Meet the Kiwi Woman who Harnessed the Power of a Human Hug: Flowpresso
3-in-1 Wellness Therapy Flowpresso

Meet the Kiwi Woman who Harnessed the Power of a Human Hug: Flowpresso

March, 2023


“Squeeze me like a packet of tomato sauce”, says one regular client. Another has reported feeling like a “fluffy marshmallow”. Flowpresso massage therapy is different for everyone. But there is one common thread – the sensation of feeling hugged.

Flowpresso – a uniquely Kiwi innovation

Flowpresso therapy founder Desiree De Spong has been quietly flying under the radar. The innovative and determined Kiwi entrepreneur launched the solution-based wellness device in February 2020. One month later the world was in the grip of the pandemic. However, Desiree wasn’t about to put the brakes on achieving a successful launch. As a start-up in the market, she began navigating the logistics of exporting to North America from her base in Tauranga, New Zealand.


The lymphatic specialist and CEO of manufacturer Medella Health, had spent the decade prior working tirelessly on researching and developing the unique hands-free massage experience. Designed to create more flow for the body and mind, Flowpresso is a 3-in-1 therapy combining compression, deep pressure and thermo therapy. Learn more.

The Flowpresso experience


Creating a feeling of being hugged or ‘swaddled like a baby’, Flowpresso is even known to put some people straight to sleep. The therapy nurtures people into a deep, comforting state of calm and relaxation, known as the body’s healing parasympathetic mode.


New Zealand wellness innovation, 3-in-1 Flowpresso therapy

Referred to by some as ‘the lazy man’s guide to meditation’, the experience is hard to define. The state of mind achieved during treatment is described as being similar to that reached after focused periods of meditation or a thorough session of restorative yoga.


The state-of-the-art Flowpresso body suit delivers the treatment. Two different styles of massage are offered – a therapeutic relaxation sequence or a sport mode for athletes and sports professionals.


As a result, people may benefit from:


  • An enhanced overall sense of wellbeing and balance
  • A reduction in stress and anxiety
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Improved sports performance, recovery, and endurance
  • A boost in mental alertness, focus and performance
  • Improved self-esteem and more balanced emotional responses
  • More mobility and flexibility
  • Foundational recovery for fatigue and burnout
  • Weight management and maintenance
  • Encouraging the body’s drainage process


Researching the effects of cyclical compression

Medella Health had just begun exporting its first units to the United States when the pandemic hit. Faced with closed borders and lockdowns, Desiree channelled her attention and energy into continuing clinical research on Flowpresso from her base in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.


Funded by Callaghan Innovation, Medella Health studied the effects of cyclical compression on 136 first responders. Overseen by the University of Waikato, the highly promising results were released in June 2020. Up to 92% of recipients improved the quality of their sleep, up to 61% of participants had reduced stress scores and 53% experience reduced anxiety levels.


Growing international recognition

Fast forward to March 2023. FLOWpresso is gaining wider international recognition. Over 280 units feature in wellness-based clinics around the world with the majority in North America. This summer it was a popular wellness treatment for socialites in the Hamptons. It has also begun appearing in celebrity social feeds. Renowned New York biologic restorative dentist, Dr. Gerry Curatola, even uses it as a preparation and recovery for his client’s dental procedures.


In Australasia, awareness and therapeutic use of Flowpresso is growing. Meanwhile in the sporting community, the treatment is being used to support recovery, endurance and improved neuro wellbeing.

Continually innovating flow
New lymph release technology Flow Vibrate

Desiree continues to develop new products and services to support more flow for the body and mind. In March 2023, she launched her latest innovation, Flow Vibrate. An advanced Bio Sonic Technology, Flow Vibrate is a small massage device that supports lymphatic drainage of the face and neck.


Fresh from hosting the Australasian Lymphatic Summit in February, Desiree is now in her third decade of working in holistic medicine. Since 2009 she has delivered classes throughout New Zealand, Australia and North America. Her profile is particularly strong in the United States, where she is recognised as a leader and specialist educator in Lymphatic Enhancement Therapy. The specialist therapy combines manual drainage therapy with lymph node release to enhance lymphatic flow


In a modern world where stress, poor sleep and anxiety are impacting physical and mental wellbeing Desiree has some big personal goals. At the top of her list is her aim is to empower people around the world with opportunities that make it easier to restore, maintain, and care for their own wellbeing.


What is your lymphatic system and why you need to care? SOURCE: Medella Health

The lymphatic system is an essential component of your immune system. Through hundreds of lymph nodes, the lymphatic system drains excess fluid from the tissue spaces, to these to be cleansed from toxins and then transported back to your bloodstream.


In the head and neck area, there is an elaborate network of three hundred highly concentrated nodes that drain lymphatics in a unique way compared to the rest of the body. In the head this is known as the glymphatic system, which is responsible for eliminating potentially neurotoxic waste products. Maintaining and caring for the glymphatic system is important, as your brain relies on its work to function efficiently and maintain overall health.


Winter Wellness Workshop with lymphatics specialist Desiree De Spong, 31 May


Desiree is also Clinical Director of The Neuro Bar, an emerging group of wellness clinics located in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato offering Flowpresso.


The Neuro Bar will be hosting its first Winter Wellbeing Workshop at Trustpower Baypark on 31 May. It will be Desiree’s first in-person presentation open to the public and will include valuable insights into lymphatic health. Tickets are $20 with an early bird rate of $15 for tickets purchased before the 30 April. Tickets available online at Eventfinder.

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