Therapies at the Clinic

The Dr Vodder Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) Technique

This world-renowned and certified technique was developed by Dr Emil Vodder in 1938.

This is a skin movement and not a traditional massage using oil. By moving the skin, we influence the lymphatics as which are very close to the surface of the skin. We use rhythmic and slow strokes to move fluid from the lymphatic vessels back to the main blood circulation and this is what helps to reduce swelling (oedema).

As the lymphatic system is an important part of the body’s immune system, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) improves immunity and the defence against infections and other types of illnesses.

As a Dr Vodder Certified Practitioner and member of the Vodder School International, I am trained to work safely on clients with complex conditions such as post cancer conditions including Lymphoedema. Other conditions that I am trained to treat are Lipoedema, Chronic Venous Insufficiency, post-operative care alongside lymphatic wellness treatments.

  • All Vodder Therapists are required to re-certify every two years to ensure that we are up to date with the latest research and techniques
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    Key Benefits

  • Reduce swelling and fluid retention
  • Eliminates toxins from the body
  • Increases the healing process and recovery following surgery
  • Improves blood, venous and lymphatic circulation
  • At the Clinic, most commonly used for;

  • Post surgical and injuries with swelling (swelling)
  • Treatment for lipoedema or lymphoedema
  • Auto-immune conditions, rheumatic diseases
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Thyroid issues or abdominal swelling
  • Sinus or facial concerns
  • Wellness and Detox
  • Post Covid-19 Recovery
  • Absolute Contraindications unless Medical approval given

  • Any metastatic or systemic malignant condition must be excluded from MLD
  • MLD is not suited for the treatment of acute inflammation (caused by bacteria, viruses or foreign bodies)
  • Any thrombosis at risk of causing embolism is an absolute contraindication
  • A technical breakdown of the Dr Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)

    What makes this technique so distinctive? The Dr Vodder method is a gentle, non-invasive technique that gently restores the lymphatic system. The Dr. Vodder technique always begins with treatment of the lymph nodes and lymph vessels found at the neck and the junction of the large lymph channels in the venous arch on both sides of the body (connection of the jugular and subclavian veins). Dr. Vodder calls this “clearing the chain lymph nodes down to the terminus”.
    For MLD to be effective, use of the proper specialist technique and adaptation of the length of individual therapy sessions to meet the needs of the pathology concerned are essential. In comparison with other forms of massage, MLD sessions are unusually lengthy. A typical MLD session requires anything from 30 minutes to 60 minutes, but but may be extended to 90 minutes, depending on the treatment requirements.

    The effects of (MLD)

    Forty years of scientific studies MLD produces three major effects, all of which have been scientifically studied and confirmed:

    Decongestive effect

    Any swelling of the body – with the exceptions of cardiac (heart) and renal (kidney) oedema – can be successfully treated with MLD. The lymphatic system is a kind of “one-way street”, which ultimately transports the lymphatic load (protein, fat, cellular and water load) in the right ventricle from the tissue back into the circulatory system. Just picture the lymph fluids as the waste removal system of the human body. Wherever “waste” (toxins, proteins, detritus from wounds) is produced, the lymphatic system must act in order to drain such waste. The special MLD massage technique induces a pumping effect in the tissue. The lymphatic pathways’ own rhythm is accelerated to up to 20 times its normal rate. This enhanced drainage effect results in rapid decongestion and restoration of normal tissue condition.

    Sympatholytic Effect

    Manual Lymph Drainage is very soothing. Frequently patients doze off within minutes. Steady and rhythmic hand strokes by a good therapist are the prerequisite for successful treatment. If you are feeling very stressed then try a series of 3 to 5 x 30 minutes express lymphatic drainage sessions. It is a wonderful preventive measure against burnout.

    Analgesic effect

    Pain relief through MLD is like trying to “scratch away” the pain and itching of mosquito bites. Scratching will stimulate large skin areas, thus reducing the feeling of pain, just as MLD stimulates the lymphatic system to alleviate pain aka Gate control theory. MLD results in pain mediators being drained into the lymphatic system more rapidly, so that they are no longer active in the tissue. Any prolonged pain, such as pain generated by migraine, acute injuries, Sudeck’s disease, fibromyalgia, etc can be treated using lymph drainage.

    Immunological effect

    MLD helps accelerate the transportation of bacteria and allergens to the places where the body’s defense system is located (i.e. the lymph nodes) and where the increased rate of lymphatic drainage heightens the sensitization of lymphocytes and macrophages. The latter can travel more rapidly via the blood flow to reach the “scene of action” and intervention by phagocytosis, which in turn will improve overall immunity.

    About the Dr Vodder Practitioner

    In addition, using their in-depth knowledge of the lymphatic system, Dr Vodder practitioners can also assist many conditions by working on proximal areas of the lymphatic system where the affected area is in trauma for example bruising, ulceration, dermatological conditions, sports injuries, as well as pre and post plastic surgery.

    Background On The Dr Vodder Training

    Dr Asdonk created the first list of clinical medical indications for lymphatic conditions making them recognisable. In 1966 Gunther Wittlinger became aware of the Dr Vodder method and together with Dr Vodder and Dr Asdonk they founded the Association of Dr Vodder’s Manual Lymphatic Drainage in 1967 and the Vodder School in 1972. Hildeguard and Gunther Wittlinger introduced the Vodder method into America at a 1972 conference and returned around 10 years later to run a training program for the method, when they connected with Robert Harris.

  • Robert became the first certified teacher of the Vodder method in 1986 and established the Dr Vodder School in Victoria, British Columbia in Canada in 1994
  • Robert is a founding and current board member of the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA)
  • Click here for more information about the Vodder International School and here for the Wittlinger Clinic where clients stay onsite for care.

    Dr Vodder training in Australasia

    Training is now run in New Zealand and Australia is facilitated by Dr Jan Douglass and is booked through the Moving Lymph website.

    Another Australian connection

    Professor Neil Piller is the Lymphologist and Director of the lymphoedema Clinical Research Unit and conducts the “Diagnosis & Treatment” section of the Vodder Practitioner Training in Australasia.
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    Move that lymph!