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Manual Lymphatic Drainage

What is manual lymphatic drainage?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a gentle rhythmic massage that helps encourage the natural flow of the lymphatic system.  This helps to remove inflammation and waste in the body, reduces swelling, helps with chronic fatigue syndrome and much more. 


Is manual lymphatic drainage painful?

Manual lymphatic drainage is not a painful massage.   In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  The amount of pressure applied is only the weight of a nickel.  The reason for this is most of the lymphatic system lies directly under the skin so we only need to go skin deep.  Clients find this to be a very relaxing massage, so relaxing that they will want to take a nap during the session if not afterwards so make sure you have time set aside for rest after a lymphatic drainage massage.

Who can benefit from lymphatic drainage?

Everyone can benefit from Manual lymphatic drainage including:

  • Post cosmetic/post surgical patients

  • Those who suffer from chronic fatigue

  • Those who suffer from constipation

  • Patients with fibromyalgia

  • Cancer patients and survivors - However, if you’re a cancer patient or cancer survivor I highly recommend you see an Oncology Massage Therapist.  I know of a few in the DFW area that I would be happy to refer you to and I would rather have you in the best hands!


Let's talk about scars!

Scars can trap the natural flow of the lymphatic system and blood flow.  This goes for old and new scars!  When scar tissue is created after an injury or surgery, it lays down in multiple directions and pulls on the fascia.  Fascia is tissue that connects your skin to your muscles and organs all over the body.  Those who have C-section or tummy tuck scars and muscle repair – Imagine pulling down on the bottom of your shirt, now look down and see what else is affected.  Those scars pull your body forward out of alignment affecting more than just the scar itself.  How can we help scar tissue?  Microcurrent has been the most effective tool that I have used over the past few years to actually break up and soften scar tissue.  The Dolphin Neurostim uses Microcurrent therapy, a type of low-level electrical stimulation used to help improve overall health and wellness. It can reduce pain, improve circulation, reduce inflammation.  Additionally, it can help reduce the appearance of scar tissue by stimulating collagen production and improving circulation.  Click here to learn more!

Post Cosmetic/Post Surgical Procedure Recovery.

Post cosmetic patients are highly recommended to get manual lymphatic drainage within the first week after surgery.  Patients experiencing an excessive amount of pain and swelling can schedule two appointments within the first week after their operation and once a week up to 6 weeks.  In addition, cupping & microcurrent therapy have helped speed up the process of recovery for my clients by two weeks!  


How many sessions are recommended after a cosmetic procedure?

The following sequence is what I recommend at Bella Vida Medical Massage to help speed up the process of your recovery:


Lipo 360 Recovery Plan

Week 1 – One – two sessions 60 minute Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage

Week 2 – 75 minute manual lymphatic drainage massage + Cupping and micro-current

Week 3 – 75 minute manual lymphatic drainage massage + cupping and microcurrent, fibrosis massage & IASTM. –(after care home cupping & massage).

Week 4 – 75 minute manual lymphatic drainage massage + cupping, fibrosis massage, microcurrent & IASTM. (continue cupping at home).

Week 5 – 75 minute manual lymphatic drainage massage + cupping, fibrosis massage, microcurrent & IASTM. (continue cupping at home).

Week 6 – 75 minute manual lymphatic drainage massage + cupping, fibrosis massage, microcurrent & IASTM. (continue cupping at home).




Mommy Make over Recovery Plan (mini & full tummy tuck)

Week 1 – One – two sessions 60 minute Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage

Week 2 – 90 minute manual lymphatic drainage massage + Cupping & micro-current

Week 3 – 90 minute manual lymphatic drainage massage + cupping and micro-current -after care home cupping & massage

Week 4 – 90 minute manual lymphatic drainage massage + cupping & micro-current

Week 5 – 90 minute manual lymphatic drainage massage + cupping & micro-current

Week 6 – 90 minute manual lymphatic drainage massage + cupping & micro-current


A series of 5-10 sessions is recommended for micro-current scar tissue release along with lymphatic drainage to help reduce pain and inflammation around the scar, reduce the appearance of the scar, soften the tissue around the scar, and improve blood and lymphatic flow.

Click here for pricing on treatment series!

Click here to learn more about scar tissue release with the Dolphin Microcurrent tool!

HSA & FSA accepted for all treatments online and in person!  

**FSA requires a written prescription from your doctor prior to using!!**


What can you expect after a Manual Lymphatic Drainage session?


  1. Feeling “Light & Fluffy”

  2. Brain Fog

  3. Tiredness, wanting to rest or nap

  4. Sinus Drainage

  5. Ear Drainage

  6. Reduction in swelling and headaches

  7. Deeper more restful sleep

  8. Increased odorous urine

  9. Increased odorous bowel movements

  10. Sinus congestion from one side or the other


It is not uncommon to feel like you’re coming down with a sinus infection after a lymphatic massage especially if this was your first session or your body was holding on to a lot of waste.

The Lymphatic System

 Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage

60 Minutes


Scar Tissue Treatment Series

Post Cosmetic/Surgical Scar Tissue Treatment 5 Series
90 minutes

Non-Invasive Vagal Nerve Treatment

Vagal Nerve Stimulation
Helps decrease stress!

Fibrosis Massage

Fibrosis Massage

Post Surgical Home Recovery & Tips

Home Recovery & Tips

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Service

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage with Cupping & Microcurrent

75 Minutes

Scar Tissue Treatment Series

Post Cosmetic/Surgical Scar Tissue Treatment 10 Series
75 minutes

Cupping for Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Cupping for MLD

Post Lipo Tips

Post Lipo Tips

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Service

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage with Cupping & Microcurrent

90 Minutes

Scar Tissue Treatment Series

Post Cosmetic/Surgical Scar Tissue Treatment 10 Series
90 minutes

Lymphatic Tape Service

Kinesio Taping for MLD


Faja Tips

Under Faja Tips

Scar Tissue Treatment Series

Post Cosmetic/Surgical Scar Tissue Treatment 5 Series
75 minutes

A recovering scar from a c-section operation dramatically faded to black._edited.jpg

Scar Tussue Release Therapy Add-On
Dolphin Neurostim Microcurrent Stimulation.


Faja, Ab Boards & Foam Post Operative Tips

Faja, Ab Boards & Foam


Lipo Burn

Lipo Burn

Post Lipo Tips

  1. Schedule your Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massages in Advance-  These can be scheduled before your surgery and is highly recommended!  Your first session can be within three to five days post op and your second session can be 48 hours to a week after.  I recommend two sessions within the first week then once a week for 6-8 weeks to help with your pain, swelling and prevent fibrosis.
  2. Self massage daily- in the areas recommended by your therapist.  We also incorporate cupping 2-3 weeks post op.
  3. Watch for signs of infection- If you have a foul smell coming from one of your incision sites that is leaking a green or clear fluid please go to a wound care clinic ASAP!  I highly recommend R3 Wound Care & Hyperbarics in Lewisville, TX!
  4. Make sure your Faja fits well and has the right compression.  To make sure your garment is fitting properly, check for indentions in the skin or uneven appearance standing or sitting.  If there are indentions or excess space, add lipo foam or ab board.   Make sure you are wearing what your doctor recommended.  If your garment is too tight or too loose, check with your doctor or local Faja store for help with fitting.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND The Faja Lady in Frisco, TX!  She is amazing and very knowledgable!
  5. Prevent lipo burn from your Faja.
    1. Wear a seamless tank under your Faja.  I've heard cotton is the best.​
    2. Lipo burn can also happen from the tool used during your surgery.  See picture above for an example.  
    3. If you think you have lipo burn it is always best to check with a doctor at a burn clinic.  You will need a doctor clearance after treatment before seeking MLD massages.  
  6. Ab Board and Lumbar board for Tummy Tucks, and Lipo 360 - Once swelling goes down around week three or week four you can try an Ab Board and or Lumbar board.   This helps with the shaping and makes everything smooth and flat.  There are many different types, and lengths.  Some wrap around the side and some just extend across the abdominals only and butt region.  I recommend you try several different options to find the best fit for you.  
  7. Fat transfers- Do not put any pressure on areas you had fat transfer to for as long as your doctor recommends.  If you do, you risk the chance of killing the fat cells and causing a deformation.  No cupping or MLD should be preformed on any fat transfers.
  8. Fibrosis Massage- Fibrosis is a condition in which excess fibrous connective tissue forms in an organ or tissue, leading to the thickening and scarring of the tissue. It can occur in any organ or tissue, but is most commonly seen in abdomen and flanks after a post cosmetic surgery.  If you do not have regular massages after a cosmetic procedure there is a chance you could develop fibrosis.  This typically sets in after 6 weeks and is a hardening under the skin of connective tissue.  Fibrosis massage can help loosen up the areas that have developed fibrosis and will help you recover from it.  Lumps are common post lipo but you want them to remain on the soft side.  We start cupping week two in addition to the manual lymphatic drainage to help soften areas that are starting to harden or feel lumpy. 
  9. Cupping- Two weeks post op we can start light cupping and you can do cupping at home daily or a couple times a week on areas that your therapist suggests.  The two techniques I use are cup and release and cup with circles clockwise and counter clockwise.   You can spend two to five minutes in each area but check to see if it softens.  Once the area has softened, you can move on to the next.
  10. Kensio taping for lymphatic drainage- Helps continue the process of MLD by lifting the skin in the direction of flow.  This can help with swollen feet, legs, arms, stomach or back. 
  11. Arms and Flanks take the longest to heal!  These are very stubborn areas that will be swollen for longer period of time.
Anchor 1
Fibrosis Massage
Kinesio Taping

Things To Look Out For Under Your Faja

Cording from Faja

Cording caused by garment.  Lipo foam would help.

Indentions from Faja

Indentions left by a compression garment.  Lipo foam or Ab Board would help - worn under the garment.

Screen Shot 2022-02-04 at 5.17.34 PM.png

Uneven appearance caused by garment. Ab board or lipo foam under the garment would help.

Lipo Burn

Lipo burn caused by liposuction tool or garment.  Seek treatment at a burn clinic and get cleared by a doctor before MLD sessions.

Faja Tips

Home Recovery & Tips

Below is a chart to follow for the direction of lymphatic flow.  Follow the directions I provide after your sessions to help speed up your recovery process.
1. Pump behind the collar bone then follow the flow chart for the head down to the collar bone.
2.  Pump the two areas in the underarm area then lightly brush your skin with your hands towards your under arms.
3. Pump at the crease of your thigh where your pelvis and leg meet.  Then lightly brush your skin in the direction of the flow chart below.

Caution- Dry brushing is recommended to use after your skin sensitivity has gone down.

**Kinesiotaping for Lymphatic drainage- recommended after the skin sensitivity has gone down.  Typically 4 weeks or more post op.
What to expect after a manual lymphatic drainage massage
Dry brushing direction of lymphatic flow
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