Lymphatic drainage massage is a very specialized type of massage used to detox the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes act as the garbage cans of the body and catch all the ‘bad stuff.’ Lymph drainage allows the body to flush out that bad stuff. The technique involved is very unique and the benefits can range from post-operative healing from breast cancer, to allergy and sinusitis relief.
What is the Lymphatic System?
The lymphatic system is a quiet system that works to keep us healthy. It is composed of lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and organs. The primary function of lymph nodes is to filter and purify. As part of the body’s defense system, the lymph nodes remove microorganisms and other foreign substances. By acting like a filtration system, the lymph nodes help prevent toxic materials like bacteria, from entering the blood. Rich lymphatic networks are highly amenable to the light touch of lymph drainage massage therapy. More and more, the lymphatic system is recognized in the medical community as a way to improve our overall health and well-being.
Why does lymphatic circulation slow down?
The lymphatic flow can slow for many reasons, such as swelling, chronic inflammation, lack of physical activity, stress, fatigue, emotional shock, age, poorly fitted bras, or bras worn for too long. When lymphatic circulation slows down, the regeneration of cells becomes less effective. This condition allows toxins and proteins to accumulate around the cells, causing cellular oxygenation to decrease and tissue regeneration to diminish.
As mentioned, a common result following breast cancer treatment is a compromised lymphatic system. “Lymphedema” is the result of a failure in the lymph drainage system and can occur after lymph nodes have been removed or damaged. Fluid retention occurs and is often accompanied by painful swelling.
What is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Lymphatic Drainage Massage is the manual manipulation of the lymphatic ducts using gentle, rhythmic massaging of the skin to stimulate the flow of lymph and its return to the blood circulation system. The treatment is very gentle, and a typical session will involve drainage of the neck, trunk, and the extremity involved.
What Does Lymphatic Drainage Massage Accomplish?
Essentially, lymphatic drainage massage increases the volume of lymph flow, thereby helping to rid the body of toxins.
What is the Technique used in Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
- Superficial – right underneath the skin
- Rhythmic pushing
- Gentle, light touch; non-invasive
- Incorporates some stretching
- Goal is to move fluid in the downward motion
- Lasting approximately 40 to 60 minutes.
What are the general benefits to Lymphatic Drainage Therapy?
- Clearing congestion, inflammation
- Healing of scar tissue, torn ligaments and sprains
- Post-operative healing
- Swelling relief following plastic surgery
- Treatment of lymphedema (and similar conditions due to venous insufficiency)
- Improving chronic conditions such as sinusitis, arthritis, skin conditions
- alleviate numerous conditions related to pregnancy
- Deep relaxation
- Helps with headaches
- Alleviating sinus pressure from allergies or chronic ear infections.
Why See a Lymphatic Drainage Therapy Specialist?
Lymph drainage is very labor intensive and must be done by experienced therapist, so choose your therapist carefully. Best results are had with accurate knowledge of the specific anatomy and related-hand techniques involved so the therapist can attune to the precise rhythm, direction, depth and quality of the lymph flow. Pushing too hard can diminish the lymph flow. Too much pressure can even break the materials that hold the it in place. This is one reason that deep styles of massage are not a good idea. Get permission from your doctor before undergoing lymphatic drainage therapy.
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