unreliable and limited results, they are common side effects that many clients will experience with this work.

And although it is less common, other medical procedures such as dental implants, wisdom tooth removal, and jaw correction can all benefit from multiple lymphatic facial appointments. These procedures can cause extreme swelling in some clients who will do almost anything to relieve it.

The best part of a lymphatic facial is that it is a nonpharmacologic option to reduce swelling and pain, which is terrific for clients who are either allergic or unable to take opioids or NSAIDS. There are many medical facial procedures, including facial cancer skin grafting procedures where an adverse opioid client would find little relief – except for perhaps an ice pack or a lymphatic facial.

I know this technique and information must sound wonderful for those who did not realize that they could achieve any of this by simply learning how to work with the lymphatic system. But I must reemphasize that lymphatic drainage results are only temporary. That is because we are working on living human tissue, which is continually fed by blood supply. So, while the client continues to live and breathe, their tissues will continue to receive blood supply, which can cause more potential swelling. The medical reason why someone would seek this quick result is because any immediate swelling reduction could accelerate the healing process. There are additional reasons why lymphatic drainage is beneficial despite the temporary results, which are thoroughly reviewed in a formal lymphatic drainage training class.

In this brief 8-minute video below, we'll review these details including some of the medical conditions that are seeking lymphatic facial services, aka MLD.

For comprehensive MLD training, please visit and register at:

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