Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a form of massage that stimulates the lymphatic system with gentle massaging strokes. Within us all there is a silent system working to keep us healthy- the lymph system. Without it our bodies would swell up like balloons, swamping our cells with stagnant fluid. The light rhythmical massage encourages the lymphatic system to eliminate metabolic waste products, excess fluid and bacteria.
The lymph system’s impact is so far reaching that many don’t even realize that minor aches and pains, low energy or susceptibility to colds and flu may be due to a sluggish lymph system and a compromised immune system.
Lymphatic drainage massage is a great ally in any massage therapist’s tool kit. By being able to address the lymph system directly, client’s immune system function can be significantly increased. When we have a strong immune system, we are happy, balanced and whole. Lymphatic drainage massage can go where Deep Tissue and Swedish cannot- into swollen areas.
§ Circulation of fluids helps to reroute stagnant fluid in the skin
§ Toxins are removed, making lymphatic drainage especially effective in tissue regeneration. Scars, stretch marks, wrinkles and fracture, or surgical-incision sites, are improved. Many therapists also use LDT as part of detoxification and anti-aging regimens.
§ Fats are evacuated through lymphatic vessels. These vessels are located in virtually every area of the body where fats may accumulate.
§ The immune system is stimulated through increased lymph flow. This has been found to help with chronic or subacute inflammatory processes — chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune disease, bronchitis, sinusitis, amygdalitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, arthritis, acne and eczema.
§ Stimulating the lymphatics (the “fight or flight” response) can be very helpful in dealing with stress, depression and sleeping disorders.
§ Chronic pain is reduced as the drainage alleviates tissue-fluid stagnation and possibly inhibits pain receptors.
Stimulating the lymphatic system through manual lymphatic drainage will activate all of the above functions as well as encourage fluid circulation and cell regeneration. Both actions promote detoxification, facilitate healing and support the immune system.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage benefits are numerous and include:
• Clearing areas of congestion such as swollen ankles, puffy eyes and swollen legs
• Promotion of scar tissue healing, torn ligaments and sprains.
• Post-operative healing
• Swelling relief following plastic surgery
• Treatment of lymphedema and other conditions arising from venous insufficiency
• Improving chronic conditions such as sinusitis, arthritis, acne and other skin conditions
• Deep relaxation
According to MassageTherapy.com, lymph drainage massages can help with healing after surgery. This type of massage regenerates tissues to reduce scarring at surgical incision sites. Lymph drainage massages also reduce swelling and detoxify the body, according to the International Alliance of Healthcare Educators. The alliance’s website states that lymph drainage massages help speed regeneration of tissues and cells. The massages shouldn’t be done right after surgery; instead, a person should wait at least 6 weeks before getting one, or until a doctor clears the patient for massage.
The immune system is tied to the lymphatic system. In fact, if flow of lymphatic materials slows, the immune system weakens. MassageTherapy.com states that lymph drainage massages can improve the function of the immune system and increase the production of antibodies that fight off infections. Lymph drainage massages can also reduce inflammation in the body that causes diseases such as arthritis.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage is a very specific technique of manual body massage. At BodyLase, we have on staff a Certified Lymphatic Drainage Massage Therapist.
A lymphatic massage, lasts 30 to 90 minutes and consists of very gentle, rhythmic pressure, whispery soft finger strokes, or ultralight drumming —about the same as one would use to stroke the face of a significant other—and stretching the skin in the direction of the lymph pathways toward the lymph nodes. The logic is that this will counteract the lymph system’s tendency to become sluggish or even blocked by causes like spending too much time on the couch or eating unhealthy processed foods.
Lymphatic drainage is sometimes so relaxing that clients are lulled to sleep during treatments, and the fact that the massage doesn’t necessitate any direct pressure explains why it’s appropriate—and often prescribed—for reducing swelling following surgery or injury. Some basic light strokes include “stationary circles,” “pump,” and “scoop”—no kneading or deep muscle work. This massage is actually a draining process intended to firm and tone skin and to improve health.
No massage oils here, so lymphatic drainage can focus on the face, the entire body, or just on swollen and bloated areas. Those who decide to relax with lymphatic drainage should be prepared to feel a little off-kilter following a massage. (Like a post-party hangover, drinking lots of water is key!)
Some facialists have seen great improvement of dark under-eye circles in facials. Lymphatic-drainage massage can also offer some relief for fluid retention brought on by travel, menstruation, or pregnancy.
Our Lymphatic Massage offers a way to deeply relax and assist in cleansing through the release of toxins in the body. Our therapist has a great ability to clear blockages in the lymph system and allow the body to cleanse naturally and easily.