Lymphatic drainage massage is a type of gentle massage that helps with the removal of wastes and toxins in your body. It is an effective way to treat lymphoedema after cancer treatment. Cancer Australia estimates that 20% of cancer patients may experience secondary lymphoedema. Research has shown that manual lymphatic drainage and exercises are safe and effective in managing range of motion, swelling, pain and other parameters associated with lymphoedema after cancer surgery. Anytime Physio in Newstead offers a full range of services to help manage and treat lymphoedema, including manual lymphatic drainage, exercises, advice and compression garments for swelling management.


Lymphoedema is the accumulation of excessive protein-rich fluid in the body causing swelling, particularly in the limbs including fingers or toes. Your lymphatic system is crucial for your health as the circulation of protein-rich lymph fluid transfer bacteria and waste products through lymph vessels to lymph nodes around the body. These harmful substances are then filtered out and destroyed, protecting the body from infection. Symptoms of lymphoedema include swelling or pain in one or more body parts, feeling of heaviness or tightness, decreased range of motion, infection or skin hardening.


  • Swelling in one or more body parts
  • Pain or ache
  • Feeling of heaviness or tightness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Infection
  • Skin hardening


In your first appointment, your physiotherapist will take a thorough history of your condition to plan the most effective treatment for you. Manual lymphatic drainage involves slow, short and gentle strokes to encourage the flow of lymph fluid to boost your immune system. It is done on a massage bed with towels in an enclosed room or bay for your privacy. The treatment usually begins with deep, relaxed breathing with gentle massage on the abdomen. Then your therapist will perform a series of light strokes to drain the fluid centrally. After the massage, your physio will guide you through some exercises and strategies to best manage your symptoms. You may require compression garment to further assist in swelling management.

Initial Assessment and Treatment – $220 (60 minutes)
Subsequent Treatment – $120 (30 minutes)
Longer Subsequent Treatment – $165 (45 minutes) or $210 (60 minutes)

Your physiotherapist will discuss with you how long your treatment will take, depending on the severity and the number of affected body areas. It is recommended to have lymphatic drainage massage one or two times weekly to get you better as quickly as possible.

Side effects

Rare side effects of lymphatic drainage massage include dizziness and nausea caused by blood flow changes. A full medical history will be taken to examine the risks. It is advised to have something to eat or drink before your appointment to prevent dizziness caused by drop in blood pressure. If you experience any discomfort or symptoms that persist for more than 24 hours, please contact us or your local GP for further assistance.

Book An Appointment with a Physiotherapist

If you’d like to make an appointment with a physio at one of our Brisbane locations, you can contact us via email or phone to book in. If you have any questions or concerns, our team will be more than happy to address them for you. You can also book online below.