What is lymphoedema?


Lymph is a colourless fluid forming in the tissues of the body. When the flow of lymph becomes blocked or damaged, fluid accumulates in surrounding tissues and swelling occurs. Unike other swelling,

lymphoedema forms a solid component, making the control of swelling more difficult. Primary lymphoedema is usually determined from birth, and can affect individuals at any age. Secondary lymphoedema is related to damage or blockage of lymph drainage routes following infection, trauma (surgery or radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer) and other medical conditions. There is no cure for lymphoedema but physiotherapy is key in successful management of the condition. Common physiotherapy approaches used includes complex decongestive therapy which involves manual lymph drainage, exercise, compression garments/multi-layer bandaging and patient education on nail and skin care and self-management of condition.


What is Manual Lymph Drainage?


Manual lymphatic drainage is a very gentle massage technique used to stimulate the flow of lymphatic fluid around the body. Using specific slow, light strokes, manual lymphatic drainage works on the connective tissues immediately below the skin (not the deeper muscles like remedial massage). By promoting fluid circulation and decongesting the lymph nodes, manual lymphatic drainage helps boost the immune system and detoxify the body.


Manual Lymph Drainage Courses:

Dr. Vodder Method courses in Ireland:


Module 1: BASIC - Certified Training and Tuition in Manual Lymphatic Drainage:


This is a post graduate course and requires a recognised certificate in Anatomy and Physiology. It is open to Nurses, Physiotherapists, Physical Therapists , Osteopaths, and qualified experienced Massage Therapists. A certificate of attendance is awarded. No Exam at end of this module.


Instructor: Ms Meadbh Mac Sweeney 



  • September, Friday 20th to Tuesday 24th
  • 8am-5pm
  • Practical 32 hrs, Theory 8 hours

Location: Maryborough House Hotel, Cork City


Description: An intensive course involving extensive hands-on work. The basic strokes and their application to each body part are taught. The theory covers anatomy and contraindications to treatment. The benefit of MLD is extensively described in terms of patients with lymphoedema



Module 2: Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy I Review




Instructor: Ms Meadbh Mac Sweeney 



  • October, Friday 18th to Tuesday 22nd
  • 8am to 5pm
  • Practical 32hrs , Theory 8 hrs


Location: Maryborough House Hotel, Cork City




Following the Basic course, the practical sessions of this course include special techniques for the joints, the head (including intra oral) and deep abdominal work. They introduce the student to therapeutic applications. A review of all Basic techniques and sequences is given. In the theory sessions advanced theory and current research is discussed as well as a review of basic theory. An oral, written and practical exam is given on the last day to test the student’s competence in basic techniques and theory.



Course Fee, Basic & Therapy I€1,500  

Basic course  lecture notes / DVD & Certificate: €70

Therapy 1 course  lecture notes / DVD & Certificate: €70 

Dr. Vodder's Manual Lymph Drainage 'A Practical Guide': €50


Total fees: €1690 


Note: Qualifying with Basic and Therapy 1 examinations enables you to work on patients only with healthy intact lymphatic systems. However, qualifying with Therapy 2 and 3 enables you to work on patients with compromised lymphatic systems. 




Module 3:Therapy 2 & 3 (tutor & dates to be announced)




Successful completion of the Therapy I exam enables the student to continue to these final two courses which are taught consecutively. They are taught usually in two 5-day segments with a weekend break between. The course covers various pathologies with an emphasis on lymphoedema treatment in the context of Combined Decongestive Therapy 


Lymphoedema Courses: 


Course 1

Casley-Smith Lymphoedema Training


Location: Beacon Hospital


Date: May 2013 (Date not specified - We have emailed the organisation for exact dates and will update upon confirmation)






For courses abroad:


Courses in UK:





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