A Guide To Reabsorption
The second part of lymphatic massage is reabsorption. To perform this stage of massage:
- Begin at the affected part of the body farthest from the core of the body. For example, begin at the tips of the fingers if you have lymphedema in your hand, arm, and shoulder.
- Using a gentle, sweeping motion with just enough pressure to shift the surface of the skin, massage from fingertip to hand, from hand to elbow, and from elbow to shoulder.
Patient compliance is the hardest part of self-care, especially for women, who are so used to taking care of others, says Patel.
She advises people to set aside at least 20 minutes a day for lymphatic drainage massage. If you only have a brief amount of time, perform the clearing stage of massage.
To begin reabsorption on the legs, you will use a pumping motion behind the knee:
- Place both hands behind your knees.
- Pump the back of the knee with a rolling, upward motion 10 to 15 times.
Your knee is now ready to take in fluid from the lower leg, so you can proceed to massaging the lower legs:
- Put one hand on the top of the shin and the other behind the leg.
- Stretch the skin in an upward motion, then release it.
- Continue down toward the ankle area.
- Repeat down through the ankle and feet, always stroking upward.
- End the massage by gently pushing fluid in the toes upward with your fingers.
How To Do A Lymphatic Drainage Massage At
Lymphatic massage therapy is relatively easy to perform on your own, but its important to remember that the key to a successful outcome is light pressure. Essentially youre only rubbing your skin and stretching it gently toward your lymph nodes. If you happen to feel the muscle under your skin, youre likely pressing too hard, so a good rule of thumb is to use your finger pads only, not your palms.
One of the best areas to do lymphatic drainage massage is your neck, because it contains some of the largest lymph nodes in your body. To begin, rest your fingertips in the triangular dip just above your collarbone. And again, with an extremely light touch, gently and slowly stretch the skin in a downward motion.
Next, place your hands flat on the back of your neck, right at the base of the skull on either side of the spine. Then stretch the skin towards your spine and move your fingers down toward the base of your neck, and release.
Finally, place your full right hand across your neck, resting your index finger on your jaw. With light contact and just enough pressure to gently stretch your skin, move your hands in a downward motion toward your collarbone.
While it may take some time to get the hang of a lymphatic drainage massage, you may find that if you keep at it, youll feel a little less stressed and a bit more relaxed.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage: What It Is And How It Works
The lymphatic drainage massage is a particular type of massage dedicated to lymph drainage . Lymph is the interstitial fluid that circulates in the vast and complex lymphatic circulatory network.
The function of the lymph is the drainage, from the periphery towards the heart, of the liquid received by the blood capillaries. Before reaching the heart, the lymph passes through the lymph nodes, which are responsible for the bodys defense .
In the lymph nodes, the lymph is controlled and then reintroduced into the venous circulation. Since the lymph can only circulate from the periphery to the center of the body, and thanks mainly to the muscular and diaphragmatic respiratory pump, it is possible that in some situations the lymph stagnates and struggles to circulate, giving rise to edema, swelling and stagnation .
In consideration of the great importance that this liquid has in the immune defense, it is vital to ensure adequate circulation and adequate drainage . Lymphatic massage is used to help lymphatic circulation and lymph drainage.
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Lymphatic Drainage Massage + How To Do It At Home
If youre dialed into the latest on skincare, then youve almost certainly heard whispers of a lymphatic drainage massage as the cure to your puffy skin woes.
Used to release fluid buildup from the lymphatic system and facilitate flow throughout the body, this massage is said to decrease bloating and swelling within the body and even help with cosmetic skin issues such as acne and eczema. While it is traditionally practiced on the arms and legs where more lymphatic issues occur, more estheticians have begun to integrate this technique into facials to aid in the reduction of puffiness and dark undereye circles. But what does science say?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the lymphatic system is, a network of tissues, vessels and organs that work together to move a colorless, watery fluid called lymph back into your circulatory system. Basically, the primary function of the system is to rid your body of waste and buildup and act as part of your immune system to protect from bacteria and illness. When the system is clogged, your body becomes more prone to sickness and swelling.
Unlike a traditional massage which uses more pressure to soothe tight muscles, a lymphatic massage requires a lighter touch to gently guide the skin in the direction that the lymphatic system flows, increasing circulation. According to a 2007 study on dental surgery, lymphatic draining has shown to be useful in decreasing swelling after a surgical operation.
Who Can Benefit From Lymphatic Massage
Doctors often recommend lymphatic drainage massage if you have been treated for cancer. Thats because you might need surgery to remove some lymph nodes as part of your cancer treatment. Plus, radiation can damage your lymph nodes.
As a breast surgeon, I send lots of patients to physical therapy for lymphatic evaluation and lymphatic massage, Aislynn Vaughan, MD, chair of the membership committee for the American Society of Breast Surgeons and a breast surgeon with SSM Medical Group in St. Louis, Missouri, told TODAY. We end up removing lymph nodes from the armpit or axillary area. And when you disrupt those lymphatic channels, you can get buildup of lymphatic fluid in the arm or the breast.
Other types of cancer surgery can make it more likely youll develop lymphedema in other parts of your body. For example, you might need lymphatic facial massage to help lymphatic drainage in the face after head or neck cancer surgery. And lymphedema massage can support lymphatic drainage in the legs after gynecological surgery.
Someone who has lymphedema will benefit undoubtedly from manual lymphatic drainage, Nicole Stout, a physical therapist and spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association, said. It clears the congested area and enables other parts of the body to take up the fluid.
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After Your Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Post-massage, make sure you keep your body hydrated with plenty of water, and try to reduce sugar and salt intake. These can impact the effects of your lymphatic drainage massage. Repeat the process two to three times per week, or whenever you start to feel slightly sluggish. Before long, you should start to see the invigorating results of your massage.
Tell Me: Do Lymphatic Drainage Massages Actually Improve Your Health
The thinking is that a “clogged” lymphatic system equals all sorts of health problemsand that can be true. Cells depend on lymphatic fluid to transport substances, communicate with other cells, and help them carry out their duties.
So, a damaged network can screw up those processes, contributing to issues such as lymphedema, chronic swelling in a specific area of the body, says Koehler. “In the medical field, we use manual lymph drainage to help people who have had damage to their lymphatic system following surgery, trauma, or developmental disorders,” she says. “In this case, manual lymph drainage can be beneficial because there are specific techniques to assist with moving lymphatic fluid out of the damaged areas to other areas in the body that are functioning normally.”
Try adding quick cold-water rinses to your shower to boost lymphatic flow.
As Koehler explains, most of the time, impaired or plugged-up lymphatic vessels are the result of surgery, infection, trauma, or diseases such as cancer or autoimmune disorders. Read: So a broken system *does* matter, but if there was a problem with yours, youd know it.
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Melissa Wood’s Health Technique:
As for MWHS method: You want to start at your ankle, working up the legs in a gentle circular motion, she explains. Think up the limbs, up the arms from the wrist to the armpit, and then down the torso to eliminate extra fluid and toxins in the body.
You will notice an increase in circulation, a decrease in inflammation, a boost of energy, and reduced cellulite. [Dry brushing is also known to help digestive issues, stress, and I’ve personally experienced a tightening effect. Melissa described dry brushing as a gentle approach the paddle she recommends, which you use post-shower, takes it up a notch because it digs in deeper, she adds. When I do the paddle, I also notice I have to pee more, as its moving the fluid out as you’re moving toxins out of the body. P.S. Ive noticed this, too!
Health Perks Of Lymph Massage
There are several benefits to doing a lymphatic drainage massage:
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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Your Guide To Lymphatic Drainage
If youve ever felt like you need to give your body some extra TLC to get rid of puffiness or swelling, then a lymphatic massage could be just what youve been looking for. The latest beauty trend is taking the world by storm, but its actually nothing new! The methods have been used for centuries by medical professionals and massage therapists. Still, the techniques are now making their way into peoples at-home self-care practices.
Were going to share everything you need to know about what your lymphatic system does, why it needs to be massaged, and how you can incorporate massage into your routine.
How To Do A Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Before you start your lymphatic drainage massage, keep one tip in mind: you dont need to push too hard or apply too much pressure to make sure your technique is effective. Go with light, stretching strokes, which will be enough to stimulate the lymph vessels just below the surface of your skin. What you need is a slow, steady rhythm as you move from head to toe.
1: Start at the neck. You have lymph ducts in two soft spots just above your collarbone. Use the tips of fingers to stretch skin downwards from the neck to these areas. Repeat 10 times, then use the same gesture from just below the earlobes, back down again.
2: Next, focus on the face, Sweep fingertips from the cheek to ears 10 times in a brushing motion. Repeat from chin to ears, then upper lip to ears, and forehead to ears. Once complete, clear the neck onc e more with 10 additional downward strokes.
3: Pump the palm of your hand 10 times underneath your armpit to activate the area. Then, move a little lower down the side of your torso and repeat in an upwards motion a further 10 times. Finishing by sweeping hands from your inner arm up into the armpit. Make sure youre not rubbing back and forth, but always in one upwards direction from arm to underarm.
4: Move to your hips. With your left arm lifted, use your right hand to stretch skin up from the hip to the armpit. After sweeping 10 times, move a little further up your torso and repeat.
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What Is Lymphatic Drainage Facial Massage
This massage is a method that applies light pressure and gentle movements to drain excess fluid. It improves the lymphatic systems function, which carries waste and toxins out of the body, making it vital to the immune system and overall health.
Additionally, lymphatic facial massage can give life to every cell in the body. This is because it helps move the lymph, the fluid that contains essential substances such as oxygen, amino acids, glucose, and other vital nutrients. Generally, its effect is much like how prostate massage benefits the urological and overall health of the patient.
Moreover, know that the lymphatic system typically depends on muscle contraction, exercise, diet, and physical manipulation to work correctly. So, that is where lymphatic massage comes in!
Benefits Of Lymphatic Drainage At Home
When many people hear manual lymphatic drainage benefits, the only benefit that crosses their minds is #1 keeping the lymphatic system in check. Yes, this is the main benefit, but there is more to a manual lymphatic drainage massage than just enhancing the lymphatic operations.
These are some of the other benefits of the lymphatic drainage massage your body probably needs:
Of course, the lymphatic system is the primary beneficiary of the lymphatic drainage massage, but the entire body will have a piece of this cake.
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How Does Lymphatic Drainage Massage Help
Lymphatic drainage massage is a deep tissue treatment applied by pressure using long upward strokes over your body. It aims to increase your lymphatic system flow, flush toxins from your body, promote relaxation, and reduce swelling. Toxins can build up in your body and cause illness if they are not eliminated.
Lymphatic drainage also helps to provide a therapeutic effect. Besides many health benefits, lymphatic drainage massage stimulates the feeling of good hormones in the body and increases the temperature of the muscles.
Plus, lymphatic drainage helps reduce swelling caused by fluid retention. If there is a problem in the lymphatic system, the fluid cannot move away from one body area and cause edema. Specific massage techniques help clear the way for the lymphatic system to help drain excess fluid.
It should also be noted that anyone suffering from certain illnesses may not be able to undergo a lymphatic drainage massage or may need to have the massage adapted, so be sure to talk to your doctor first, as well as our massage therapist for any relevant medical history or problem.
Lymphatic drainage massage is useful when people experience the following conditions:
The Right Tools For Lymphatic Drainage Massage
The best massages begin with an oil, cream or balm to help hands glide smoothly. This is true whether youre working out tension or manually draining the lymph nodes. What you need is something with enough slip to prevent the skin from dragging, but not so much that your limbs feel slippery. The CBD Muscle Balm is perfect. Infused with tingly eucalyptus, a generous scoop is enough to enhance self-draining. You can also use the CBD Skin Cream, which harnesses shea butter and rosemary in a vegan formula to hydrate skin.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider If I’m Doing A Lymphatic Drainage Massage
You should call your provider if your lymphedema appears to be getting worse.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Lymphedema causes swelling and raises your risk of infection. It’s an unfortunate and uncomfortable outcome of some treatments for cancer and other illnesses. Lymphatic drainage massage is one way to relieve your lymphedema symptoms. Ask your healthcare provider if a lymphatic drainage massage might be helpful.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Generally speaking, lymphatic drainage massage is a safe treatment to relieve lymphedema. There are some conditions and circumstances where lymphatic drainage massage is not recommended:
- You have a heart condition.
- You have kidney failure.
- You have blood clots.
- You have an infection.
Talk to your healthcare provider if youre concerned your physical health might be affected by lymphatic drainage massage.
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How To Perform Lymphatic Drainage Massage On Yourself
There are different techniques that allow you to perform lymphatic drainage massage therapy on yourself. Its a great way to help detox your body and a practice that you can easily fit into your daily schedule in just a few minutes.
I’ve made all these lymphatic drainage massage illustrated steps available in a free, printable PDF. and save it to your device for easy reference!
What Is Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Lymphatic drainage massage is a type of gentle massage that promotes the movement of lymph fluid throughout the body. Essentially, the skin is gently stretched and released over known lymphatic pathways.
For most spas, lymphatic massage therapy is considered a cornerstone technique for reducing inflammation and fatigue, and it is often used to help rid the body of toxins. Moreover, lymphatic massage can help reduce stress and anxiety, boost your immune function, and glowing skin when performed on the face.