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Practical Lymphatic Drainage Courses
Professional Education Track for Massage Therapists

Course Schedule and Fees   Were you looking for Lymphatic Drainage Therapy Services?

Discover Lymphatic Drainage Wellness Certification & Training Programs at Ishman BodyCare Center & Institute!


What is Lymphatic Drainage Therapy?  Lymphatic drainage therapy is a gentle, subtle low-impact hands-on technique used to reduce swelling and decongest tissues and joints. It may be used for sinus pain and discomfort, assisting detoxification and reducing menstrual symptoms, post-surgery or injury, to improve lymphatic circulation and speed healing, or for chronic lymphedema.

Join us for a stimulating and inspiring track of education that helps you provide this gentle care to anyone without a systemic illness!  Certificants in our program are qualified to provide manual lymphatic drainage appropriate for sinus care and relief, detoxification, joint health, immune support, hormonal health including PMS and menstruation, insomnia, wound and surgical healing, fighting infection, and increased relaxation.  Manual lymph drainage is also known to relieve trigger point and myofascial pain syndromes, including CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and fibromyalgia.


About Lymph and Lymphatic Drainage

The lymphatic system plays an underestimated role in the health of our bodies. Functions of this system include the absorption of excess fluid anywhere in the body and its return to the blood stream, the absorption of trapped toxins and hormones in the body's cells, and critical support for the body�s immune system.  It also helps to lubricate joints, flush respiratory areas, and helps the body recover from workouts and periods of stress.  It is a waste removal and nutritional fluid balancer, carrying proteins and body substances from superficial skin areas to the the deep organ cavities of the body.

Unlike our blood, lymphatic fluid does not use the heart as a pump. Lymph transport (or drainage) primarily depends upon the contraction of skeletal muscles�thus the importance of exercise. A body which is not moving will begin to stagnate in more ways than one!  Manual Lymphatic Drainage can increase the flow of lymph up to 20 TIMES it's usual rate. These courses will teach you how to add lymph drainage to existing sessions and how to provide hour-long lymphatic drainage therapy sessions on people without a systemic illness.

The Lymphatic Drainage Certification Program

Lymphatic Drainage Wellness Certification is available to students who have completed the entire Practical Lymphatic Drainage Certificate Track, including:

1.  Practical Lymphatic Drainage Full Body Course

2. Lymphatic Drainage Practicum One - One Day Skill-Building Course

3. Lymphatic Drainage Practicum Two - One Day Skill-Building Course

This enrollment option is designed for the therapist who plans to really use lymphatic drainage in his or her practice.  If you really plan to use lymphatic drainage in your practice, taking the Practicum Skill-Building Courses are strongly recommended.  

Course One: Lymphatic Drainage Full Course

The first full weekend of focused learning includes:

  • Information about the lymph system

  • Three Vodder techniques, mapping exercises for lymphatic vessels and the direction of lymph flow

  • A first introduction and practice for applying manual lymph drainage techniques to the body

  • Guidelines for care, including contraindications and indications

There is a significant amount of information packed into this weekend, and the majority of time is spent learning hands-on care. 

Course Two: Lymphatic Drainage Practicum One

One month later, the Lymphatic Drainage Practicum One - One Day Skill-Building Course helps students apply, practice and refine skills, clarify questions, and begin a clinical train of thought for the application of manual lymphatic drainage.  Instruction in this course allows therapists to build confidence, improve his or her effectiveness, and begin to outline practical treatment plans.  Emphasis on evaluating diet and health history are emphasized in the first practicum, which helps practitioners determine the appropriate application of lymphatic drainage methods for individual clients.  Lymphatic system dissection video materials are used to improve the practitioner's understanding of the impact that lymphatic drainage methods have on the system.

Course Three: Lymphatic Drainage Practicum Two

The second skill-building practicum follows one month later, and allows students to further refine skills.  Cases are reviewed agin to demonstrate the improved ability for therapists to show measurable outcomes from the application of lymphatic drainage techniques.  Neuro-lymphatic points are introduced in this course, and enable MLD students to optimize treatments in relationship to the body's meridian system.  This integrated approach addresses both physical and energy systems, giving the therapist practical tools for supporting each client during times of stress, change, illness and anxiety.  Clinical treatment plans and results from student participants are charted and discussed, so treatment planning skills improve further during this practicum.

Certification is available based on successful completion of each course, and approval from the course instructor.  Our program ensures that the therapist has a practical ability to successfully apply treatment and understands the applications and contraindications of manual lymphatic drainage.  Certification Fee: $75.

Do I need to take the courses in the same quarter? 

The Practicum Skill-Building Courses are ideally taken in sequence, which is one month following the
Full Body course.  If scheduling conflicts arise, they may also be taken in another program offering later on. 

What's Included?

  1. Course Manual

  2. Routine Reminder Cards

  3. Reference Articles (Certification Track Students Only)

  4. Therapy Tables

What's Else Do I Need?

We list strongly recommended texts for those that plan to actually use these skills in their practices.  Texts will provide more information about treating specific cases and conditions, answer detailed questions that arise about clinical applications of MLD, and provide additional anatomy and physiology information more thoroughly than what is emphasized during class hours.  Those planning to incorporate lymph drainage sessions into their work are strongly encouraged to add these references to your course of education.

1. Textbook of Manual Lymphatic Drainage

2. Compendium of Dr. Vodder's Manual Lymph Drainage

3. Neurolymphatic Chart (Used heavily in Practicum 2)

Practical Lymphatic Drainage Introductory Course - 5 CEs
PLD Introductory Course Agenda (pdf)

Introductory topics include:

  • Benefits of lymphatic drainage

  • An overview of the lymphatic system

  • Lymph anatomy and physiology concepts

  • Basic Lymphatic Tissue Assessment

  • Introduction of hands-on techniques for the core lymphatic system

This course will enable therapists to safely incorporate lymphatic drainage into their current sessions that include other forms of therapy.   The routine included will take 8-12 minutes in a therapy setting.

Course Schedule and Fees

Practical Lymphatic Drainage Full Course - 19 CEs
PLD Full Course Agenda (pdf)

Topics include the above introduction, and add the following:

  • Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology of the Lymph System

  • Properties of Lymph and Cardiovascular Systems

  • Mapping and Analysis of Lymphatic Vessels

  • Indications and Contraindications for Lymphatic Drainage

  • Lymphatic Mapping

  • Techniques for Lymphatic Drainage

  • Treating Core areas, Neck, Head, Arms, Hands, Thorax, Back, Hips, Legs, and Feet

  • Swelling / Treating Special Areas of Lymphedema

  • Guidelines for Post-Operative Conditions, Sinus Congestion, Breast Cancer, Sport Environments

Following this course, therapists may offer 60-minute treatments specifically for lymphatic drainage.

Course Schedule and Fees

Lymphatic Drainage Practicums One and Two - 8 CE's eachs

Students who have completed our Lymphatic Drainage Full Course can attend these practicum courses to expand and refine their skills.  These courses are designed to take learning from the full course and reach the competency level you want to use lymphatic drainage with a large variety of people in your therapy practice.

Practicum One course will:

  • Refine hands-on skills & techniques for more accurate drainage abilities

  • Improve care for specific conditions

  • Increase their lymphatic anatomy and physiology training, incorporate dissection video

  • Explore new applications of lymph drainage therapy in your practice, help address new complaints

  • Share experiences and case reports with other lymphatic drainage professionals

  • Improve charting skills for lymphatic drainage

Practicum Two course will:

  • Refine hands-on skills & techniques for more accurate drainage abilities

  • Introduce the Neurolymphatic Reflex Points used to address associated meridian in the body

  • Learn modified applications of your lymph drainage skills to address symptoms of the meridian system imbalances

  • Share experiences and case reports with other lymphatic drainage professionals

Following the Practicum course, students will be eligible for our Practical Lymphatic Drainage Certification.  This is a wellness certificate for students demonstrating competency in working with healthy people with no systemic challenges or illnesses.

Course Schedule and Fees

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Ishman BodyCare Center & Institute
608 S. Washington Street, Suite 311, Naperville, IL 60540

Massage and Energy Therapy Clinic & Pilates Studio, Natural Pharmacy
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