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Manual Lymphatic Drainage Explained

The Vodder Method

Manual lymphatic drainage or MLD massage was developed in the 1930’s by Emil and Estrid Vodder and is widely prescribed by physicians in Europe and in the United States and Canada. The Vodder Method is practiced at Wu Wei Healing Arts


Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a therapeutic massage treatment. The massage uses very light pressure and long, gentle, rhythmic strokes to increase the flow of lymph and reduce toxins in your body.

The lymph system is part of your body's immune system and helps fight infection. Lymph itself is a clear, slightly yellow fluid. It transports nutrients and oxygen to cells, collecting toxins on the way and flushing them out through the lymph nodes. You have around twice as many lymph vessels as blood vessels in your body. However, unlike blood, which is pumped around by your heart, the lymph system has no pump. The pressure from your blood vessels and movement from your muscles push the lymphatic fluid around.


What is manual lymphatic drainage massage good for?


Mymphatic drainage can have a beneficial effect on your general health. Because lymph is key to keeping your immune system working properly, improving the flow and drainage of lymph around the body is good for you in lots of ways.


Manual Lymphatic Drainage may:

  • reduce the chance of you suffering from minor colds and viruses; it helps your body fight off infection, and speeds up healing and recovery from illness

  • help reduce water retention; for instance, because the lymph system has no pump, if you sit for a long time without moving, the lymph can't flow easily — this is why you may experience swollen feet or fingers

  • boost weight loss, as improving the lymphatic system will improve your metabolic rate, which helps you burn calories more efficiently.


Manual Lymphatic Drainage may improve your skin texture by:

  • reducing swelling, puffiness and blotches

  • giving you clean, healthy pores

  • speeding up healing in scar tissue, so it may, for example, improve the appearance of

  • helping to reduce cellulite; the massage increases blood flow and circulation to the affected areas, which helps the body break down the toxins which cause dimply skin.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage may also benefit people who are experiencing the following:

  • lymphedema

  • fibromyalgia

  • swelling or edema

  • skin disorders

  • fatigue

  • insomnia

  • stress

  • digestive problems

  • arthritis

  • migraines


Lymphatic Drainage Massage After Cosmetic Surgery


Cosmetic surgeries all produce swelling to some extent because it is part of the body’s normal healing process. Some cosmetic surgeries, such as liposuction procedures and tummy tucks, disrupt the natural pathways taken by the lymphatic system because of the location of the surgery. Other regions of the body, such as the nose after rhinoplasty, produce swelling that can last for a long time—even up to one year. Other cosmetic procedures that impact the face can also produce months of swelling. However, because of the extensive areas of disruption, tummy tucks and liposuction procedures are usually the cosmetic surgeries with the greatest amount of lymphatic swelling.


When the lymph drifts out into surrounding tissue after a surgical procedure disrupts the normal lymphatic pathways, swelling is the result, but there are ways to combat this problem.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage. Wu Wei Healing Arts, along with the MLD Institute International in Tampa, FL, recommend consecutive MLD sessions the weeks and after before surgery to quickly eliminate swelling and accelerate healing with less scarring. The benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage are not limited to cosmetic surgery. MLD can accelerate the healing after any type of surgery.



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