Therapeutic Benefits of Manual Lymph Drainage
Most people know about Swedish massage, deep tissue, or sports massage and the therapeutic effects they have on the body and mind. However, many people are not aware of another type of massage that has the power of releasing toxins from your body – manual lymphatic drainage.
Lymphatic drainage is a gentle form of massage, focusing mainly on the skin, which stimulates the body’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of your immune system, which removes bodily toxins and waste, and helps fight infection.
The lymphatic system is an extensive network of vessels that carry lymph – a clear, watery fluid that contains nutrients throughout the body. This system keeps the body in balance and helps defend the body against infections.
Lymph fluid flows through the lymph nodes, and act as filters as they trap anything harmful that the body does not need. This includes bacteria, viruses, and damaged cells. We all have experienced swollen lymph glands. This happens because when bacteria or other threats to the immune system appear, our lymph nodes produce more white blood cells, which causes them to swell. Swollen lymph glands mean the body is doing its job of fighting off infection. On average, we have between 400-700 lymph nodes.
The lymphatic system has no pump to move lymph through our bodies. It relies on regular body movement (exercise) and breathing to move lymph through our bodies and to our lymph nodes. That is why people who do not exercise regularly or are too sedentary, or who eat too many processed foods may have lymphatic systems that are working improperly. With compromised lymphatic systems, people become more susceptible to infection and disease. Have you known people who always seem to get sick? By stimulating the lymph nodes manually through massage, these blockages are cleared and their lymphatic systems get a boost to help it run more smoothly and more effectively.
What to expect
Lymphatic drainage is a specialized hand technique that consists of very gentle and rhythmic movements. Each stroke gently and slightly moves the skin in the direction that lymph flows. The goal of manual lymphatic drainage is to encourage the drainage of your body’s waste and toxins. Because it is so gentle, it is very relaxing and soothing. After your lymphatic drainage massage, it is important to drink plenty of water, and to avoid too much salt and any alcohol.
Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Detox: Manual Lymphatic Drainage can help detox the body from too many starchy foods, or from not getting enough rest, or from not getting enough exercise.
Headache: Many headaches are the result of sinusitis. This congestion responds well to lymphatic drainage. Once the tissues are decongested, blocked fluid and circulation improve, which reduces pain and discomfort.
Promote healing: After surgery or injury, our tissues are swollen and sore. Lymphatic drainage will help drain the tissues, reducing inflammation and improving healing at the same time.
Reduce swelling: After long periods of not moving, such as air travel, fluid tends to stagnate in the tissues, making them puffy and tender. This puffiness and tenderness responds well to manual lymphatic drainage.
Reduces scar tissue: Manual lymphatic drainage helps tissues regenerate to reduce scarring after surgical incision sites.