Getting to know the Lymphatic System

As I completed the treatment on my client’s face, there was a palpable silence as relaxation, rest and peace permeated the room. After lying a while longer to absorb the benefits, she gently rose and said, “That was so beautiful and relaxing – I feel as though I have been touched by Angel’s hands”. Indeed tension had dissolved to leave her face looking fresh, clear and radiant.

This effect was the result of a precisely and carefully applied MLD light pressure massage as I worked on the lymph capillaries in the skin. They are delicate and thin like silk threads[1] which is why a gentle and slow pressure is needed to create a pumping action that helps to shunt more lymphatic fluid along the vessels. The technique was developed in the 1930’s by the Danish practitioner Dr Emil Vodder.

Like our planet earth, we are made up of 1/3 matter and 2/3 water. 5% is made up of blood, 40-45% intracellular fluid (lymph) and 15% connective tissue. This primordial ocean, similar to seawater, is where all chemical reactions and metabolism take place. It’s important this fluid keeps moving through the lymphatic system of vessels, glands and nodes that span the entire body. This is our natural filtering and drainage system, detoxifying and cleansing our internal environment to aid the healthy delivery of nutrients, hormones and proteins to all the cells.

However it is a one-way valve transport system that doesn’t have it’s own pump like the heart pumps the blood, plus it has to work upwards against the forces of gravity. This is important to know as we can aid the process of lymphatic drainage by taking exercise, keeping hydrated, breathing fully and deeply, eating healthily to encourage good peristalsis of the intestines, take rest and relaxation. All this may be helped through receiving an MLD treatment as it has a positive effect on all of these areas.

The lymphatic system is absolutely vital to our health and wellbeing as it contains within it the blueprint of healing and regenerating powers. Our army of lymphocytes continuously and stealthily defend us against fungal, viral and bacterial invaders. So it is important it functions well.

Stress impairs our immune response by stimulating the “fight or flight” mechanism that releases adrenaline and noradrenaline in the body. It inhibits digestion and the production of growth hormones. A lymphatic system that is overwhelmed may look to the skin to get rid of the rubbish and toxins of the body and we might see an out-break out of spots on the skin, or around the tops of the arms, back, neck and face. When we feel sluggish, low in energy, demotivated and at the mercy of all viral, fungal and bacterial infections we know our immune system is not functioning as well as it could be.

Spring is a perfect time to detox, to release toxins, improve digestion and immune function and MLD is the ideal treatment to aid this process. It is also the perfect antidote to stress, with its profoundly relaxing effect as was experienced by my client.

Florentina is trained in the Dr Vodder technique of MLD therapy 1 and practices at Shine, Church Street.


Our other  MLD practitioner Georgie Chester practices at Shine, Newington Green.

[1]  “Textbook of Dr. Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage: Volume 1. Gunther Wittlinger & Hildegard Wittilinger