What is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Lymphatic Drainage Massage (LMD) gently helps the lymphatic system in maintaining the body’s fluid balance, blood circulation, and immune mechanisms. This type of massage can help stimulate the lymphatic system. This can lead you to feel much more healthy over time.
Developed as a method to combat lymphedema and lymph system ailments, lymph massage may be recommended as part of a therapy plan, or as part of post-operative breast cancer or other oncological treatment. Outside of its medical applications, this technique is now being featured as a method for cellulite reduction, facial/jawline sculpting, and “strengthening” immune system function. Lymph drainage massage is based on the hypothesis that congested lymph nodes in a particular area of your body can be encouraged to be “cleared out” by performing a series of rhythmic, compressive strokes along lymph vessels. Practitioners claim that it can reduce edema, swelling, and/or inflammation from lymphatic disorders or trauma to your body.
What does the lymphatic system do?
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues, vessels, and organs that collaborate together to move fluid back into your circulatory system. The lymphatic system has three primary jobs: acting as part of the body’s immune system, allowing fat and fat-soluble nutrient absorption for digestion, and maintaining the body’s fluid balance between tissues and blood. It basically acts as your body’s sewerage system by removing toxins, bacteria, or excess fluid. This system is incredibly important to the body’s health so it’s crucial to maintain it.
Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump, so the lymph fluid moves via pressure gradients from skeletal muscle and respiratory system movements as well as smooth muscle contractions. The premise of MLD is to assist the flow of lymphatic fluid through the body, which stimulates the lymph nodes and reduces “stagnation” of fluids in specific areas.
What are the different types of Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
There are four modalities that are commonly used by massage therapists.
Vodder: Uses various sweeping motions with the hands around the targeted area.
Foldi: Uses circular hand motions and thrusting movements to help create moments of relaxation.
Casely-Smith: Involves the use of small and gentle effleurage movements with the side of the hand.
Leduc: Involves the use of enticing and reabsorption movements which reflect how lymph is absorbed first in the initial lymphatics and then into the larger lymphatics.
What are the benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Some of the benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage may include:
- Fights off infection
- Reduces stress and fatigue
- Stimulates the immune system
- Reduces pain and inflammation
- Helps with breastfeeding
- Speeds up the recovery process
- Reduces cellulite
Is Lymphatic Drainage Massage right for me?
Lymphatic Drainage Massage can benefit people with the following health concerns:
- Skin disorders
It may also help benefit those who suffer from migraines, digestive problems, insomnia, and stress.
You should avoid this type of massage if you are experiencing the following health problems:
- Congestive heart failure
- Blood clots
- Kidney problems
- Circulation problems
If you have any doubts about whether this massage is right for you, please speak to your doctor before making an appointment.
It’s also always important for you to let your massage therapist know of any prior or current health concerns that you may have before the start of the session. This way your massage therapist can work with you to help create a treatment plan that works best for your session.
What to expect after Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
After receiving this massage, you may receive some minor side effects for the next few days. Your urine may become darker and smelly due to the stimulation of the kidneys. Your urination frequency may also increase throughout the day because your body is ridding itself of all the excess toxins. Lastly, you may feel sore and fatigued following your session.