Lymphatic drainage massage is a form of gentle massage. It can be done manually with the hands, or using a Lymphstar Pro Lymphatic Enhancement Machine.
The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. It helps to remove waste (toxins, bacteria, excess fluid) from the body. It is a network of tissues, vessels and organs that all work together to move lymph back into your bloodstream. Lymph is a watery fluid rich in lymphocytes (white blood cells).
Lymphocytes are crucial to your immune system by protecting your body against infections. Lymphocytes are stored in lymph nodes that are cells that are located all around the body. You have felt a swollen lymph node in your armpit, groin or neck before! The six lymphoid organs are bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils and mucous membranes.
There is no pump in the lymphatic system. Think of how the heart pumps blood through the body, the lymphatic system is doing something similar with lymph through the lymphatic system but without a pump.
When the lymphatic system malfunctions, the lymph does not pass properly through the lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels. The most common disease of the lymphatic system is lymphedema, when lymphatic fluid accumulates in interstitial tissue causing swelling. This usually occurs in the arms and legs, and sometimes other parts of the body.
The two main types of lymphedema are primary and secondary. Primary lymphedema is a hereditary disease and is a congenital defect of the lymph-transporting system. Secondary lymphedema is acquired regional lymphatic insufficiency. This occurs after trauma, infection or surgery that disrupts the lymphatic system or that results in lymph nodes. At least 30% of breast cancer survivors have secondary lymphoedema.
What is lymphatic drainage massage?
You can find instructions on how to do a lymphatic massage on yourself online. However, it is probably a good idea to go to a registered massage therapist who is specifically trained in lymphatic massage. A lymphatic massage uses light pressure to get the lymph in your body moving into the lymph nodes. There is a specific sequence to the way a lymphatic massage is performed. Pressure is applied in such a way that it acts in the same way the lymphatic system naturally contracts. This moves any stagnant lymph back into the natural lymph flow of your body.
Lymphatic drainage benefits
There are many benefits to lymphatic drainage. It has been used to treat acne, cellulite, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, migraines, fight off infection, speed up recovery from colds, reduce fatigue and help with recovery from exercise.
Tips for lymphatic drainage massage include to drink plenty of water before and after your massage. It is easy to become dehydrated after a massage. It can also leave you feeling pretty tired so be sure to take it easy for the rest of the day.
You can take care of your lymphatic system in other ways too. Exercise is great for your lymphatic system to get your lymph moving, whether that is through swimming, running or any other exercise. Dry brushing your skin in circular movements can also help your lymphatic system. It’s not just a fad, it really does help!
Have you had a lymphatic massage before and if so, did you enjoy it? If you haven’t, would you consider getting one?