The lymphatic system, in general, plays an integral role in eliminating waste from the body. As it influences all body parts for cleaning and nourishing, the help of Lymphatic Drainage Massage (LDM) paves its way to de-bloating, fighting inflammation, and reducing water retention. It’s a manual massage with lighter pressure than a traditional Swedish or deep tissue massage that encourages circulation and helps drain fluid.
With lymphatic drainage massage, the bacteria and other toxins are destroyed in the lymph nodes, and the goal is to move fluid from the skin’s tissue to the lymph nodes to eliminate waste. Due to lymphatic massage being gentle and low-intensity, most people can receive one without any complications.
How Is The Lymphatic Drainage Massage Done?
To open the lymph vessels and let the excess lymph fluid drain back into the lymphoid nodes are the ultimate goals of this type of massage. In addition, lymphatic drainage massage has different types, depending on the targeted body area. The LDM procedure can be performed on the upper body or the leg area, but the specialist recommends doing it on the whole body, moving in a particular direction, usually from top to bottom.
Once comfortable with either standing, sitting, or laying, the massage should start with:
- Body preparation. The massage should begin with breathing deeply and slowly, followed by a gentle massage on the neck (back, sides, and front), under the arms, and behind the knees;
- Lymphatic drainage massage will start on the upper body. Gentle massaging should begin with the chest, shoulders, upper arms, full arms, and fingers, placing the palm on the bottom of the area and moving it upwards;
- Continuation on the lower body by gently massaging the upper legs, lower legs, and toes. After which, place the palm at the top of the area and move it downwards.
What Are The Benefits Of Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
LDM helps stimulate lymph and drain wastes and toxins from the body. It also offers many essential benefits. For instance, it stimulates blood and lymph circulation, which moves tissue fluid into the lymph vessels from the tissues. However, here are the following benefits of LDN for further details:
- Benefits Edema. It is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in various body tissues. On the other hand, lymphedema is caused by fluid and toxins buildup in the lymphatic system. Hence, Lymphatic Drainage Massage is effective for both edema and lymphedema.
- Before and After Surgery. Once cleared by the doctor, LDM is also used before and after surgery, especially cosmetic procedures, to speed healing and reduce scar tissue and inflammation at least 6 weeks after. It can help increase blood flow, remove stagnant tissue fluid, and reduce stress and anxiety associated with surgery. Still, it should not be performed immediately due to the risk of blood clots and infection.
- Strengthens Immunity. A lymphatic drainage massage can stimulate white blood cell circulation, improve immune system function, and increase antibody production since the immune system is directly linked to the lymphatic system. Moreover, this will fight off infections like colds or flu and reduce inflammation. People prone to getting sick are also encouraged to regularly get a lymphatic drainage massage.
- Relieves Tension and Stress. Stress can affect the sympathetic nervous system, which causes muscles to tense up and increases respiratory and heart rates. With the help of lymphatic drainage massage, it will trigger the parasympathetic nervous system to relax the muscles and slow the heart and respiratory rates.
- Enhances Skin Health. LDM can help improve unhealthy skin due to poor circulation. It helps stimulate blood circulation, bring nutrients to the skin, and remove toxins and wastes from skin cells, but avoid it if infected or inflamed. Moreover, the massage is beneficial for acne, eczema, and rosacea, although it’s best to avoid this if there is a skin problem.
- Improves Breastfeeding. This massage gives comfort in the legs and feet during pregnancy and enhances breastfeeding. For some women who have experienced complications while breastfeeding, often due to the baby improperly latching onto the breast, lymphatic drainage massage will help reduce swelling, improve blocked ducts, and decrease soreness in the nipples and breasts.
What Conditions Can Be Treated By LDM?
Over the years, the holistic procedure has been proven to be beneficial for relieving the symptoms of several conditions, such as:
- Lymphedema – the swelling observed in the upper or lower extremities due to a physical injury, various infections, chemotherapy, or operation;
- Rheumatoid arthritis – a pathological condition of the skeletal system that is associated with pain in the joints, tissue swelling, and decreased joint function;
- Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition related to the abnormal functioning of the valves and the walls of the veins, making it difficult for the venous blood to move from the lower limbs to the heart. This is among the major factors for developing varicose veins;
- Weight loss – many people take advantage of lymphatic massage for weight loss. The procedure aids blood circulation, speeds up the fat-burning rate, and helps the body get rid of excess water.
How Frequent Should You Get A Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Since lymphatic drainage massage is a gentle treatment that uses non-invasive techniques, it should only be performed using the correct techniques to get all the benefits of this form of non-invasive massaging. For best results, the health specialists recommend a series of sessions every 3 to 6 months.
What Are The Precautions of Lymphatic Massage?
There are circumstances in which a person should avoid lymphatic drainage massage. For example, prevent drainage lymph massage if lymphedema is developed after surgery since swelling can occur. Patients with lymphangitis infection should halt until the infection from the skin has completely cleared.
Moreover, those at risk of blood clotting should also rule out deep venous thrombosis before treating LDM. Also, patients with congestive heart failure should be monitored before lymph drainage massage, ensuring that not many fluids move too quickly and strain the heart. Also, it would be best to avoid this massage until an underlying cause of the pain has been determined and gone away.
In addition, if patients have kidney problems, bronchial asthma, acute thrombosis, thyroid problems, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, hypotension, malignant tumors, or are treated with chemotherapy or any medication, consult a doctor before using lymphatic drainage massage.
While it is a good idea to practice lymphatic drainage massage under the guidance of someone with the proper training, such as a massage therapist, nurse, doctor, or physical or occupational therapist, it is best to have it administered by professionals at medical spas for optimum results. The Spa at Aestique offers a Lymphatic Drainage Massage with a unique blend of essential oils that help increase circulation to the tissue, reduce tissue swelling, and restore tone and firmness after your elective surgery. Ultimately, LDM is also a wonderful detoxification massage for individuals suffering from illness or a depressed immune system.