Wellness lexicon

Manual lymphatic drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage was founded by the Danish physiotherapist Emil Vodder. During his work at an institute for physical therapy in the south of France he observed that patients with chronic colds quite often suffer from swollen lymphatic glands in the throat area. Vodder massaged these enlarged lymphatic glands with gentle rotating and rhythmic movements, helping patients to recover. His theory went against general medical practice at this time. This experience was Vodder’s starting point in developing the lymphatic drainage manual.

The lymphatic system - apart from the blood circulation – is the most important transport system in the body and also plays an important role in the body’s immune system. Lymphatic vessels are spread out around the entire body like a net. They collect, transport and filter waste like protein, toxics and inflammatory products from the tissue fluid. If the lymphatic flow is blocked, fluid accumulates in the tissue, which can cause swelling under the skin. The lymphatic lines are directly under the skin, so gentle massaging of the area in a circular and rhythmic motion helps with drainage. A firmer massage is required to reach and loosen deeper muscles.

Lymphatic drainage is always recommended if there is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the tissue. This can sometimes happen after an operation.

This gentle treatment is also advisable for people with lymphatic oedemas. This mostly hereditary disease gives an increased fat deposit in the legs, which can cause a build up of fluid. Lymphatic drainage is also used to treat sports injuries or any problems with the veins.

Lymphatic drainage is usually carried out by a fully qualified physiotherapist or massage therapist. Lymphatic drainage is often used alongside physiotherapy and compression therapy where perhaps an arm is bandaged or a compression sock is worn after stimulating the lymphatic drainage system. 

This service is offered by the following hotels

S 90%

Strandhotel Ostseeblick

Ostsee/Insel Usedom

S 90%

Romantik Hotel Freund & Spa Resort

Südliches Sauerland / Nordhessen

S 93%

Krumers Post Hotel & Spa

Tirol - Österreich

S 84%

ambassador hotel & spa

Nordfriesland / Nordseeküste


Hotel Neptun


S 93%

Spa & Resorthotel Georgshöhe

Insel Norderney/Nordsee