How Does Lymphatic Drainage Massage Work?
Lymphatic drainage massage often entails two stages of lymphatic massage: clearing and absorption.
During the clearing phase, the Lymphatic Drainage Massage Therapist creates a sort of suction by applying a gentle stretching technique closest to the lymph nodes to prep the area for increased fluid. This creates a flushing effect. Meanwhile, during the second phase of the massage, (the re-absorption phase), the practitioner will release the stretch motion to shift the top layer of the skin to assist the body with re-absorption.
During the massage, the patient is usually situated on a massage table in a warm room, as heat is important to promote relaxation and the increase of lymphatic flow.I will typically begin with a series of very light-pressured, gentle, long, rhythmic strokes and soft pumping movements maneuvering their way up from the feet and in the direction of the lymph nodes. The main lymph nodes include the armpits, groin, and neck.
Your session can last anywhere from forty-five to sixty minutes. According to studies, most patients experience the greatest reduction in swelling during the first week of treatment, with results holding steady the second week.
You may notice that you are more thirsty than usual, at which time you should also consume plenty of water which will further aid in the release of toxins and replenish your body. Lymphatic massage is gentle, does not cause pain, and does not have a stimulating effect. Some of the benefits of lymphatic drainage massage are:
- Absorbs excess fluid, proteins, electrolytes, toxins and foreign substances from the interstitial compartments (tissue space around the cells)
- Recovers and returns substances to the blood circulation that have escaped from the blood compartment into the tissues
- Regulates the fluid volume and pressure in a tissue
- Carries food components to the cells
In addition, your Lymphatic Drainage Massage Therapist can also utilize this technique to help reduce water retention. If the body is stagnant for some time, it hinders the lymph system from flowing easily, which in turn may induce swelling in the hands and feet.