Latest From Our Blog

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

(MLDT Program)

A Manual Lymphatic Drainage  (MLD) Therapy session will help you find relief from persistent pain and/or swelling. Although it falls under the scope of advanced medical massage, manual lymphatic drainage is unlike any other massage session.  Unfortunately, their are numerous local massage therapists that claim to offer MLD, but are not seasoned or experienced and lack the necessary skills needed to obtain the optimal results. No worries here!


Best known for resolving and relieving symptoms of lymphedema, MLD is now being applied to a wide range of physical conditions including improvements in immune function, reduction of inflammation, detoxification of soft tissue and organs, alleviation of pain and more. MLDT can even help you battle fatigue and general discomfort.


Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy for wellness is like getting a tune-up for your body! Try it, you’ll like it! We are conveniently located in Commack, near me!


We are a proud Recommended Community Provider for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. We are considered the physician’s choice with our advanced medical massage therapy and specialty programs. We accept no-fault insurance for auto accidents and many insurance companies, such as NYSHIP and Empire, are reimbursing our clients for their sessions. We offer an economical Self-Pay Program for families and individuals without insurance or with insurance we do not accept. These are the prices on this site.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy at Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy, P.C.

Some Signs of a congested lymphatic system may include:

Swelling – Pain -Fatigue - Skin disorders – Headaches - Sinus Congestion - Digestive Issues - General discomfort - Fibrosis formation - Puffiness in eyes or face - Swelling in the fingers (tight rings) or ankles - Bloating - Soreness or stiffness upon waking - Breast swelling or tenderness - A sense of fogginess in the brain - Worsened allergies - Food sensitivities - Increased colds or flu

Some Common Conditions that can be treated with MLDT

Body aches and pains - Complex regional pain syndrome - Herniated Discs- Pre and Post-surgical procedures – Fibromyalgia – Stiffness – Depression - Swelling or edema - Skin disorders – Fatigue – Insomnia – Stress - Digestive problems – Arthritis - Migraine episodes – Allergies

The Science
This therapy has been solidified through studies. Evidence based research demonstrates significant changes that support the effectiveness of Manual Lymph Drainage. It is time and cost effective. Our goal is to offer you a maximum outcome, in minimal time. Google Scholar, Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Mayo Clinic all provide a simple way to search the research. Manual Lymph Drainage, when performed properly, can and does make a difference. So, why let the issues with your tissues, linger?
The New Era
In June 2015, the lymphatic system of the brain was finally recognized! The blood and lymphatic systems are the two major circulatory systems in our body. Although the blood system has been studied extensively, the lymphatic system has received much less scientific and medical attention but that is changing rapidly. There have been many landmark discoveries over the past decade and quite a few recently! Because we now know that the glymphatic (lymphatics of the brain) drain into the same area as the rest of the lymphatic system, many believe that when you are having an MLD session, you are also getting a Brain Drain! Hmmm….
It’s a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching: researchers at the School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. “I really did not believe there were structures in the body that we were not aware of. I thought the body was ma
pped,” said Jonathan Kipnis, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and director of the University’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia. How these vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own.
Read more here: They’ll Have to Rewrite the Textbooks

The Importance of the Lymphatic System

An efficiently functioning lymphatic system is essential for overall health.

Lymphatic System: Your lymphatic system, part of your immune system, has many functions. They include protecting your body from illness-causing invaders, maintaining body fluid levels, absorbing digestive tract fats and removing cellular waste. In simple terms, it is your garbage disposal and recycling center. And we all know what happens when garbage is not taken out! It also carries white blood cells to repair your tissues and fight infections. Stagnation lymphatic system can cause a multitude of problems.

Many different conditions cause the lymphatic system to slow down and not work efficiently.  These conditions include autoimmune disorders, specific types of cancer, and common infections, such as the flu. Certain medications, such as antimalarials and antiseizure drugs, can also cause swelling. Internal swelling often presents itself as inflammation.

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to healing an injured area. It is needed for your tissues to heal. When inflammation occurs, an influx of metabolites, nutrients and other healing factors are delivered to the damaged area , to begin the repair stage. This can become a problem when that inflammation becomes stagnant and becomes “swollen.”

When the lymph has nowhere to go and becomes stagnant in an area you make recognize some swelling. Swelling may be evident in the feet, ankles, legs, arms, etc., when there has been injury or trauma. However, internal swelling, in areas such as the shoulders and spine or even around scar tissue or any post-operative areas, cannot be seen but may be causing symptoms such as pain and stiffness. Often this stagnation prevents the lymphatic system from working efficiently

The Hands On Approach

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is an advanced massage therapy method that is intended to support and enhance the lymphatic system. Most lymphatic structures that the specialist targets, are directly under the skin. An MLD therapist will use light, gentle, rhythmic techniques to increase the flow of lymph and its return to the circulatory system. This treatment has relaxing, pain relieving and immunological effects. Although MLD Therapy is very comfortable and non-aggressive, it is highly specialized and cannot be compared to any other techniques a therapist has learned. The tactile input and required proficiency to perform it effectively is essential. Strategy‘s based on symptoms and palpable findings, lay the groundwork for success. Unfortunately, many massage therapists offer MLD but have little training and lack the appropriate skills. Be assured all the MLD Therapy specialists at Hands On have worked diligently, to perfect their skills, have the appropriate qualifications and have been trained and mentored directly with Marla Kaplan, Certified Lymphatic Therapist (CLT). Marla has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 1998 and has thousands of hours of continuing education behind her. She has been a CLT since 2006 and has the experience and expertise necessary to oversee the Hands On MLDT Program.


At Hands On, we use a total body balance approach, whereas both internal and external swelling is effectively addressed. We do not necessarily even need to know exactly where the stagnation is located! We prepare the body to promote whole body (systemic) drainage. The goal is to show the body how to self-correct and move any stagnant fluid that may be having a negative impact on the body. We call on the lymph nodes to pump and filter! We call on the skin to get the motors running directly underneath it, engaging those lymph collectors to get moving! We take advantage of the natural ability of the lymphatic network of vessels to work together! Yes, we can call on one part of the body, to help other parts! It may seem strange that we address your lymphatic system under your arm to move the lymph out of your leg, but that is exactly what we do and why it works! This may all sound very dramatic and even somewhat extreme, but that is how we get your lymphatic system working better and more efficiently! And yet, our methods are all done with a very light touch. Again, less is more when it comes to Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy!


Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy has been proven to increase the speed of lymph flow by 10 x’s when done correctly! Movement is the recipe for success! What does success look like? Less pain, pressure, fatigue, swelling and overall, a feeling of “lightness.”


Treatment duration and frequency depend on the severity of the problem and the individual. Be assured that our goal is to have you come in for treatment and have you discharged as soon as possible. Visit us for relaxation massages, gift certificate purchases, etc.!


There are many factors that come into play when determining the right number of sessions for you. Lifestyle, diet, exercise, stress level, work environment, past health issues including surgeries, scars, disease, infections, etc. are all factors that can affect your outcome. Intensive treatment lays the groundwork for a successful outcome. This may involve consecutive days of treatments or weekly sessions. We can only determine this once you have had a treatment and once, we see how you are responding. Our general recommendation is to plan on 2-3 sessions. Sometimes once is enough, sometimes more are needed. Post-surgical Manual Lymphatic Drainage will always require more. Your doctor may have her/ his own recommendations.


Talk to your doctor and make sure you get their approval for a MLD session if you have or had congestive heart failure, blood clots, kidney problems, infections, or circulation problems.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Pricing

We recommend a booking a 45-minute initial session.

Most follow-up sessions are 30 minutes.

A 50- or 60-minute session may be recommended based on the therapist’s finding.

When appropriate, sessions may be shortened.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy at Hands On Commack

25 minutes

30 minutes

45 minutes

50 minutes

60 minutes







Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) Therapy at Hands On Commack
Before your session

Talk to your doctor and make sure you get their approval for a Manual Lymphatic Drainage session or MLDT.  If you have any contraindications, or any other concerns about increasing the flow and speed of your circulation be sure to check with her/him.

Active infections and injuries are also contraindicated.

Should you be planning on insurance reimbursement, (see below) make sure to receive a prescription from you doctor with a diagnosis. Most insurance companies will not consider a claim, without one.

Don’t apply oil or lotion before your treatment.

Don’t wear any scents or perfumes.

Make sure you are well hydrated. Hydration helps to thin the fluid and will help insure a successful outcome.

Wear loose fitting clothing such as a sports bra with a loose tank top and loose shorts.

Wear your compression garment if you have one.

Use the restroom prior to your session.

During your session

We do not use bolstering while you are on the massage table. Please request a pillow if you are truly uncomfortable,

but the lymph will flow more easily without it.

Stimulation of the Lymphatic System activates the para-sympathetic nervous system producing an automatic physiological relaxation response. In other words, it is a perfect time to relax! We’ve got ya!

Most, if not all of your session you will be face-up. This is the best way to engage your lymphatic system

After your session

We will offer you strategies to help preserve the outcome of your sessions. Simple self-care techniques including self -MLD , deep breathing exercises and more will make you more independent and will enable you to take your power back while you are healing.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage effectively treats over 60 conditions. A gentle and non invasive technique, it has countless health benefits and is often the missing piece to the healing process. Get in touch to discuss if lymphatic massage therapy is right for you.

Take Away

A person can use a lymphatic drainage massage to help reduce swelling, improve circulation, reduce pain and discomfort and so much more. It is not a panacea (a cure all) but it is certainly worth investigating.  An effectively functioning lymphatic system is essential for overall health. Due to increased awareness and a changing culture, more people are waking up to the regular, everyday benefits of MLD. It is becoming an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Love Your Lymphatics Toolbox

Public health recommendations for lifestyle interventions, including diet, nutrition advice, and physical activity, have been widely publicized for the treatment and prevention of diseases, including chronic pain.


We bring you this information, from well-established sources, in order to help you on your wellness journey.


It is always advised that you speak to your physician before beginning or incorporating any lifestyle changes

Working with your doctor ahead of time can help you plan a program that’s right for you. And that’s a good first step on your path to fitness.

Flexible Health Spending Accounts

Massage therapy is usually considered a legitimate medical expense by most insurance companies. Still, to be sure, check with your carrier or ask an HR representative. We always suggest having a prescription on file.


Sessions are all self-pay, however, very often Manual Lymph Drainage and Massage Therapy is covered by insurance. NYSHIP, United Healthcare, some of the Empire plans, etc. are reimbursing our patients for their medically prescribed treatments. Please contact your insurance carrier and find out if Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, procedure code 97140 or Massage Therapy, procedure code 97124 is covered when given by a Licensed Massage Therapist. If so, let us know so we can discuss the proper paperwork needed for you to be reimbursed. You will need a diagnosis in order to submit to your carrier therefore a prescription will be needed from your doctor so that we can use it on your paperwork.

Tax Deduction

We will offer you strategies to help preserve the outcome of your sessions. Simple self-care techniques including self -MLD , deep breathing exercises and more will make you more independent and will enable you to take your power back while you are healing.

You may be able to deduct massages from your taxes if you are receiving the massage for a medical reason, with an official diagnosis. Doctors are recommending massage at increasing rates. If a doctor, or other licensed medical practitioner, like a chiropractor, prescribes massage for a physical issue, you may be able to deduct this medical massage on your taxes. Always check with your accountant.

Related Videos

Related Pages

  • Before and During Session

    Before and During Session

    We will discuss your progress, how you are...

    Visit Page
  • Defining The Difference

    Defining The Difference

    Very often there can be a fine line bet...

    Visit Page
  • Forms


    NYS law states that we must maintain a record for each patient...

    Visit Page
  • Breast Health Therapy

    Breast Health Therapy

    Breast health is too often ignored until...

    Visit Page
  • Medical Massage

    Medical Massage

    Massage Therapy used to be considered a part of complementary...

    Visit Page
  • JB Myofascial

    JB Myofascial

    We are proud to offer the same renowned technique that...

    Visit Page
  • Therapy Techniques

    Therapy Techniques

    These techniques allow the fascia to release and...

    Visit Page