Your lymphatic system is an important part of your immune system, designed to rid the body of waste.
When functioning properly, it eliminates waste through respiratory movement and natural muscle contractions. Here in the Dominican Republic a lot of our patients will require manual drainage, which is the process of assisting the body after a trauma in ridding itself of cellular debris after surgery.
That being said, toxins, cellular waste, and fluid will build up when the lymphatic system and lymph nodes fail to properly drain. The lymphatic drainage massage is the most effective option, especially when you’ve had surgery.
Surgery damage can often lead to a condition called lymphedema, which is what we dont want as it developes into a heap of issues for us later.
Lymphatic drainage massage is a safe and effective technique to target lymph flow and breaks apart lymph congestion while also stimulating lymph and draining waste and fluid from the body. The process of manually assisting in this which is what our techs are trained to do often help the body recover faster and prevent infections from developing from toxin overload.
In this article, we will detail lymphatic drainage massage benefits. Read on to also learn how a lymph drainage massage is performed and when to avoid a lymphatic drainage massage.
What Are the Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Lymphatic drainage massage offers many important benefits. For instance, it stimulates the circulation of blood and lymph, and this moves tissue fluid into the lymph vessels from the tissues.
Research shows that lymphatic drainage massage can push up to 78% of stagnant lymph into circulation. One particular study from 2009 showed that lymphatic drainage massage led to significant improvements in pain intensity, pain pressure threshold, and health-related quality of life in women with primary fibromyalgia.
As a result, lymph drainage massage can help remove toxins and wastes from the tissues. Increased lymph flow will also help with immunity, reduce the risk of infection, and speed the healing of inflammation.
The relaxation brought on by lymphatic drainage massage may also help relieve headaches and reduce pain, depression, stress, fatigue, and insomnia. Moreover, deep abdominal drainage massage can decrease abdominal pain and constipation and restore intestinal peristalsis.
The following offers further detail on some of the lymphatic drainage massage benefits.
1. Benefits Edema
Lymphatic drainage massage is effective for edema and lymphedema. Edema is the abnormal accumulation of fluid in various tissues of the body, whereas lymphedema is due to a buildup of fluid and toxins in the lymphatic system.
Although lymph drainage massage can reduce edema, it can also aggravate severe conditions in which edema is a symptom. Some severe causes of edema include cirrhosis, kidney disease, and congestive heart failure.
If you do not know the cause of your chronic edema, consult a doctor before getting lymphatic drainage massage.
2. Before and after Surgery
Lymph drainage massage is also used before and after surgery, especially cosmetic procedures. It is able to increase blood flow, remove stagnant tissue fluid, and reduce stress and anxiety associated with surgery.
After surgery, lymphatic drainage massage will speed healing and reduce scar tissue and inflammation. It should not be performed immediately after surgery, however, due to the risk of blood clots and infection. Wait at least six weeks after surgery, or when a doctor clears you for lymphatic massage.
3. Strengthens Immunity
Since the immune system is directly linked to the lymphatic system, lymphatic drainage massage can stimulate white blood cell circulation, improve immune system function, and increase antibody production. This will fight off infections like colds or flu and reduce inflammation.
People who are prone to getting sick are also encouraged to get lymphatic drainage massage on a regular basis. The general recommendation is a daily massage for one week or one massage weekly for a three-month timeframe.
4. Relieves Tension and Stress
Stress is known to trigger the sympathetic nervous system, and this causes muscles to tense up and increases respiratory and heart rates. However, lymphatic drainage massage will trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which is known to relax muscles and slow the heart and respiratory rates.
5. Enhances Skin Health
Lymphatic drainage massage could also improve unhealthy skin due to poor circulation. This massage technique will stimulate blood circulation, bring nutrients to the skin, and remove toxins and wastes from skin cells.
The massage is known to be useful for eczema, rosacea, and acne, although it’s best to avoid this massage during the acute stage of any skin problem. Also avoid lymphatic drainage massage when skin is infected or inflamed, which could include heat, redness, pain, or swelling symptoms. This is because your skin problem may spread to other areas that are not infected.
6. Improves Recovery
Lymphatic drainage massage improves comfort in the legs and feet during after surgery, and it also enhances the speed of recovery after surgery.
Some women experience complications while recovering, often due to the body building up too much fluid and improperly removing cellular waste. As a result, inflamed tissue and muscles become sore and painful, and the lymph ducts become blocked.
However, lymphatic drainage massage will help reduce swelling, improve blocked ducts, and decrease soreness in the tissue and muscles. This then leads to better healing.
How Is Lymphatic Drainage Massage Done?
How does lymphatic drainage massage work? There are two stages of lymphatic drainage massage—clearing and reabsorption. The idea here is to create a vacuum with gentle pressure so the area is prepared to flush out fluid.
This section will briefly explain how the clearing and reabsorption processes work.
In this process, there are three stages:
First, Our masseuse will clear the front area, located under the collarbone. While laying you on a comfortable, flat surface with arms down or crossed and your hands resting below the collarbone or at your side. Then you will lift your elbows slowly. This muscle action is the pressure required to prepare the area for flushing lymphatic fluid.
Next, they will clear the axillary area, which is found under the arms. For this, they will rest your hands above your head while clearing fluid from the underarm area from top to bottom.
Finally, they will clear all torso areas to help flush the fluid from the body to prevent too must debris from building up.
They will apply gentle pressure, and perform these clearing motions, pushing the waste to the nodes to be removed naturally or manually. When done naturally the body takes all the accumulated fluids and eliminates them through urination. Immediately following surgery this process is done manually by expressing the fluid from the body via syringe.
These massages will be repeated daily. It is not a comfortable process and patients can faint due to the treatment which is why we keep you prepared with fresh water and air to assist you in the treatment. this is a very important part of your recovery and it must be performed a minimum of ten times before your return flight. this ensures the body has all the tools it needs to continue the flushing process and keep you healing safely.
When Should You Avoid Lymphatic Massages?
There are circumstances in which you should avoid lymphatic drainage mass