Our 3 Favorite Places for Lymphatic Drainage in the Bay Area

Lymphatic Drainage techniques have been all the rage in the Wellness World as of late and we here at Move With Life have definitely jumped on the bandwagon. Before we share our favorite places and techniques in the Bay Area we thought providing some information on the Lymphatic System and why it is so vital to our health would be a good starting point. 

First, a refresher on our lymph system

What is the Lymphatic System and why is it important?

In layman’s terms, the Lymphatic System is our body’s sewage system. It is a complex system composed of lymphatic fluids, lymph nodes, vessels, collecting ducts, the spleen, thymus, tonsils and appendix. The system runs through the entire body to help move fluids from feet to fingers. It is part of the autonomic nervous system and happens through voluntary (i.e, exercise) and involuntary muscle (i.e, massage) contraction. It allows our bodies to properly drain toxins, excess waste and fluids, it absorbs fatty acids and helps with the transportation of fats, as well as aids in the production of immune cells. It is important because it plays a major role in our immune system. It helps to fight off bacteria and other harmful infections, and can destroy old and abnormal cells, like cancer cells.

How to keep your Lymph healthy?

Movement and hydration are key! Proper water consumption throughout the day helps to keep your lymph moving along with regular exercise. Avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals and cleaning products is also helpful as these things can slow your lymph down due to the added stress of processing these out of your system.

Lymphatic drainage is important for all bodies. The goal is to keep our lymphatic system in an active “drain” state, but oftentimes it needs a little extra assistance which is why we turn to these three locations for lymph drainage when we are in the Bay Area.

Our Favorite Spots

  1. WORTHY Self-Care Studio


WORTHY, located in the Elmwood district in Berkeley, has the Rolls Royce for touchless Lymphatic Drainage with the BallancerPro. The BallancerPro is an FDA approved device that consists of two patent protected garments, one for the upper and one for the lower body. These garments have 24 overlapping chambers that inflate sequentially in a wave-like massage with compression motion from your furthest extremities toward your heart. This motion helps to increase blood flow as well as remove lingering waste in our bodies that inflame and age skin and tissue. 

“What I love most about the BallancerPro is its capacity to deliver a highly beneficial massage with such precision,” states Meliza Mokrani, owner and founder of  WORTHY. “Manual lymphatic drainage is a great option, but the BallancerPro is far more effective because it encompasses the full circumference of the extremity in addition to delivering a very precise dose of pressure. It’s challenging to offer that level of precision with a manual massage due to the obvious variable of differences in technique and pressure from practitioner to practitioner. The BallancerPro has been a game changer for my clients, and especially so for my own personal health journey as I recovered from major surgery earlier this year.” 

What we love about the BallancerPro is that it is extremely gentle and relaxing, yet powerful in its benefits, including the aesthetic results. Out of all the modalities we have tried, the BallancerPro left us both feeling and looking the best. We can definitely see a difference in skin tone and texture, as well as visibly see a reduction in general inflammation throughout the body. It also feels like you are getting hugged throughout the whole session, making the sensory experience extremely grounding for your nervous system.   

2. Bay Area Brain Spa


Bay Area Brain Spa also has the BallancerPro as an option for lymphatic drainage, and recently added Manual Lymphatic Drainage to their list of offerings. Emily Butts, Registered Licensed Occupational Therapist and Certified Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist, shares her services out of the Brain Spa with a focus on the Dr. Emil Vodder method of Lymphatic Drainage. 

“The Vodder Method MLD uses gentle, rhythmic strokes that improve the activity and integrity of the lymph vessels. When properly applied, lymphatic drainage calms the nervous system which promotes relaxation and a sense of well-being. In addition MLD supports the elimination of waste, increases immune response, and strengthens cellular function,” states Butts. “While MLD is gaining popularity in the cosmetic post-operative community, I have found that MLD is equally important for supporting all surgery types, acute and chronic medical conditions as well as prevention from illness. I do part-time work in the home health sector and many of my older adults have benefited from MLD. From orthopedic injuries, hip and knee replacements, to chronic pain, MLD has been an integral adjunctive therapy within my treatment plans for my patients.”

We found the Vodder Method to be extremely relaxing, and the work around the face, head and neck felt divine. Emily has a wealth of knowledge and can tailor each session to specific needs or areas of concern, which is unique compared to touchless options like the BallancerPro. 

3. Halehouse Spa at Stanly Ranch


For the total luxury experience we could not recommend the Halehouse Spa at Stanly Ranch Resort more. Stanly Ranch, is one of the newest resorts in the Auberge collection and located on the southernmost tip of Napa Valley, making it extremely accessible from the city. When booking a service at the Halehouse Spa, you not only get access to the full spa facilities, but you also get access to their state of the art wellness and fitness facilities, and adults only pool. 

They offer a wide range of distinctive services, including the option we booked, the Dry Brush Massage with Lymphatic Release. We are avid believers of dry brushing for skin exfoliation, circulation, and stimulating the lymph and incorporate it into our weekly self-care rituals. The experience, though, of having someone else dry brush your body along with the gentle soft tissue manipulation similar to the Vodder Method of MLD, was on a whole other level. Then being able to follow our session with a sauna in the wellness center with the most stellar vineyard views to draw the rest of the toxins out of our body was quite the experience and worth every penny spent. 

All in all, we believe the recent hype around taking care of our lymphatic system isn’t just a trend, but should be a lifelong practice for overall good health and wellbeing. Do you have any favorite places for lymphatic release? We would love to know

Our Favorite Lymphatic Products

If you’re not able to make it out to these spots, here are our favorite tools to help take care of our lymphatic system at-home.

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