My lymphatic training has covered a few different methods: Vodder, Casley-Smith and Chikly. I use a blend of them all but my favourite by far is Chikly. The Chikly Lymph Drainage Therapy method was developed by French Osteopath Bruno Chikly. The concepts of his method are the same as Vodder and Casley-Smith, but what stands it apart is the therapist’s hand engagement of the lymphatic fluid rhythm.

The lymph fluid has a typical pathway it flows through the body. In the case of congestion and oedema, due to a blocked lymph node for example, lymph fluid has the ability to redirect itself away from the ideal path, taking an alternative route. This adapted route may have smaller vessels and/or there is already a lot of lymph fluid trying to make its way through; like a very busy motor highway. This will lead to a build up of lymph fluid by either, the fluid still trying to make it though the blocked lymph node or taking an alternative route. When a Chikly Lymph Drainage therapist assesses the lymph fluid pathways, the congested areas will have a stagnant and sluggish rhythm not a free flowing river stream rhythm.

Assessing the body’s lymph fluid pathways can be done within a minute, so very quickly it can be discovered where the primary congestion area is. This eliminates the need to have to work on the entire body and reduces the length of time needed for the session. Additionally, the unique techniques Chikly has developed to decongest a particular area, close to the skin or as deep as any of the internal organs, are super quick! Over the years of being a lymphoedema therapist I have seen more permanent results using Chikly than any other manual method.




The Lymphatic System is a key to your body's immune defences and a major contributor to your health. It is critical to our body’s ability to drain stagnant fluids, detoxify, regenerate tissues, filter out toxins and foreign substances, and maintain a healthy immune system (Asdonk, 1970, Adair & Guyton, 1982).


Every day, in normal conditions, 2-4 litres of lymph fluid circulates around your body. 50% of lymph fluid is produced by your liver, the rest is derived from interstitial fluid (fluid in and around tissues spaces housing particles such as: proteins, toxins, hormones, fatty acids, old cells and immune cells). Lymph fluid filters out of your blood vessels and mixes in with the interstitial fluids.  From there lymph moves into your lymphatic vessels along with some of the interstitial fluid particles.


Stationed along the lymph vessel pathways are numerous lymph nodes. Lymph nodes produce crucial white blood cells, macrophages (eater cells) and lymphocytes. Macrophages engulf foreign particles, harmful bacteria, toxins, cancer cells, and cellular debris, breaking them down into smaller particles. The presence of macrophages stimulates the lymphocytes to reproduce powerful antibodies which form an overall defensive shield against infections.


Lymph fluid is primarily pumped towards lymph nodes with the help of tiny muscular units, lymphangions, within the lymph vessels. The contraction of muscles and joint movement during gentle exercise, as well as with deep belly breathing, also aids in the movement of lymph. Your main lymph nodes are located above your collarbones, in the creases of your elbows and knees, and within your armpit and groin regions. The majority of lymph nodes though are scattered around your organs, approximately 500 of them!


The end of the lymph vessels pathways is at the subclavian veins (near the midline of your collarbones), this is where your lymph fluid re-enters your bloodstream. Blood vessels transports your blood, containing all the broken down particles, to your liver and spleen for further filtration, passing all the waste material onto your colon and kidneys for evacuation from your body.


In times of sickness, the amount of lymph fluid produced can peak as high as 30 litres. This excess amount of fluid can cause the lymph nodes to get congested, leading to a build up of lymph fluid in the lymph vessels and/or in the interstitial tissue spaces; similar to a pipe network of plumbing in a unit complex, if one of the pipes gets blocked this can cause a build-up in the adjoining pipes. If your body is unable to clear the blockages, the build-up of waste can make you feel sluggish and rundown.  


Lymph nodes and vessels can be hindered due to surgery, trauma, burns, infections, substantial swelling, fatigue, stress or age. In chronic situations of lymph congestion it can develop into a condition called lymphoedema.  Lymphoedema usually develops in situations of lack of lymph nodes and/or vessels and initially affects a limb with swelling, hardening and thickening of the skin, and an increased risk of infection.


During a Lymph Drainage Therapy treatment all congested pathways are opened up allowing for any stagnant lymph fluid to move through the lymph vessels.

A few of the benefits:

  • Reduces the effects of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, using a specific protocol.
  • Assists with body circulation.
  • Reduces oedema & lympoedema.
  • Reduces fluid retention.
  • Stimulates a sluggish immune system.
  • Aids in detox.
  • Speeds the healing of injuries.
  • Assists in prevention of and recovery from disease.
  • Clears chronic sinuses and recurrent ear problems.
  • Eases arthritis.
  • Assists in the recovery of glandular fever and other post virus conditions.
  • Benefical for pre and post operations.

Oil free treatment.



Lymphoedema Management

Managing your lymphoedema can be exhausting, but if you are familiar with these simple approaches it will become a lot easier.


5 Simple Guidelines:

  1. Manual lymphatic drainage therapy sessions.
  2. Home exercises.
  3. Self drainage massage.
  4. Self skin care.
  5. Bandaging and compression garments.

Please call me if you would like to know more.


© Body In Tune 2020. All Rights Reserved.
ABN 38 016 837 325

Miriam Bunder
Bodywork Therapist

ATMS Member 15464