Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage (MLD)
Manual lymphatic drainage massage is a form of very light massage that encourages lymph flow in the body. 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.
There are 600 to 700 lymph nodes in the human body. The proper functioning of the lymphatic system is critical to our bodies’ ability to maintain good health and a strong immune system to fight off infections and other problems.
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. It can also help with cellulite treatments, scar tissue, spider veins, redness and acne.
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 the Emil Vodder created the method and gave it the name Dr. Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage.