Lymphatic Drainage – More necessary than you think!
Most of us do all kinds of things these days to try and improve our overall health and improve the natural function of our bodies. We try to eat a healthier diet, kick unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking too much alcohol and add some form of exercise to our routines. Then we visit the doctor who checks how are bodies are working. All great things but there is one very important part of the human body’s function that many people overlook – Lymphatic Drainage.
What is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Lymphatic drainage is a delicate form of massage that stimulates the body’s lymphatic system, improving the metabolism, helping the body to eliminate waste and toxins and providing a boost to the immune system. Lymphatic drainage massage is a therapeutic massage treatment that uses very light pressure, long, gentle, rhythmic strokes combined with soft pumping movements in the direction of the lymph nodes to increase lymphatic flow. It is very relaxing and should not be painful in any way.
What does the Lymphatic System Do?
A great deal of the human body is made up of liquid. A lot of that liquid is found in the body in the form of blood but even more of it exists in the form of lymph fluid. Our lymphatic vessels run parallel to our veins and are filled with lymph, which if you were to look at it has a yellowish appearance. This fluid is designed to feed all of the cells in our bodies transporting and delivering all the essential nutrients that each cell needs to survive. At the same time lymph then carries away toxins and waste from the cells so that they can be expelled from the body. When the lymphatic system is not functioning properly lymph fluid builds up, causing painful swelling, the formation of fibrous tissue and damage to the immune system which just cannot function efficiently any more.
How Long Does a Lymphatic Drainage Massage Take?
The process can take anywhere from 30 minutes with the masseur concentrating on a localised area, to two hours when working on the whole body.
Who Can Benefit From Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
For some people the need for Manual Lymphatic drainage is obvious because they suffer from Lymphoedema a medical condition, often as a result of the cancer treatments, trauma and other surgery that results in painful swelling in the torso or limbs. This kind of treatment is most effective when it is comprised of skin care, bandaging, compression garments and Manual Lymphatic Drainage.
Manual Lymphatic drainage massage can also help those who are generally feeling run down and lacking in energy because of its immune system boosting benefits. It also helps to ward of illness, reduces puffiness caused by water retention, increases poor circulation, reduces pain from fractures, sprains and rheumatism, improves the appearance of the skin and can help those recovering from sports injuries as it can help clear the healing tissue of debris more effectively while helping encourage the healthy growth of new tissue.
Summary of Conditions that Manual Lymphatic Drainage is Helpful For:
- Stimulate the Immune System
- Recovering from Cold and Flu’s
- Generally Run Down and Low in Energy
- Renew Vitality
- Reduces Puffiness caused by Water Retention
- Improves Poor Lymph and Blood Circulation
- Improves the Appearance of Skin Complexion
- Improves the Appearance of Cellulite
- Reduction of Stretch Marks
- Reduces Stress
- Reduces Chronic Pain
- Helps with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Sleeping Disorders
- Toxic Chemical Poisoning
- Jet Lag
- Alcohol Hangover
- Detoxification from Fasting, Dieting, Tabacco Withdrawal and Withdrawal From Other Substance Dependency
- Assists the body to ‘reroute’ stagnant fluid such as oedema, primary (congenital) and secondary lymphoedema (caused by cancer treatments, trauma or surgery).
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Is Not For Everyone
Manual Lymphatic Drainage should not be used by people with acute inflammation, malignant tumours, thrombosis or major heart problems. Because of its effect on the immune system, people with untreated cancer, diabetes, thyroid or kidney problems, asthma or epilepsy should seek medical advice before treatment. It is also advisable that women do not undergo lymphatic drainage while menstruating.
You should always tell your therapist in advance if you
- Are pregnant or think you might be pregnant
- Have any medical conditions or are receiving any treatment or medication
- Have recently had an injury or operation
- Are allergic to anything, particularly skin allergies
- Have any broken skin or sores on your scalp as this may affect the kind of treatment you receive.
Before any massage treatment, avoid large meals or alcohol. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water, which will help your body to flush the toxins out of your body.
Lymphatic drainage is about flushing out your system; you can assist your body to do this every day by drinking plenty of water.