What Is Manual Lymph Drainage Massage?

A Gentle Massage Good For Edema, Post-Surgery & Detox

Woman receiving massage
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Manual lymph drainage massage (also called lymphatic drainage and lymph massage) is a very gentle massage that encourages lymph flow in the body. It is good for detoxification, edema, pre- and post-plastic surgery and post-liposuction. It can also help with cellulite treatments, scar tissue, spider veins, redness and acne.

The lymph system is a slow-moving system of vessels and lymph nodes that is supplementary to the body's system of blood circulation.

The lymph system both delivers nutrients to the cells and carries away excess water, cellular waste, bacteria, viruses and toxins.

Manual Lymph Drainage Supports Detoxification

A therapist trained in lymph drainage massage stimulates the lymph system with extremely light, circular pumping movements. By stimulating the lymphatic system, the therapist helps drain puffy, swollen tissues, supports the body's immune system, helps the body heal from surgery, and aids in the body's natural waste removal or detoxification.

The lymphatic system is located directly beneath the skin, so the pumping, circular movements are very light. Manual lymph drainage should have a very soothing, relaxing effect. It can be used as part of a facial, or as a whole body treatment.  Drink plenty of water after a lymph drainage massage to help flush out toxins. Stay away from salt and alcohol after a massage, as they inhibit the body's ability to flush out toxins.

Invented by Emil Vodder

Lymph drainage massage was developed in the 1930s by Emil Vodder, a native of Copenhagen who lived on the French Riviera. While he studied medicine, he did not earn a medical degree because of illness. He earned a doctorate in philosophy because of his work in art history.

In 1985 the German Massage and Physical Therapy Association awarded him the Röhrbach-Medal as appreciation for his life work.

It confirmed that Emil Vodder created the method and gave it the name Dr. Vodder's Manual Lymph Drainage.

The Dr. Vodder School in Austria has authorized the The North American Dr. Vodder School, which based in Victoria, British Columbia, to teach its method.  It teaches classes throughout North America and other countries.