Colchester Holistic Health Clinic fosters a holistic approach to management providing advice and support to enable patients to live a full and active life. In addition to providing Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatment and Compression Garments we strongly support and encourage patients with self management and maintaining the cornerstones of care.   We provide appropriate and effective education about their condition and psychosocial support.  This is a non rushed environment, where patients are listened to and given time to ask as many questions as they need. Benefit from our vast experience and get support with your self management plan which incorporates your cornerstones of care:

  • Skin care - keeping the skin in good condition, reduces the risk of infection such as cellulitis.
  • Exercise/movement - treatment will incorporate breathing exercises, as directed by your therapist. It is essential to maximise lymph drainage, with regular gentle exercise that keep the body supple and weight within healthy limits
  • Compression – compression garments application, helps prevent re-accumulation of fluid and improves shape. Elastic graduated compression garments must be prescribed by a specialist therapist for correct compression and sizing.
  • Simple Lymphatic Drainage SLD performed by the patient

Find out how we can help with MLD

We offer a range of manual lymphatic drainage services. Click the link below to find out more

Holistic management goals can help achieve the following [1-2]:

  • Reduction in size and volume
  • Improved lymph flow
  • Improved skin condition
  • Improved subcutaneous tissue consistency with loosening of hard fibrotic tissue
  • Improved limb shape
  • Improved limb function and mobility
  • Improved symptom control for lipoedema with reduction in pain and haematoma
  • Improved emotional state
  • Enhanced patient/family/carer involvement
  • Increased independence and self-management skills

Lymphoedema has a physical and psychosocial impact so we think it is important to have a holistic approach to care.  Education, psychosocial support, pain management are the foundations of care of which Manual Lymphatic Draining (MLD) and Self Lymphatic Drainage (SLD) forms a part.   The objectives of treatment are to reduce excess volume so that compression hosiery can be applied and to support patients/carers in their self-management [3].

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) – is a dry, rhythmic and light massage, aimed at initial lymph system, specifically designed to stimulate lymphatic flow through methodological  stretching of the skin.

MLD helps prevent and reduce fluid retention and lymphoedema. Our high quality treatments for patients with primary lymphoedema (malformation of lymphatic system) and secondary lymphoedema (damage to lymphatic system)

Lymphoedema treatment generally has three different phases [4-5]:

First phaseInitial management1 – 4 weeksintensive phase treatment + education/cornerstones/ psychosocial support Site, stage, severity and complexity
Second phaseTransition management1-3 monthsReduced treatment phase/Monitor education/cornerstones/ psychosocial support
Third phaseLong-term management6 months then yearlyadjust to living with a long-term condition/maximise self mx/empowerment/sense of control

relapse management start back at phase one

Back to helpful info

1                Kwan M, Cohn JC, Armer JM, Steward BR and Cormier JN (2011). Exercise in patients with lymphedema: a systematic review of the contemporary literature. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. December 2011, Volume 5, Issue 4, (320-336)


2               NHS Choices Information (2019) Lymphoedema – Treatment [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lymphoedema/


3                International Lymphoedema Framework (ILF) (2019) Annual Report June 2019 [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from: https://www.lympho.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/National-Lymphoedema-Frameworks_Compilation-of-annual-reports-2018-2019_June-2019_update-26062019.pdf


4               International Society of Lymphology Executive Committee (2013). The Diagnosis and Treatment of Peripheral Lymphedema. Consensus Document of the International Society of Lymphology. [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from:



5               Bjork, R. and Hettrick, H., 2019. Lymphedema: New Concepts in Diagnosis and Treatment. Current Dermatology Reports8(4), pp.190-198.