How Lymphedema is Treated


Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is considered to be the gold standard of lymphedema treatment, and is in two phases.


Phase 1 is known as intensive treatment. During this phase, the patient is seen daily by a lymphedema therapist, and usually wears bandages, or wrapping for 23 hours a day, 7 days a week. This phase typically lasts 2-4 weeks, with the primary goal of this phase to reduce swelling in the affected limb. 


Phase 2 is known as the maintenance phase. During this phase, the patient takes over the responsibility of performing the daily tasks performed in phase 1, that are necessary to control the lymphedema. These treatments include self massage to move the stagnant lymph out of the tissues, wearing compression garments to prevent the swelling from returning again, skin care to maintain the health and prevent infections, and exercise to maintain lymph flow. 


The purpose of gentle massage performed on the skin is to gently guide excess fluid out of the swollen area, so that it can return to the bloodstream. This technique is Manual Lymph Drainage, and should only be performed by a MLD therapist certified in the Vodder Method of MLD. 


The use of compression, at all times, is an important factor in the successful management of Lymphedema. The goals of compression are to:

  • Maintain the progress made during your massage (MLD) sessions
  • Prevent additional swelling
  • Support natural draining of lymph from the tissues.


Proper daily skin care is essential, to prevent infections, as Lymphedema patients are more susceptible to skin infections. 


  • Daily exercise is essential to: 
  • Maintain the flow of lymph
  • Increase the mobility of joints and muscles
  • Maintain general health
  • Control weight, and to 
  • Improve the patient’s sense of well-being.

All these components are important in successfully managing lymphedema, and a Lymphedema Therapist can expertly help. 

At Healing Kneads Massage we are proud to provide expert, compassionate, and professional massage therapy services to our community. Our approach to wellness is a holistic one, and we treat each client as they truly are: unique. We are unique ourselves in that we value our clients very much, and are extremely results and client-focused. We listen to our clients, customize each and every session to meet YOUR wellness goals, and perform full 60 or 90-minute sessions. 

Want to learn more about how massage therapy can help with lymphedema treatment?

Book a call with Laura today!

We can’t wait to meet you and help you recover!

Laura is the founder of Healing Kneads. She graduated from Florida College of Natural Health in 2012 and is passionate about helping people find rejuvenation and renewal amidst the stresses of life, and relief from the pains that show up in their bodies because of that stress. She believes in the mind-body connection and believes every body has the potential for wellness and balance. Laura has helped clients with various issues, including neck and jaw pain, headaches, Lipedema, and Lymphedema.

She is licensed by the Florida Department of Health, and holds certifications in Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Sports Massage, cupping, and neuromuscular massage.