Manual Lymph Drainage is an advanced manual therapy technique developed in Europe in the 1930’s by Dr Emil Vodder, native of Denmark. Manual Lymph Drainage is a unique method within the broad framework of classic massage, whereby very light manual strokes stretch the skin to bring about a gentle lymph vessel pumping action in the soft tissue, stimulating the movement of fluids. The gentle, rhythmic, pumping massage movements follow the anatomical direction of lymph flow and produce rapid tissue cleansing results.

Manual Lymph Drainage is used primarily to promote the optimal functioning of the superficial lymph capillaries, vessels, nodes and ducts that lead to the blood circulatory system.

Manual Lymph Drainage
 facilitates initial lymph vessel and venous capillary actions, which are responsible for carrying excess water, large protein molecules and metabolic wastes from the connective tissue back to the circulatory venous system. During the transportation process the lymph is cleaned, filtered and concentrated and many immune reactions occur in the lymph nodes. If the pathways become congested, blocked, damaged or severed, then fluids can build up in the connective tissue leading to edema. Eventually cell pathology may begin. If there is damage in the connective tissue (e.g. burns, chronic inflammation, ulceration, hematoma), then the lymph vessel system must transport the damaged cells, inflammatory products and toxins away from the area. The quicker this can happen, the faster recovery will occur.
Through the pumping and stretching effect on the lymph vessels, this special Manual lymph drainage method based on Dr. Vodder’s findings and method, stimulates the contraction of lymph vessels, helping lymph fluid to move. Scientific research in Europe for nearly sixty years by Dr’s Vodder, Hutschenreuter, Mislin, Foldi, et al. has made this procedure a well documented therapeutic technique used in the successful treatment of over sixty pathologies.

Manual Lymph Drainage is effective in the treatment of acute and chronic edema (e.g. lymph edema, edemas following strokes and local edemas of traumatic origin such as dislocations, tears and fractures), neuromuscular disorders and facial dysfunction, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, sclerodermas, burns, scar therapy, acne, local chronic inflammations in the respiratory tract (including sinusitis and allergies), periodontal disease, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine, and digestive tract disorders. Used as pre-and post-operative procedure, manual lymph drainage removes congestion and minimizes scar formation. Manual lymph drainage therapy of edematous soft tissue causes skin tissue fluid volume reduction. Subsequent compression therapy with bandages, compression stockings, and pneumomassage is used to preserve the therapeutic success. Compression results in increased tissue pressure with the following consequences: Reduction of abnormally increased ultra filtration into the interstitium. Improved reabsorption from the interstitium. Joint- and muscle pump becomes more effective. Reduction of fibrosis or sclerosis of the interstitium.
Compression results in higher drainage activity –motoricity- of the lymph vessels as well as the initial Lymphatic and lymph capillaries in the epidermis. The extent of these effects depends upon compression pressure, the used compression and the mobility during compression.