What is Lymphatic Drainage and Do I Need It?

Lymphatic drainage is a therapeutic massage  treatment that uses a light pressure and gentle, long, rhythmic strokes to increase the flow of lymph and reduce toxins in your body.

The lymph system is part of your body's immune system and helps fight infection. Lymph itself is a clear, slightly yellow fluid. It transports nutrients and oxygen to cells, collecting toxins on the way and flushing them out through the lymph nodes.

Did you know that you have around twice as many lymph vessels as blood vessels in your body?! But where as blood is pumped around by your heart, the lymph system has no pump. The pressure from your blood vessels and movement from your muscles push the lymphatic fluid around.

What is lymphatic drainage massage good for?

Lymphatic drainage massage can have a beneficial effect on your general health. Because lymph is key to keeping your immune system working properly, improving the flow and drainage of lymph around the body is good for you in lots of ways.

Lymphatic drainage can:

  • reduce the chance of you suffering from minor colds and viruses; it helps your body fight off infection, and speeds up healing and recovery from illness

  • help reduce water retention; for instance, because the lymph system has no pump, if you sit for a long time without moving, the lymph can't flow easily — this is why you may experience swollen feet or fingers

  • boost weight loss, as improving the lymphatic system will improve your metabolic rate, which helps you burn calories more efficiently.

Lymphatic drainage massage can improve your skin texture by:

  • reducing swelling, puffiness and blotches

  • giving you clean, healthy pores

  • speeding up healing in scar tissue, so it may, for example, improve the appearance of stretch marks

  • helping to reduce cellulite; the massage increases blood flow and circulation to the affected areas, which helps the body break down the toxins which cause dimply skin.

What to expect from lymphatic drainage massage

As with any massage treatment, you will get most benefit if you give yourself enough time to relax and enjoy your massage. Arrive soon enough to get ready and settle; try to avoid rushing off straight afterwards.

Lymphatic drainage massage usually takes place in a heated room; warmth is an important factor in increasing lymphatic flow. You are also likely to be more relaxed if you're not cold. Your therapist will usually carry out lymphatic drainage massage with you on a massage table, while you're draped in discreetly placed towels.

I usually work her up from your feet in this type of massage, with rhythmic strokes and soft pumping movements in the direction of the lymph nodes. The main lymph nodes are in the neck, armpits, and groin.

Lymphatic drainage can leave you feeling exhausted. You may want to have a lie down, or at the very least, a very undemanding schedule for the rest of the day. Give your body time to ease back into activity. Lymphatic drainage massage may also leave you really thirsty.

Lymphatic drainage is about flushing out your system; you can do this every day by drinking plenty of water. One of the best things you can do for your lymphatic system is to be more active. Even the most gentle activity will help encourage a healthy lymph flow, as movement of the muscles exerts pressure on the lymphatic vessels and keeps them moving.

To book your lymphatic drainage massage with me at Rehab for Mums, call 07437 318248 or email hello@rehabformums.com. Alternatively view and book online by clicking here.

(Original Article Source: The Good Spa Guide)

(Photo Credit: Heal YOU Naturally)

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Dawn Jackson

Dawn Jackson is Editor of Rehab for Mums Magazine and Holistic Therapist based in Thelwall, South Warrington. My mission is to bring together women to support other women to feel their best in body AND mind.