Lymphatic System

The Lymphatic System And Its Relationship With Massage

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a therapy that many people today may not be familiar with.  However, it has actually been around since the 1930’s, and was first developed and pioneered by a Danish doctor called Emil Voder. 

In the 1930's it was considered taboo to tamper with the lymphatic system due to the poor understanding of this system by the medical profession. However, while working on the French Riviera treating patients with chronic colds, Dr Vodder noticed that many patients had swollen lymph nodes. This led Dr Vodder to start studying the lymph system. Dr Vodder found that gentle massage over the lymph nodes, and superficial lymph vessels, improved the flow of lymph. 

Lymph is a colorless liquid which transports various substances from the fluid around the cells back to the blood vessels. The fluid is then carried to lymph nodes where it is filtered and cleansed of dead cells, bacteria and other waste products and then finally returned back into the blood stream. A healthy lymphatic system is essential for our immunity since it contributes to healthy body tissue and carries white blood cells which help fight infection. 

After intense studying of the lymphatic system he devised and perfected the treatment for the whole body, which he called Manual Lymph Drainage. The therapy is a specialised massage with precise, light, rhythmical hand movements which gently stretch the skin in a circular motion along the lymphatic pathways. This movement stimulates the contractions of the lymphatic vessels and promotes the take up of fluid from the tissues into the lymphatic system.

After identifying the importance of the lymphatic system, Dr Vodder concluded that Manual Lymphatic Drainage could be helpful to any condition. In 1936 after four years of research he introduced this technique in Paris. If you have never had this treatment before then you should definitely try it. Here is a run-down of the therapists in London that offer Manual Lymphatic Drainage.

 Dr Emil Vodder and his wife

Dr Emil Vodder and his wife