March 03, 2022

#NOTSPONSORED: Are Lymphatic Drainage Massages Worth It?

lymphatic drainage massages
Photography: Eddie New

As loved by Gwyneth Paltrow, Emily Oberg and Devin Brugman…

If you’ve been around the beauty block, you’ll know that beauty fads come and go. Whether it’s slathering snail mucus all over your face or putting crystals up your you-know-where, there are always new things to try (and critique). So, when I was first introduced to lymphatic drainage massages a couple of years ago via trusty Instagram, I have to say that I was immediately sceptical. The before-and-after photos were almost too good to be true.

Pioneered by Danish doctors Emil Vodder and Estrid Vodder in the 1930s for the treatment of chronic sinusitis and other immune disorders, manual lymphatic drainage was first developed to relieve swollen lymph nodes in medicine. Later adopted as a beauty treatment to relieve fluid retention, bloating, swollen lymph nodes and to drain toxins, the massage is now a celebrity favourite and has even developed beyond hands to include some seriously impressive technology.

But, like most things, it took a while for the lymphatic drainage massage to land on Australian shores. After sitting on my ‘To Try’ list for close to three years, I finally had the chance to experience the massage for myself at the newly opened Wonder in Sydney’s Double Bay. 

Desperate to know if you need to book in? Allow me.

The Lymphatic Drainage Massage

The Sell: Designed to target the superficial layer with light, flowing movements that relax the entire body and stimulate the lymph system, getting waste moving faster. Delicate touch is a nurturing, sensory delight. You may walk in but you’ll float out…


The Price: $150 for 60 minutes. (Full disclosure: I was offered this treatment free-of-charge).


The Review: I tried my best to keep my expectations in-check prior to walking into the dreamy Wonder space. I was so excited to finally be trying the massage that I wanted to make sure my thoughts weren’t clouded by my enthusiasm. When I walked into the space I was immediately greeted by the friendly staff and asked to fill out a questionnaire so that they could tailor the treatment to my specific wants and needs. The bespoke nature of the treatment was already a huge tick in my book (and the treatment hadn’t even started yet).

The staff were super attentive and made sure I understood where the technique of lymphatic massage stems from and how it differs to traditional massage. What surprised me most was how feather light the touch was throughout the massage. So, if you’re thinking of something comparable to a deep tissue situation, think again. The therapist focussed on each part of my body individually and concentrated on creating small, flowing movements to stimulate the lymph nodes and get the toxins moving. 

The process itself was super relaxing and grounding and I saw a noticeable improvement in fluid retention, bloating and puffiness once the treatment was finished. I also really enjoyed the education aspect of the treatment–with the therapist guiding me through practices I could do at home to release tension and improve lymphatic flow. I would say that the physical results weren’t as dramatic as the before-and-afters you see online but I felt incredible and as though my body was in alignment which was amazing. A great gift to your besties (or yourself), I would highly recommend giving it a go.


The Score: 8.5/10


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