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History of Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual Lymph Drainage was first discovered and developed by Dr. Emil and Estrid Vodder in France in the 1920’s and 1930’s. It premiered in Paris in 1936 to great acclaim and both went on to teach their method in countries all over the world.

The method that constitutes MLD is an exceedingly light skin manipulation applied without oils or powders.

Moving the skin gently over the underlying tissues triggers the musculature of the lymph vessel system to contract more frequently – increasing the absorption of excess fluid and waste products.

Manual lymphatic drainage is primarily used to enhance the functioning of the lymphatic vessels whose role is to ‘filter’ interstitial fluid before returning it to the circulatory system, therefore the circulatory and lymphatic system are closely connected, working in unison with each other.


Manual lymphatic drainage promotes the action of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems which in turn enhances the function and activity of the immune system. It is effective in the treatment of a wide range of disorders ranging from headaches to post operative mastectomy procedures. The diet of the western world increasingly relies heavily on processed and saturated food stuffs, this places an increased pressure on the lymphatic system with excess toxins and wastes.

Fluid intake which in western society is generally limited combines with a poor diet to make the lymphatic system slow, unresponsive and sluggish.

Clients can benefit from lymphatic drainage as part of a general detox program which will in turn improve energy, increase cellular oxygen uptake and nutritional exchange as well as building immunity levels.


Whilst lymph flow does not have a pump to power the fluid through the body it does make use of the muscular-skeletal action, movements and exercise as well as non-return valves which act like lock gates and seek to prevent backflow.


Manual lymphatic drainage is extremely gentle. Receiving the treatment is wonderfully relaxing. Therapists who provide the treatment will tell you that it is just as relaxing to apply with a natural rhythm that enhances the  bodies cadium cycles.

The understanding of the lymphatic system and research into the functioning of it has, in recent years accelerated. The lymphatic system is an important biological system, which functions to provide immunity and to transport the excess tissue fluid from amongst the capillaries in the loose connective tissue into the vascular system

(Copyright 2012 Zen Tranquility Holistic Beauty Training Studio)