By Jenny Nickerson, LMT
Certified Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist
If your experience with the lymphatic system is limited to the doctor checking your lymph nodes as part of a routine office visit, maybe you should think about trying a lymphatic drainage massage. Proper lymph movement and lymph functioning is essential for overall health. Massage can support the lymphatic system, which helps maintain your health.
The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system. It is one of a number of systems of your body. The lymphatic system is composed of lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and organs. Part of the body’s defense system, the lymph nodes remove microorganisms and other foreign substances. They act as a filtration system that keeps particulate matter, such as bacteria, from entering the bloodstream.
Stimulating the lymphatic system through manual lymphatic drainage will activate all of the above functions as well as encourage fluid circulation and cell regeneration. Both actions promote detoxification, facilitate healing and support the immune system.
What is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Lymphatic drainage massage is a specific type of massage designed to aid the lymphatic system which uses the hands and fingers to create wave-like movements. These movements are light, rhythmic movements moving toward the lymph nodes and simulate the natural flow of the lymphatic system, which drains waste and debris throughout the body. People with medical needs and those who are healthy can both benefit from this type of massage.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage benefits are numerous and include:
Clearing areas of congestion such as swollen ankles, puffy eyes and swollen legs
Promotion of scar tissue healing, torn ligaments and sprains.
Swelling relief following plastic surgery
Treatment of lymphedema and other conditions arising from venous insufficiency
Improving chronic conditions such as sinusitis and arthritis,
Lymphatic drainage massage can be especially relaxing because they can reduce pain levels in the body. The International Alliance of Healthcare Educators states that the rhythm, pressure and motion of lymphatic drainage massage work together to reduce pain and stress and to promote general vitality and well-being.