Manual Lymphatic Drainage Method Dr. Emile Vodder

Lymphatic drainage: what is it?

Manual lymphatic drainage is a very gentle massage technique designed to stimulate the circulation of the lymph and detoxify the body, while strengthening the immune system. It is performed with the fingers and the palms of the hands on the whole body, following the direction of the lymphatic circulation and by varying the pressure, without oil in direct contact with the skin. The DLM should be practiced gently and flexibly, too much force would cause local occlusion and lead to further infiltration.

DLM can increase the contraction rate of lymphangions from 5-10 contractions per minute to 50 contractions per minute up to 1 hour after treatment.


Lymph is a colorless liquid that circulates in the lymphatic vessels through the pulsating contractions of the muscles and blood vessels. As a waste disposal system, it drains excess fluids, toxins and cellular debris. Ganglia located along the lymphatic vessels, especially at the folds of the groin, under the armpits and on each side of the neck, on the walls of the small intestine are used to filter the lymph and eliminate the toxins it transported.


When the circulation of lymph is deficient, the body can weaken and become intoxicated, which may lead to various health problems: swelling of the limbs, premature aging, cellulite, heavy legs, stretch marks, etc.

The benefits of lymphatic drainage

DLM is a technique that can be applied in many areas, such as health prevention, dermatology, pre- and postoperative treatments, edematous diseases, chronic inflammations, connective tissue diseases (rheumatism, osteoarthritis, etc.), in aesthetics (simple acne, cellulite, ect.) and in combination with other physical and / or psychic therapeutic methods.


Manual lymphatic drainage cleans and regenerates the body, accelerates healing and reduces the risk of infection. It would also be useful for treating problems related to blood and lymphatic circulation, such as varicose veins, cellulitis1 and venous insufficiency.

  • Pre- and post-operative and post-traumatic treatment: Lymphatic drainage prepares and cleans the ground before surgery. It prevents stagnation and fibrous tissue formation after the procedure.
  • Healing: DML is indicated for the treatment of scars, both in cases of postoperative scars (reduction of keloids risk, accelerated healing, decreased risk of infection), as in cases of ulcerations (decubitus, ulcers diabetic, positional ulcers, etc.). The effect is to improve the intake of restorative substances, increase circulation and increase immunological defenses.
  • Constipation: By allowing the bowel to produce more mucus, drainage helps it to function better, resulting in better elimination and evacuation of intestinal gas.
  • Insomnia: releasing tension and accumulated fatigue; the drainage helps to find a good sleep.
  • Regenerating: if any massage benefits the body, the drainage, acting directly on the skin and connective tissue gives the skin its elasticity and, therefore, its youthful look.
  • Legache: Drainage relieves leg pain, especially those caused by static edema.
  • Sinus: it helps to release congested sinuses. It also affects hearing and smell.
  • Fibromyalgia: DLM would be very helpful in improving the health status and quality of life of the subjects with a reduction in pain, fatigue level and anxiety.