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Manual Lymph Drainage





Dr. Vodder Method ®
The 'original' technique of MLD!

"Since 1998 I have practiced the Dr. Vodder Method of MLD. In this time I have gained a significant level of  clinical experience in treating a wide range of conditions and accompanying inflammatory symptoms. I take great pride and enjoyment in educating my clients along the way!"

                                                          ~Roger Hughes           

"Roger Hughes is fully qualified and deeply experienced. His compassion and respect are luminous..."

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Lymph facts!
The human body carries 3 times more lymph than blood.
The lymph system empties between 2 and 4 liters of lymph into the circulatory system every 24 hours.
The movement of lymph is almost entirely dormant during sleep. The lymphatics associated with digestion remain active during sleep.
Manual Lymph Drainage or ’MLD’ is an advanced massage therapy technique developed in Europe by Dr. Emil and Estrid Vodder. In 1932, Dr. Vodder and his wife were working as masseurs on the French Riviera. Most of their patients were vacationing English recovering from chronic colds and as such exhibited swollen lymph nodes in their necks. At that time, touching the area of the neck was taboo for masseurs and for physicians. Dr. Vodder broke the taboo and treated the swollen lymph nodes intuitively and successfully; the result: the colds vanished. He went on to develop the original method of MLD, this became known as the Dr. Vodder®.
MLD is a 'skin-to-skin' modality where no oil or lotion is used. It is characterized by a gentle manilpulation of the skin triggering increase lymph movement. The Vodder Method offers special techniques to facilitated the movement of lymph accross 'joint-ed' areas of   the body.

Lymph Physiology

Lymph vessels inter-connect with groupings of lymph nodes to form an extensive network of pathways that carry lymph, a white, mostly water-based liquid that ultimately empties into the Circulatory System via the Superior Vena Cava. Circular smooth muscles 'bridge' lymph vessels to neighboring vessels. It is the sequential contraction of these muscles that literally coax lymph to flow. MLD specific touch triggers an increase in the rate and volume of lymph passing through the vaste network of lymphatics. Efficient flow of lymph and transport all of its constituents i.e., cellular wastes, large protein molecules, long chain fat molecules, toxic and foreign substances is crucial for maintaining a strong Immune System! 


Vodder Method is the standard in MLD throughout the medical community in the treatment of lymphedema. The European medical community has integrated the Vodder Method into its rehabilitative services for many decades. It is particularly beneficial for post-sugery healing and recovery.

Thrilled with my post-op Lymphatic Drainage therapy


I had bilateral breast surgery 3 wks ago. (not enlargement). I had heard of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (Vodder Method®) as being very helpful for post-op recovery and reducing swelling, so I researched qualified practitioners. Roger Hughes was recommended to me - he is on staff at Shen Shen.The Vodder technique was developed by a doctor and is widely used post-surgery for many conditions. This therapy to get the lymphatic system moving after surgery or in case of lymph problems is not well known. It totally deserves to be. The Breast Health Online forum supports & recommends this therapy also. It is helpful for post-op recovery in ALL KINDS of surgery, not just the type I had


If you are feeling sore and tender and swollen after your surgery, don't let the name Manual Lymphatic Drainage put you off. It sounds drastic but it is THE most gentle and healing experience imaginable. Roger Hughes is fully qualified and deeply experienced. His compassion and respect are luminous.


The lymphatic system isn't well known or understood by most of us. It's like another circulatory system - it moves fluid inside your body, carrying away the by-products of metabolism and most especially extra toxins from areas of inflammation & healing. However, your main circulatory system has a pump - your heart. Your lymphatic system is more passive, and is pumped only by your own movements & gravity, cells releasing fluid that slowly trickles thru the system. When it stalls or is overwhelmed, the result is swelling and discomfort. That is why help with lymph drainage is SO therapeutic.


For me the results were immediate. The treatment itself felt very soothing and restorative. My body said oh yes! as soon as Roger began. He worked all around my sore chest and without touching the incisions, he VERY gently got things moving that had felt stuck. The treatment extended systematically over my neck, chest, upper back, armpits, shoulders and trunk down to my waist. I could almost feel my body releasing the excess fluid. But all done sooo lightly I never felt in any way that my surgical sites would be hurt. Immediately afterwards, my post-op breasts felt more 'normal'. I could feel some areas of remaining hardness like islands in flesh that was otherwise soft and giving. They had a little heft to them, like you could gently jiggle them. They felt more alive and natural. Not the rocks glued to my chest that I walked in with.


The healing continued once Roger encouraged the lymph drainage to come back to life. I was able to sleep on my side, which I had been unable to do because of pain and swelling. My first night after treatment was the first night of deep healing sleep I had since the surgery.


I couldn't wait for my second appointment a few days later. Again the difference was marked. My body responds to this work happily, like it's being reminded what to do. The softness and elasticity is returning to my tissue. It feels alive instead of stiff and rigid. The natural movement is restored by leaps and bounds after each session. This change is huge and immediate - not the incremental improvement that time brings. I feel SO MUCH BETTER each time.


Now I've had this experience I want to get the word out to everyone recovering from surgery. Do yourself a favor and get this treatment. Your body will thank you!The


Shen Shen Health and Harmony is conveniently located for city folks on the Near North side. I had to drive in from the suburbs but it was totally worth it! I cannot imagine a more wonderful practitioner than Roger Hughes. Shen Shen center is clean, calm, pleasantly decorated and well-staffed. The treatment rooms are quiet and the cotton sheets soothing. If you or anyone you care about is having surgery, consider Manual Lymphatic Drainage from Roger Hughes at Shen Shen to help the healing. –A.J.

Thrilled with my post-op Lymphatic Drainage therapy
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