Learn How To Perform Lymphatic Drainage Massage Easily Using This Guide With Its Benefits
Ever heard of lymphatic drainage massage? It is a form of gentle massage in your body that encourages lymph fluids movement around the body. This fluid in the lymphatic system is helpful in the removal of toxins and waste accumulated in the tissues of the body.
There are some health conditions that cause the waster and toxins to built up inside lymph fluids. Lymphatic drainage massage is performed to get relief from lymphedema, fibromyalgia, or some other conditions.
By the end of this article, you will get to know the benefits of having a lymphatic drainage massage, who may benefit the most from this message, and how one can prepare and perform lymphatic drainage massage at home itself.
Benefits Of Lymphatic Drainage Massage
We all know the function of the heart. It is meant for supplying blood to all other parts of the body. The lymphatic system in our body relies upon the smooth muscle movement for transporting fluid across the lymph nodes.
The normal flow of fluid in our body is necessary to keep us healthy. Poor Heath conditions can interfere with normal flow in our body, this will in turn cause lymph fluids to accumulate and build up in a specific area in your body. This specific area is mostly in your legs or arms. When the fluid accumulates at one place it causes swelling in that region. This particular condition is called Lymphedema.
People often developed lymphedema due to some infections, treatment of cancer involving removal of lymph nodes, or any other type of health condition that might damage their lymphatic system. Lymphatic massage is specifically designed and introduced to reduce swelling in the body and increase blood circulation throughout one’s lymphatic system. Lymphatic drainage massage usually is considered as part of a treatment program known as DLT (decongestive lymphatic therapy).
This therapy given above for lymphedema includes the following:
- Lymphatic drainage massage
- Compression garments.
Who Should Try Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Ceratin diseases and health conditions are mentioned below. Anyone who suffers from the following and is willing to take treatment may include lymphatic drainage massage in their treatment.
- swelling or edema
- skin disorders
- Digestive disorders
- Migraine episodes
There was a systemic review done in the year 2015. It concluded that lymphatic drainage massage may be more effective in relieving the symptoms associated with depression and stiffness in many people living with fibromyalgia as compared to connective tissue massage.
If anyone has problems or health conditions like connective heart failure, kidney problems, blood clotting, circulation problems, or certain infections, they should NOT opt for lymphatic drainage massages. If you have decided to opt for this massage, make sure you are talking to a specialized doctor because it might have some serious effects on your health.
Now you know what is lymphatic drainage massage and who can benefit from this type of massage. If you like the idea of including this in your treatment regimen, follow the guide on how to perform lymphatic drainage massage.
How To Perform This Massage
If you have a severe health condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated by experts, it is recommended that you see doctors for the same. However, basic training can be given at home itself without professional help. Even if you are trying it at home, just discuss it with your doctor as you don’t want anything to go wrong with your lymphatic drainage massage.
Most of these exercises are planned either in standing, lying down, or sitting position. These are highly comfortable so you do not have to stress yourself out. Just keep the below-given tips in your mind while you are performing lymphatic drainage massage.
- The massage movements you are performing should be affecting your skin only, so you have to use gentle pressure while doing them, do not try and press too hard such that you feel the muscles underneath.
- Keep your hands and body relaxed.
- If some areas are infected or swollen, do not put pressure there and do not massage.
- Do not massage the regions of your body that have undergone any treatment before this. By treatment we mean cancer treatment with respect to massage.
- Drink extra fluids. The ideal number of glasses required is 2 to 4 after you are done with the massage, this will keep the toxins flushed out easily.
Once you keep all the tips given in mind, it is important to learn how to perform and prepare yourself.
How To Get Ready
Below given are some methods that will help you out in stimulating the lymphatic system and preparing the lymph nodes for bringing more and more fluid before the massage.
Deep breathing is amazing and it acts like a pump that will move the fluid through lymph nodes and vessels in your body. You just have to follow these steps to get started.
- Place both your hands on the stomach.
- Inhale deeply through your nose, expand your stomach while you are inhaling and keep your shoulders still.
- Now slowly exhale through your mouth.
- Rest between the breathing process.
Preparing Front Of Your Neck
- Place middle finger and index finger of each hand on both sides of the neck just above the collarbone.
- Stretch your skin gently by sliding the fingers inwards towards the middle of your collarbone.
Preparing Side Of The Neck
- To prepare the side of your neck, place the palm of both hands on either side of your neck just below your ears
- Slowly move both your hands down and then back.
Preparing Back Of The Neck
- Place the palms of each of your hands on the back of the neck just below the hairline.
- Gently slide both hands together down your neck reaching your spine.
Preparing Under The Arms
Preparing the nymph nodes below your arms is very important too. It will help in accepting lymph fluids from various parts of the body. Do not perform the massage in this area if your doctor has treated for skin here. Just follow the steps to get started.
- Cup your palm under your armpit
- Gently pump your palm upwards and then towards your body
- Repeat the same procedure on another side of your arm too.
Preparing Behind The Knees
- Place both your hands behind your knee such that your fingers are pointing toward each other.
- Pump back of the knee using gentle force and pressure of your hands into the back f your knee and them rolling it upward.
- Repeat the same procedure on another knee as well.
Techniques For Upper Body Lymphatic Drainage Massage
You have to use the given techniques to help drain the fluid in from your upper body which includes your chest, upper arms, and shoulders. Work on each of these parts properly.
How to massage your chest
To massage your chest you need to place your palm to the opposite side of your chest and then slightly above the breast. Move your hands up from the chest and then over the collarbone. Keep practicing it to the neck until the skin that covers your chest feels a little tight and then release.
How to massage your shoulders
Take an armrest or a table and then rest your arms on it. Place your other hand on that shoulder of the resting arm and move your hand over the back of your shoulder and then towards the neck. Keep doing it.
How to massage upper arms
To massage your upper arms, all you need to do is take an armrest or a table. Place middle two fingers of one hand on the inside of the upper arm just below the shoulder. Now, gently and slowly slide your fingers towards the outside of your upper arm. You have to wrap your hand around the outside portion of the upper arm and then gently move your hand back towards the inside.
How to massage full arms
To massage full arms you have to begin at the shoulder. Using your palms for stretching the skin upward, move your hand down to your upper arm and then stretch your skin towards the shoulder. Keep doing it down the arm such that you are always moving your skin upward. Stop when you reach your wrist.
How to massage fingers
To massage your fingers you have to begin at the base of your swollen fingers located closer to your palm. You are supposed to use your thumb and index finger for stretching your skin of the finger towards the hand. Continue doing the same motion in your entire fingers. You have to keep in mind that you are directing the fluid towards your hands.
Techniques For Lower Body Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Once you have finished performing a lymphatic drainage massage on the upper body, it is your turn to proceed towards the lower body now. You have to begin massaging at the top of your legs and then keep going towards the foot. You may use a stool or a pillow to provide support while performing.
How to massage the upper legs
To massage your upper legs you need to start at the top of your legs and then put on the inner side of the opposite thigh where the groin is located. and then place another hand on your butt. Gently stretch your skin by moving your hands on the inside of one thigh toward the outside and then towards up. Then move your hand further down the legs. Keep repeating the stretching movement in this way and remember to stop when your reach your knee joint.
How To Massage the lower legs
In the last session, you finished lymphatic drainage massage at the start of your knee. Continue again below this point. Place your hand on the shin and another hand on the back of your calf. Now keep stretching your skin by applying pressure gently. Keep doing the massage in this motion until you reach your ankle or top of the foot. Repeat the same with another leg too. While massaging, make sure you are using upward strokes.
How to massage your toes
To massage your toes you just have to use your thumb and index finger. Gently guide the fluid in the toes towards your foot and repeat on the other leg too.
In this way, you can easily use lymphatic drainage massage on your upper body and lower body.
Once you have learned the basics of lymphatic drainge massage you might be thinking that while performing this at home how do we know that it’s working for us. These thoughts are very common. Let us see how to find out if the lymphatic drainage massage is working properly for you or not.
Is The Massage Working For You?
People who have used lymphatic drainage massage have often seen a reduction in the amount of swelling they bad before and after using it. While it has worked pretty well for most people, some people have reported that it hasn’t done any good to them while few cases have seen their condition worsening. This usually happens when they do not perform it the right way.
People who have conditions like lymphedema should try to use it as often as they can. You may use sleeves or compression socks for performing lymphatic drainage massage to prevent more swelling.
People using lymphatic drainage massage for treating fibromyalgia may experience a little bit of pain and stiffness and also witness some improvement in their health status overall.
People who perform lymphatic drainage massage have seen a lot of changes in their lymphatic system functioning and this has helped them remove toxins and waste from their body. You have to perform these tips along with using the massage.
- Drink a lot of water to remove toxins
- Try to stay physically active as much as possible by doing small changes in your routine.
- Try to include more veggies and fruits in your diet.
- Do not eat highly processed food items.
Benefits Of Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Lymphatic drainage massage has amazing benefits for which you can use it. Some of the major benefits include the following:
- It helps in skincare. It helps in lessening the number of fine lines and clearing one’s complexion when used on the face. It also helps reducing puffiness around the eyes. If you have old scars, you may use them to reduce their appearance on the face. Many times it is used after cosmetic surgeries too.
- Helps in detoxification. After a time of stressing yourself out, this massage helps you reduce the sluggishness and remove toxins. You can also use it as a means to reduce the fatigue caused by the food, having high starch, or processed food materials.
- It helps to relieve headaches. Mostly when you have a headache the reason could be sinusitis which has a compound of congestion that counters well to drainage of the lymphatic system. Once these tissues are decongested inside the body, the fluid blocked releases. It helps in reducing the pain and increases comfort after improvement in the flow of blood.
- It also promotes healing. Many surgeries involve swelling of tissues. After performing this massage, you can reduce inflammation and improve the healing process.
- There is often retention of fluid in pregnant women. Using lymphatic drainage massage gently can be useful in comforting feet and legs. Problems with sore tight breasts and blocked ducts can also be reduced once this massage is used.
- Provides relaxation to the body. As we have seen till now that this massage involves rubbing and massaging your body gently, due to this gentle pressure we can say that lymphatic drainage massage is one of the most relaxing massages. It helps to clear stress and rejuvenating your body.
- It helps immensely in reducing all types of swellings. After a long duration of being immobile while traveling or being less mobile, the fluid in our body tends to stagnate inside the tissue making the tissue tender and puffy. Some health conditions such as arthritis often involve congestion of fluid inside the tissues. People having such conditions can use this massage to get relief from pain and swelling.
These were the 7 most amazing benefits that one can receive if they perform lymphatic drainage massage regularly. However, people having severe swelling and health conditions should not try this massage without consulting a therapist or doctor. Also, if you have some therapies going on related to cancer or severe diseases, it is suggested to take routine check-ups and discuss with doctors if you can proceed with massage or not.
The Bottom Line
People can use lymphatic drainage massage to reduce any selling and for improving circulation. For good health overall, your lymphatic system should be healthy and functioning properly.
You may speak to your therapist to find out the different benefits of using lymphatic drainage massage. They will guide you well with all the massage techniques and help you achieve a healthy lymphatic system.