Manual Lymph Drainage History

Emil Vodder and Estrid Vodder

Manual lymph drainage was pioneered by Danish Drs. Emil Vodder and Estrid Vodder in the 1930s for the treatment of immune disorders. At this time, it was considered taboo to tamper with the lymphatic system due to the medical profession’s poor understanding of this system. The Vodders were not deterred by this and, in 1932, began to study the lymph system, developing careful hand movements to cause lymph movement. In 1936 Vodder presented his method to the world as MANUAL LYMPH DRAINAGE during a congress in Paris, France.

With the help and support of various individuals, Vodder founded the very first Dr. Vodder School in 1972 in Austria. In the US and Canada in the1980s, Manual lymph drainage (MLD) gradually became recognized, and the Dr. Vodder School – North America was founded in 1993. MLD is now recognized as a valid technique in lymphedema management, and as a valuable tool necessary to obtain optimum health and well-being.