Anne with Prof Hildegard Wittlinger and Robert Harris at annual teacher review.

It has been 20 years since I certified as an instructor for the Dr. Vodder School and over the years I’ve had numerous therapists ask me why they should train with the Vodder School as opposed to another.

The question is a tricky one. How do you communicate a passion? A life’s work and the firm belief you are offering the best possible training without undermining other professionals teaching the same technique?

The question never fails to trigger a memory of my own.

Ever since my basic schooling in the art of health and beauty, the lymphatic system has been a source of great fascination. As a young student I remember thinking the lymphatic system was the secret of life, longevity and wellbeing and after graduating I rushed to learn manual lymphatic drainage and began practicing the method.

And then, a few years later, while watching a demonstration of the method at a conference in Versailles, a gruff, disgruntled voice next to me expressed contempt ”Humph! That’s not lymph drainage.” I was mortified. The man turned and walked away. I ran after him, tugging at his arm. ”What do you mean?’ Why is this not lymphatic drainage? “

The man told me there was only one method and it was the Vodder method. “Great. Where can I find it in the US? ” ( My family and I were on the verge of relocating to the States. )

Fast forward. Once moved and settled in South Florida I found the Vodder School and brought it to me – sponsoring Prof. Hildegard Wittlinger of The Vodder School, Austria, who taught classes for me for several years and was and remains an inspiration …a true mentor. Trained by Dr. Vodder himself, Hildegard, now in her eighties, still teaches…still inspires. She’s truly remarkable.

After a few years as a Vodder therapist working in both medical and spa settings I applied to become a Dr Vodder instructor. Two years of assists, travel on my own time and money, exams, I certified.

Ok, so I digressed down memory lane. Please forgive.

My point is while other schools claim to teach the Vodder method they are focused on training professionals to treat Lymphedema. The Dr. Vodder School, on the other hand, is focused training therapists to have excellent technique, an overall understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system and the skills to treat a wide range of pathologies (over 60), including lymphedema.

In short, MLD, as taught by the Dr Vodder School, is thorough and more comprehensive in its approach.

The Vodder School difference is the focus on “precise technique and precise touch” And it is in this precision that makes us effective in dealing with complicated cases and gives us the ability to adapt and vary our approach to find solutions.

Over the years as a practitioner I have enjoyed great satisfaction working on a wide range of conditions – from chemical poisoning to lyme disease to burns, bels palsy, chronic pain and, of course, the most complex of lymphedemas.

Yes, for me, The Vodder method is the only method. It truly works. It is challenging to learn but it is forever rewarding for those who make the commitment to become the best trained in their profession. It costs a little more ( in time and effort) but like all good investments it promises a smart return.

Some will take a detour to get to this method but for those who truly want to be the best, you will find your way.