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Manual Lymph Drainage
Written Reviews

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.













After multiple major surgical procedures, (I was in the OR 10 hours), and many life/body changes over the past several years, I was in a really low place physically.. 3 weeks after surgery, I was still very swollen, and was not healing as well as my Dr had hoped. I was desperate for relief!! My Dr recommended I look into Manual Lymph drainage, and since I had just moved to Chicago (my Dr is out of town) I had to search for a provider on my own.Thank Heavens I found Roger! I had already had two other MLD sessions with another provider, but, their schedule was too busy, and it was hard to get in.. So, I scheduled with Roger.
Roger treats the 'whole person, and the whole body'.. He listened to my story (massive weight loss, chronic health conditions, surgery) and then took time to get in tune with me and where my body was.. What struck me in during the very first appointment was that he was truly able to sense where my struggles were (w/out me saying a word).. He gently worked on me (no pain at all, even though I was very swollen and tender).. and as he worked I felt my body 'releasing'.. fluid, pain, and strange as it may seem, I felt it releasing 'emotion/history'..Roger combined MLD and body movement work in an amazing way.. I felt grounded, stronger and leaner when I left my first appointment.. His work has been amazing, each time he assesses what my current areas of concern are, and spends a little extra time making sure he addresses those areas.
I highly recommend Roger. He has helped me to get in tune with my body, while addressing the immediate issues (swelling/pain).
This has been a life changing experience for me, strange as that might sound.. For the first time I am looking at my body in a new way, and working to stay in tune with it's needs, and how I relate to the world with it.
Dear Roger~I can't begin to thank you enough for all you have done to help me with the recovery of my wrist injury. When I saw you at the residential class in April I was in quite a bit of pain....all the time. Pain meds just seemed to take the tiniest edge off and I did not like the way they made me feel so "muddy" mentally.
When you spoke to me about lymphatic drainage I was familiar with the idea of the work. To be in the patient role and have the opportunity to receive manual lymphatic drainage massage from you was quite the experience. The touch you used was so "without weight"...I don't know how else to describe it. It felt as if my tissue was being very gently encouraged to wake up.
Initially I felt no change of sensation and saw no change either. After you'd been working for a few minutes I could start to actually see the tissue of my hand, wrist and arm change shape. Almost surreal to watch that happen to your own body! The sensations I had were of something viscous in nature moving through my tissue. I recall being surprised that there was no sensation of discomfort of any kind, merely a sense of lightening and ease returning to my limb. My fingers, hand, wrist and arm no longer felt like being encase in extremely tight steel bands ~ the relief of that sensation leaving was pure bliss. And then the realization that pain was no longer present....the relief was so profound.
I believe that your work is a gift to folks like me who have gone through trauma from injury and/or surgery. The kinesio taping was a tremendous adjunct to the lymph work. Never heard of it before but know I will learn more as a result of this experience. I can imagine how wonderful to see it become more mainstream.Today I did the grip strength test at Physical Therapy and am at 53# pounds on my left hand...only 30# more to be where I was pre-injury (and only working out will get me there)! I am happy to be pain free, excited to be able to follow your very thorough, simple instructions for self care twice daily and feel the path to full recovery opening up in front of me.
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