Lymphatic Massage is commonly referred to as Lymphatic Drainage. Lymphatic drainage is a gentle, rhythmical massage treatment performed by a specially trained lymphatic massage therapist to stimulate the circulation of lymph fluid around the body. This helps to rapidly speed up the removal of wastes and toxins from a sluggish lymphatic system. Lymphatic massage can also aids in the prevention of swelling after injury or surgery. It is also thought to provide a major boost to your immune system.
How Does Lymphatic Drainage Help You?
Lymphatic massage aims to increase the efficiency of your lymphatic and circulatory system. By reducing the volume of retained fluid and the pressure associated, it can reduce the risk of impeded circulation. This increases your circulatory system’s capacity to rapidly move out retained fluids and any toxic waste build ups. In some cases, we have found that a patient feels quite “energized” post-drainage.
Lymphatic massage improves circulation, increases your metabolic rate, and. Has the potential to improve your immunity. It has also been shown to be very beneficial in post-operative conditions that affect your lymphatic systems such as post-mastectomy. 25-33% of all breast cancer sufferer develop lymphoedema. (Kelly D 2008, Stubblefield M 2011)
What Conditions May Benefit from a Lymphatic Massage
Some of the conditions that may benefit from lymphatic drainage massage include:
- Swollen legs or arms due to fluid retention;
- Swelling of a limb: pre or post-surgery;
- Lymphoedema. (Hock K, Colby L 2012);
- Post-mastectomy or breast cancer treatment. (Torres Lacomba M et al 2010);
- Breast tenderness & congestion;
- Fibromyalgia & Lupus;
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome;
- Depression & Anxiety;
- Hormonal & emotional imbalances;
- Cellulite fat accumulation, and,
- Recurrent infections such as colds, flu, tonsillitis, sinus & yeast infections.
What is the Duration of a Lymphatic Massage Session?
Lymphatic massage sessions range from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the condition being treated. We recommend that your initial lymphatic massage session is a 60 minute session to stimulate your lymphatic flow. This will stimulate drainage in one limb. If treating more than two or more limbs, we recommend a 90 minute consultation initially. Your lymphatic drainage massage therapists will guide you for your follow up care based on how you respond to the massage and their experience.
What to Expect at your first Lymphatic Massage Treatment
In your first session, your lymphatic massage therapist will gain a thorough history & understanding of your condition to ascertain how to effectively treat your specific condition. Lymphatic massage is performed on a massage table. Towels are used to protect your modesty. The massage strokes used in the massage are light and rhythmic, and the lymphatic massage should not be painful. Massage oil may or may not be used.
At the completion of your massage, your massage therapist may recommend compression garments. Inf recommended this will be thoroughly explained to you. You may also be provided some tips on exercises, self-massage, skin brushing & compression bandaging that will continue to assist in lymphatic drainage process. Your therapist will encourage you to ask questions so that you are fully informed of the process.
What is the Lymphatic System?
Your lymphatic system’s major roles is to collect excess fluid from the tissues, purify it and return it to the blood stream. This role is important because many substances are continuously leaking out of the blood capillaries into the surrounding tissues. When your lymphatic system fails to sweep up these excess fluids, they can accumulate, cause swelling and potentially increase the risk of infection. An efficient lymphatic system helps to defend your body against germs such as bacteria, viruses & fungi that may cause illness. Luckily, an effective lymphatic systems silently works in the background keeping you healthy.
The lymphatic system drains the fluid into specific regions of your body such as your armpits and groin where there is a concentration of lymph nodes. The lymph nodes contain lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) & some of these lymphocytes contain antibodies that fight off germs (including cancer cells) & stops infection from spreading throughout the body. The good news is that lymphatic massage rapidly speeds up your lymphatic system and its capacity to fight disease and viruses, remove toxins and waste products, reduce swelling, filter lymph fluid and your blood, leading to your better health.
Lymphatic massage is a specialised treatment that requires additional qualifications. If you are interested in lymphatic drainage, please ensure that your massage therapist is appropriately qualified.