Age-Defying Massage: Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage

By Rona Berg / November 28, 2017

Extremely popular in France, the benefits of lymphatic drainage have to be seen to be believed. 

After traveling halfway around the world recently, I stopped in Los Angeles on my way back to New York City. Fortunately, I was booked at The Spa at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel, where I had the good fortune to experience a 90-minute Manual Lymphatic Drainage Treatment (a 60-minute treatment is also available) with massage therapist Marissa Tait, who is certified in the Vodder Method of Lymphatic Drainage by the Dr. Vodder School, where the technique was invented.

At the risk of oversharing, sometimes a long-haul flight can result in fluid retention and swelling in the legs and feet, and that is just what happened to me. But lymphatic drainage took it all down and made it go away, which is why I am sharing this with you.

Lymphatic drainage, a series of gentle flowing strokes along the surface of the skin, is extremely popular in France, where women understand how well it works. But it is underappreciated here, and that needs to change. In addition to taking down swelling in the body, lymphatic drainage is also a highly effective facial treatment, as it can take down puffiness in the face and under the eyes, among many other age-defying benefits. I spoke with Tait and asked her to share her expertise.

How does the lymphatic drainage treatment work?

Lymphatic drainage is a light and rhythmic skin stretching technique. We do not use any oils or products; it is done dry.

Our own lymphatic system circulates on average three times a minute. When you receive the treatment, the lymphatic circulation increases to 30 times a minute. The effects last for about 24 hours, and you will notice an even bigger difference when you wake up the next morning. The treatment is most effective when you come hydrated, so I suggest you ideally drink 1.5 liters throughout the day prior to your treatment and 1.5 liters after your treatment.

Who it is good for and why?

Everyone! It boosts the immune system. It speeds up your body’s own natural detoxification process. It is especially great for jetsetters who get swelling in their legs, ankles or puffiness in the face due to flying.

It is great for stressed individuals as well, as it has a sympatholytic response. It puts you into a calmer state as it sedates the fight or flight stress response in the body, restoring balance in the nervous system promoting a feeling of deep relaxation.

What are the anti-aging benefits? Frequency of treatment?

The anti-aging benefits go back to the core of the treatment, which is detoxifying our fluid and that includes excess cell debris, excess protein, excess long chain fatty acids as well as B&T lymphocytes and inorganic substances.

I would suggest going for a treatment once a month unless there is a specific issue of inflammation the guest is dealing with, for example, recovery from plastic surgery, a pulled tooth, broken bone, etc. It speeds up the healing process. It is also great for weight loss as well.

What type of certification should spa-goers look for?

Dr. Vodder School Certification because Vodder invented the concept. All training has the Vodder Method, however Dr. Vodder School International is the original in theory and training.


Rona Berg

Rona Berg

Editor-In-Chief at Organic Spa Magazine
Editor-in-chief of Organic Spa Media, longtime journalist and best-selling author of Beauty: The New Basics and Fast Beauty: 1000 Quick Fixes (Workman Publishing), Rona Berg is the former Editorial Director of ELLE and Deputy Style Editor for the New York Times Magazine. She has been cited as an industry expert by Huffington Post, Fox News and New York Magazine and contributed to and been quoted in dozens of publications. Berg co-chairs the Personal Care Committee of the non-profit Green Spa Network, is a Charter Advisory Board Member of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, and is a frequent speaker at conferences around the globe.
Rona Berg