Sharing & Caring with Deborah DeAngelis: An MLD Success Story

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Deborah De Angelis regarding the transformation of her private practice in Providence, Rhode Island.

A self employed LMT, Deborah certified as a Dr. Vodder’s Manual Lymphatic Drainage Spa Wellness practitioner earlier this year.

The 2 part, 90 hour Dr. Vodder Spa Wellness program is widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive and challenging advanced certifications a practitioner can pursue.   There is a lot of theory to absorb and practical skills to learn.

According to Deborah, mastering MLD requires focus and persistence.

“The training is totally extreme and intense but it is thorough,” Deborah told me. “Every single word that came out of Anne’s mouth ( ASTECC founder and Dr. Vodder instructor, Anne Bramham) was so important. I wanted to go back and take the class again!  You really know your stuff coming out. You just know the body. It is a great resource..”

Having come from a spa where MLD wasn’t one of our most popular services, I wanted to know how she had managed to convert 80% of her business to MLD treatments.  The answer, according to Deborah, is equal parts education, application and dedication.

She describes her approach as  “Sharing and Caring”


 Deborah has a keen sense for her clients’ openness and level of understanding.  She frequently introduces the idea of trying MLD by posing the question : “Do you want to feel better? Let’s try some spring cleaning.”

Upon completion of a treatment, instead of explaining the physiologically effects, she simply asks clients to tune into their bodies. “You’ll know. Your body will tell you.” she says.

This straightforward  approach coupled with impressive results have clients signing up for multiple sessions.

Deborah began incorporating her new MLD skills as she was learning them. She offered free MLD treatments to existing clients which helped hone her skills and along the way,  produced some remarkable results.  Clients benefitted and the word spread. The shift in her business was driven entirely by word-of-mouth.


Deborah has addressed a wide range of conditions and has charted results in great detail.  In a short period of time she has gone from using basic Dr. Vodder protocols to incorporating therapeutic specials.  She highly recommends committing to learning the routines and mastering the techniques.

“By doing this you eliminate having to think about it and you can  maximize the intuitive aspect of the work,,” she says.

Chronic and acute conditions Deborah has successfully treated include:

  • Pain: Joint swelling, muscular pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, migraine, chronic headaches, neck pain/whiplash, tendonitis

  • Skin: Cellulite

  • Fluid retention: Swollen feet and ankles, puffy eyes and face

  • Respiratory conditions: Sinusitis, nasal congestion, tinnitus

  • Immune conditions: Recurring colds and flues, recurring inflammation and infections, allergies, auto-immune disorders

  • Digestive conditions: chronic constipation, flatulence, bloating, Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Stress, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, lethargy, fibromyalgia

Deborah’s commitment and dedication to the care of her clients could serve as a blueprint for any practitioner who wishes to excel in their chosen profession. Deborah charts results upon completion of each treatment and if the desired result is not achieved she makes every effort to discover the reason why. She regularly utilizes her resources and community of fellow practitioners. Smart and impassioned, her story speaks to the amazing therapeutic potential of our chosen profession.

As a former Spa Director and current ASTECC Board member, I’ve always found spa consumer habits to be of great interest and I’ve long suspected that most consumers and lots of therapists settle for a ‘pampering’ experience largely because they are unaware of the incredible rehabilitative nature of specific treatments.

Well done, Deborah! And thank-you for sharing. Your story is inspiring.

For more information on Deborah’s practice. Please visit her website at:

MLDAnne Bramham