Introducing Lymphatic Drainage Massage

First developed in the 1930s by Danish doctors Emil and Estrid Vodder, Manual Lymph Drainage refers to a massage technique that utilises long, slow strokes to stimulate the flow of blood and lymph fluid throughout the body. Lymph is the clear fluid (otherwise known as blood plasma) that feeds nutrients to the organs of the body through capillary action from the bloodstream. In the absence of an active pump like the heart, lymph fluid is recirculated around the body by a system of one-way valves and muscle motion. You have just as many lymph vessels and capillaries as blood vessels and capillaries.

Lymph fluid is filtered by over 100 nodes filled with white blood cells which serve to destroy harmful bacteria, toxins, and other foreign bodies in the lymph. In this way the lymph system is an integral part of the immune system.

Sometimes, however, the circulation of lymph fluid is disrupted: this can be a result of genetics, inactivity, poor diet, stress, inappropriate posture, illness or injury. Manual Lymph Drainage Massage is especially useful in the treatment of fluid retention (oedema), especially prevalent in the lower extremities of the body.

Symptoms of Oedema include:

  • Puffiness of body part

  • Heaviness in limbs or extremities

  • Discolouration/paleness

  • Aching or tender limbs

  • Stiff joints

  • Fluid-filled parts of the body hold imprint of the thumb when pushed


Massage has been shown to help improve the circulation of lymph reducing the impression of puffiness, particularly in the hands and feet. Many studies have been done into the benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage: many of those conducted are listed at Dr. Vodder's website. 

Wee Sally's Susan Munro specialises in Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage: call  01506-238366 to book an appointment. She is available for appointments on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 12pm - 8pm, and on Saturdays 10am - 6pm.