Linda (Koby) Blanchfield
Certified Instructor/Therapist Dr Vodder School

Clinic:  +1.604.589.2291

About the Vodder Method MLD

In the 1930’s, Vodder was working with his wife Estrid, in a physical therapy institute in Cannes, France. They would see clients from regions of the UK, and northern Europe who had come to holiday in the warmer climate. Commonly, these clients were suffering with upper respiratory tract congestion, and presented with swollen lymph nodes in the neck region. His technique reduced the swelling, and the congestion disappeared. He also noted other positive effects from his technique. Thus, the Dr. Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage therapy was born.

In his own words, Vodder stated, “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.” (1)

In 1936, the Vodders presented their Manual Lymph Drainage therapy to the public in Paris. From there, they went on to teach in many countries.  Emil and Estrid Vodder worked very closely with Hildegard and Gunther Wittlinger for many years, to perfect the technique. The Wittlingers were authorized by Dr. Vodder to open a school of training, in Austria, using the Dr. Vodder name to teach his original, method. Professor Hildegard Wittlinger is still teaching there today.

What is MLD?

Light, gentle, rhythmic. These are just a few of the adjectives used to describe Dr. Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage, or MLD, as it is also known. The Dr. Vodder method uses a simple, systematic set of circular pumping and draining techniques, aimed at moving the skin. It is vital to have a good understanding of the normal healthy lymph system, in order to apply the proper procedure. Applied correctly, Dr. Vodder’s MLD, produces a very calming effect on the autonomic nervous system, at the same time it is stimulating the lymphatic system to work more effectively. Because the method is so soft, the local blood flow is also enhanced, without any hyperemia (reddening) of the skin being present. (2)

Some indications where MLD is very helpful



Leg ulcers

Chronic venous stasis

Pregnancy (pre natal and post natal care)

Scars become softer, more pliable, less visible

Sinus congestion

Skin conditions (acne, telangiectasis, rosacea

General sens of well being, relaxation, stress control

Prevention of imbalance in fluid equilibrium, in the body's tissues

Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT)

This is a combination of MLD, skin care, bandaging, and exercise, used to successfully manage primary and secondary lymphedema, as well as chronic venous stasis and leg ulcers. It may also be used on some cases where there may be a lymphatic component with lipedema.

(1) H & G Wittlinger, (1992) Textbook of Dr Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage, Volume 1, Basic Course, 6th ed.,Haug
(2) Hutzschenreuter,P./Brümmer, H: die Wirkung der Lymphdrainage auf die Vasomotion. Lymphologie (1988)