Dr. Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage. (MLD)

MLD was developed by Dr. Emil and Estrid Vodder in the 1930’s following many years of research into the lymphatic system. They presented Manual Lymph Drainage therapy at an exhibition in Paris in 1936 to great acclaim and went on to teach their method in many countries throughout the world.

Emil Vodder said:

Our therapeutic treatment often produced surprising and rapid results. Positive effects were always obtained if correct, slow and rhythmic movements were employed, whether we were treating the patient for skin rejuvenation, haematomas caused by accidents, eczema, varicose veins or ulcerous legs.

(H & G Wittlinger, (1992) Textbook of Dr Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage, Basic Course, Haug)

With this unique method the therapist moves the skin in very light, pumping movements over the underlying tissues. These movements increase the contractions of the lymph vessels system, so increasing the absorption of excess fluid and waste products, whilst not increasing blood congestion to the area.

Emil and Estrid Vodder worked closely with Gunther and Hildegard Wittlinger for many years to perfect the movements. Now Professor Hildegard Wittlinger continues to teach and promote the Dr. Vodder Method of MLD all over the world and at the Dr. Vodder Schule in Austria. The teachers and classes on this website are fully accredited teachers of the Dr. Vodder Schule.

Many of the theories and observations of the effects of MLD have been investigated and papers have been published by the Vodders, Wittlingers, Földi, Mislin, Casley Smith and others.

MLD sits comfortably in both the complementary and medical world. It is used in rehabilitation units, physiotherapy departments, lymphoedema clinics and, massage and beauty salons.

What does it do?

  • MLD helps to drain excess fluid from the tissues of the body
  • MLD can help to reduce pain by its action on the nervous system
  • MLD aids relaxation by its action on the nervous system and muscles
  • MLD is believed to improve the immune system

Because of MLD’s far reaching effects it can be beneficial for:

  • General wellbeing, relaxation and stress control
  • Pregnancy
  • Cosmetic surgery to aid healing and reduce swelling
  • After many types of surgery e.g. joint replacement
  • Chronic conditions, e.g. sinusitis, arthritis, eczema, leg ulcers, migraine , Old scars - helps to improve the colour and flatten them
  • Lymphoedema, especially on the body and the face, and on the limbs in conjunction with specialist bandaging, skincare and exercises (Combined Decongestive Therapy)

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