Is Manual Lymphatic Drainage Right For Me
You may be wondering whether MLD is right for you, and why you would choose lymph drainage over a more traditional massage. Of course, conventional massage like a Swedish massage or deep tissue massage is a supreme experience for your muscles, joints, nervous system, and attitude. Deciding to receive a lymphatic drainage massage goes a step further. You may want to cleanse your bodys tissues during the change of seasons, after an illness or injury, or following a particularly stressful time in your life. MLDs focus on detox and purification revitalizes your energy, leaving you feeling ready to face anything. To see the more than 100 locations throughout the U.S. where Zeels network of massage therapists is available, see our list of available locations for massage near me.
When Should I Do It
Everyone can benefit from getting a lymphatic drainage massage with the change of the seasons. This is because with each season we are eating different foods, our level of activity is changing, and the change in weather can affect the bodys internal processes. When youre ever feeling extra bloated would be a great time to receive the treatment, as it helps to reduce water retention. But bottom line, every body is different, so if you suffer from any of the listed symptoms and feel like a lymphatic drainage massage would help, I suggest meeting with a trained professional to discuss a schedule that would be good for your body. You can also DIY in the comfort of your own home using a dry brush, tool, or just your hands as a relaxing ritual before bed or a practice to keep you calm and energized throughout the day.
What Happens During A Lymph Drainage Massage
Talk to your doctor before getting a lymphatic drainage massage, and make sure you’re receiving treatment from a trained professional. The massage therapist will follow a particular sequence, using a series of massage techniques, including stretching, compressing, gliding, and cupping motions.â
Light rhythmic movements stimulate the lymphatic system without pressing hard on the vessel. They make the lymph fluid move easily through the nodes and tissues, making sure the fluid doesn’t get trapped anywhere.
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What Is The Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is part of the immune system and includes a network of tissues and organs that helps remove waste, toxins, and bacteria or viruses from the body.
It’s also responsible for transporting white blood cells in a fluid called lymph to areas of the body that are fighting infection, says Kelly Farley, a certified lymphedema therapist at the University of Toledo Medical Center.
However, when you have a blockage, infection, or disease, it can hinder the lymphatic system’s ability to transport lymph. As a result, the lymph fluid can accumulate and cause swelling and puffiness, says Rebecca Hammad, a certified lymphedema therapist at Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation hospital.
Lymph build-up can also increase the risk of infection, skin damage, and wounds, says Farley. That’s when it’s time to drain the lymph via lymphatic drainage massage, which can improve your lymphatic system’s function.
How To Perform A Lymphatic Massage
People can receive lymphatic massages from trained professionals, or they can learn basic drainage techniques to use at home. However, it is best to speak to a doctor before either trying this at home or going to a professional.
People can perform most of these exercises either standing, sitting, or lying down, as long as they are comfortable.
Keep the following tips in mind during a lymphatic massage:
- These massage movements should affect only the skin, so use gentle pressure and do not press hard enough to feel the muscles.
- Keep the hands relaxed.
- Do not massage swollen or infected areas.
- Do not massage areas of the body that have undergone treatment for cancer.
- Drink extra fluids, ideally 2 to 4 glasses of water, after each massage to help flush the body.
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What Causes A Trigger Point
According to Dr Gunn, ‘Shortening in muscles acting across a joint increase joint pressure, upsets alignment, and can precipitate pain in the joint, i.e. arthralgia.’ There is also a theory that permanent muscle contraction is abnormal and can create an ischaemic muscle pain due to the restriction decreasing normal muscle blood flow.
How A Lymphatic Massage Works
This isnt your typical massage, so dont expect it to be deep tissue. The massage itself is light touch, says Conroy. It focuses mainly on the superficial lymphatic system. The therapist works to encourage lymphatic fluid movement through different massage strokes and the creation of pumps.”
Bonus: According to Conroy, the sweeping, pressing motions and relaxation of this technique prompt the bodys parasympathetic response.
You can also level up a lymphatic massage. How so? THE WELL lymphatic massage incorporates dry brushing and body oils into the treatments, says Conroy. Dry brushing is great for promoting circulation, skin exfoliation and improves product absorption. We also leverage Maderoterapia, a technique that uses wooden tools to help promote lymphatic circulation.”
And lymph massage isn’t just for the body THE WELL offers Biologique Recherche facials, which focus on lymphatic drainage, notes Conroy.
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Upper Body Massage Techniques
Use the following techniques to help drain lymph fluid from the chest, shoulder, and upper arm.
To massage the chest:
- Place the palm flat on the opposite side of the chest, slightly above the breast.
- Move the hand up the chest and over the collarbone.
- Continue up the neck until the skin covering the chest feels tight, then release.
To massage the shoulder:
- Rest the arm on a table or armrest.
- Place the other hand on the shoulder of the resting arm.
- Move the hand over the back of the shoulder and toward the neck.
To massage the upper arm:
- Rest the arm on a table or armrest.
- Place the middle two fingers of the other hand on the inside of the upper arm below the shoulder.
- Gently slide the fingers toward the outside of the upper arm.
- Wrap the hand around the outside of the upper arm.
- Gently move the hand back toward the inside of the arm.
To massage the full arm:
- Begin at the shoulder.
- Use the palm to stretch the skin upward.
- Move the hand down to the upper arm and stretch the skin up toward the shoulder.
- Continue down the arm always moving the skin upward.
- Stop at the wrist.
To massage the fingers:
- Start at the base of the swollen finger close to the palm.
- Use the index finger and thumb to stretch the skin on the finger toward the hand.
- Continue this motion over the entire finger.
- Remember to direct fluid toward the hand.
Do Lymphatic Drainage Massages Really Work
Yes, they do work. Very effectively. If you develop lymphedema, its a lymphatic drainage massage that will help relieve it. It is also effective for cancer treatment, especially breast cancer. It will also help reduce swelling and reduce pain. And there will be an immense transformation in the functioning of your immune cells. The benefits are so more than these.
There is no magic trick behind it, follow the lymphatic massage before and after, and the results will be evident.
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Benefits Of Mld After Liposuction
Most plastic surgeons recommend MLD massage in the recovery phase after cosmetic liposuction. It helps decrease the recovery time and improves the results.
In summary, here are the advantages of the procedure.
- Eliminates toxic substances from the body
- Promotes healing of injuries and incisions made during the surgery
- Facilitates lymph flow, which helps to reduce swelling
- Improves the overall health after a successful surgery
- Enhances the flow of lymphatic fluid in the lymphatic system
- Aids the movement of protein and white blood cells to the blood
- Reduces post-surgical fibrosis and swelling
Lymphatic Drainage Massage Before And After: Disclaimer
The lymphatic system is responsible for detoxification. It receives and neutralizes the toxins generated from food, pollution and also your bodys cellular activities .
It is also responsible for the fortification of the immunity cells. This means that you need to have a proper functioning lymphatic system for you to have a strong immune system.
See how delicate it is as a system? If you do not follow the instructions we are about to give you below, you may feel unwell after. Or, you may as well not enjoy the immense benefits of this deep tissue massage.
Incorporate the tips below before, after and during your massage sessions.
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So Does Lymphatic Drainage Massage Work At All
Whether or not manual lymphatic drainage massage works, we need to examine the claims that are often made by practitioners. Many claims state that the benefits can include:
- reducing swelling
- removing metabolic wastes, excess water, toxins and other foreign substances from tissues
- alleviating pain by greatly reducing pain signals sent to brain
- calming the sympathetic nervous system to help relieve stress, and supporting/enhancing the action of the nervous system
- lose weight or cellulite.
As the previous sections research citations show, many of the studies for the measured efficacy of MLD are inconclusive. Other studies may have slightly positive results, but the limitations of the studies lie in poor research methods, lack of control groups, or small clinical samples.
This has not prevented this technique from being prevalently used in medical treatments for edema and lymphedema, in part, because its such a gentle technique that its relatively safe, even if its application is a placebo effect or resulting in positive feelings after treatment.
If you seek out this modality for beauty reasons, you need to weigh the realistic aspects of MLD. For example, in weight loss, look closely at the before-and-after pictures and you may find that there is a reduction in localized fluid rather than actual weight loss.
There may be alleviation of bloating and water retention, but these results are only temporary.
What Does Lymphatic Massage Do
When your lymphatic system doesnt work correctly, because of cancer treatment or other diseases, you can develop a type of swelling called lymphedema. Lymphatic massage, also called manual lymphatic drainage , can coax more fluid to move through the lymphatic vessels and reduce this swelling.
Lymph massage doesnt have the pressure of a deep-tissue massage. Lymphatic massage is a light, hands-on technique that gently stretches the skin to assist lymphatic flow, Hillary Hinrichs, physical therapist and ReVital program director for SSM Health Physical Therapy in St. Louis, Missouri, told TODAY.
Patients say, Oh, you can push harder . But these lymphatic vessels are tiny, and theyre in our skin. So, the whole point is to stretch the skin to help facilitate that lymphatic pump, Hinrichs said.
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What Is Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage
MLD is a specialized massage type that gently assists the lymphatic system in maintaining the bodys fluid balance, blood circulation, and immune mechanisms. The systems network of vessels and nodes contains lymph, a mixture of water, proteins, immune system components, waste products, and other remnants of cell metabolism. Lymph nodes, which filter out the debris, are found throughout the body, with especially large groups of them in the neck, armpits, and groin. These major collections of lymph nodes ensure that the lymph passes through as many nodes as possible before it returns to the circulatory system.
During a lymph drainage massage, a specially-trained massage therapist uses a series of gliding, compressing, stretching, and cupping motions over the clients body. The light rhythmic movements, applied without massage oil, stimulate the lymphatic system without compressing the vessels allowing lymph to move easily through the tissues and lymph nodes. MLD follows a specific sequence over the body so lymph isnt trapped anywhere, making sure every area is treated with care.
What Is A Lymphatic Drainage Massage And Its Benefits
Are you looking to improve your overall health?
Visiting the spa benefits your mental, spiritual, and physical health. The entire spa environment eases each of your senses through healing touch, entrancing sounds, and therapeutic scents.
Each treatment option offers unique benefits. A manual lymphatic drainage massage takes the spa experience to a deeper level than some of the other treatments.
Massage therapists learn historical techniques from a Chinese text that dates back to 2700 BCE, called, “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine.” Healers have since used this ancient treatment and improved it over the years to target specific needs.
In the 1930’s France, Emil and Estrid Vodder crafted the appropriate strokes and sequence to create lymphology, leading to the widespread practice of lymphatic drainage.
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What Massage Style Is Best For You
Yes. Massage styles and techniques can be confusing, which is why your PhysioWorks Massage Therapist is a highly-trained professional who understands was is right for your body. If you have any questions about what massage techniques are the best for you, please call us to discuss your massage requirements. Or, let your massage therapist works wonders on your body during a consultation.
Lymphatic Drainage Massages While Under Medication
Our third tip is for you if you are under medication. Beware that lymph drainage massages flush some medication out of the system faster, together with toxins. This is to say that if you are taking any medication, especially pain killers or just from having surgery, you need to proceed with medical supervision. Do not start lymphatic drainage massage without talking to your doctor.
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Are There Any Weight Loss Benefits Lymphatic Massage Before
When you take a look at before-and-after pics, the slim-down effects look r.e.a.l. See for yourself in these snapshots, pulled from a few popular, celebrity-backed spas and/or therapists:
The thing is, actual fat loss isn’t happening . Instead, lymphatic drainage may help reduce water retention and bloat, according to anecdotal evidence and reviews, which may have a temporary visual slimming effect . Famed massage therapist Flavia Lanini, who has worked with countless celebrities and supermodels, described to Us Weeklyin December that lymphatic massage can “promote a contouring effect while also promoting relaxation.”
Koehler points out, however, that bloating is a symptom that someone who has a normal functioning lymphatic system experiences. “Bloating will eventually go away on its own,” she addswithout a special rub.
So, at most, you may experience a reduction in bloating post-lymphatic massage, but don’t expect the results to last forever, and don’t rely on a massage for weight loss.
Benefits Of Lymphatic Drainage Massage
âLymphedema can be treated with tight compression bandages or stockings, but a manual lymphatic drainage massage can help enhance the benefits.
If you experience lymphedema after a mastectomy, which involves the removal of breast tissue to treat or prevent breast cancer, lymph drainage massage can help ease mild to moderate symptoms post-surgery.
Treating Other Health Conditions
Aside from lymphedema, lymphatic drainage massage can help treat several health problems. Some conditions can benefit more from the massage than others.
Studies have found that lymphatic drainage massage may be beneficial for the following:
âRheumatoid arthritis. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may experience poor lymph flow as the disease progresses. Along with tissue swelling, pain in the joints increases, joints lose their function, and the skin changes color. Lymph drainage massage can help ease these later-stage rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
âChronic venous insufficiency . Chronic venous insufficiency is when the valves or walls of the veins that are in the legs don’t work correctly. This makes it hard for the blood to flow back to the heart from the legs.â Lymphatic drainage massage can help increase the speed of blood flow in people with CVI.
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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.
What Is Lymphatic Drainage 4 Things To Know About The Body
These days, it seems near impossible to scroll through your Instagram feed for more than a few seconds before encountering a post about some new wellness trend or other. This collagen supplement cleared my skin, one might claim. Micro-dosing is changing my life, says another. But, as every influencer, celebrity, and moderately health-conscious person continues to share impressive before-and-after photos of their torsos and limbs, theres one phenomenon that appears impossible to ignore: lymphatic drainage massage.
While the rhythmic, high-pressure body treatment has been lauded by celebs like Hailey Baldwin, Joan Smalls, and Elsa Hosk only in the last few years, lymphatic drainage actually dates back centuries and boasts a long list of health and beauty benefits. The massage technique has dramatically caught on in recent times and shows no sign of slowing in 2020, but, as more and more lymphatic drainage techniques and iterations become available to consumers, its important to understand not only how the practice works, but also in which circumstances its most effective.
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