Least sexy massage name ever for perhaps one of the best massages ever. Just what is lymphatic drainage and its benefits?
Before I dive into the wonders of a lymphatic drainage massage, maybe I need to enlighten you of what your lymphatic system is just in case you have never heard of this alternative health treatment before… after reading this you will definitely be heading out to your nearest lymphatic drainage therapist. (For Harrogatonians it is a lovely lady called Rachel at Fusionage Therapies )
What is our lymphatic system?
The white vessels in our body circulate lymph, a clear fluid that flows from our lymph nodes, through out our body. As you can see from the diagram there is a high concentration of nodes around our throat, armpits, abdominal and groin area. These nodes filter out and stop infection and other “invading” bodies – a bit like a waste filtration system. Lymph is to our lymphatic system what blood is to our circulatory system. While our circulatory system has the heart to pump and keep it moving and flowing… the lymphatic system depends on your skeletal muscular system moving it through your joints. If the lymph is not flowing freely then our system will block up with excess fluid and contamination (e.g. excess protein, debris, cells, etc). These blockages could cause swelling and become a breeding ground for infection.
So you can see why it is important for your lymphatic system to be flowing freely.
What a lymphatic drainage massage involves:
A certified massage therapist will apply a series of gentle, rhythmic tapping on your lymph nodes to stimulate them to open and drain. The massaging may be done by hand as well as by using a little suction cup that actually draws out the lymph. The treatment is very comfortable and is not invasive at all – no hose pipes attached to dubious areas as may have been envisaged by some of you! A typical session will involve drainage of the head, neck, abdomen and your extremities and will last anywhere from one hour to 90 minutes. It is a completely non-invasive “massage” consisting of gentle stimulation in the areas of your lymphatic glands.
Don’t expect to be kneaded and pounded and stretched, this is a very gentle process involving tapping to stimulate the nodes and smoothing of the skin to get the lymph fluid moving.
The effects of a lymphatic massage
If you are in a sedentary job like me, maybe not exercising enough, you may feel “sluggish” and want to give your body a bit of an MOT. It is also great for getting your immune system working properly, reducing water retention (don’t expect your cellulite to disappear overnight!) and improve your metabolism. Plus it is a great way to DETOX.
Here are the astonishing “effects” I experience after just one treatment:
Day 1 – A very relaxing treatment, during which I felt my body tingling and literally felt the lymph fluid starting to circulate. A little tired in the evening but generally just relaxed. Increased intake of water. Didn’t want “unhealthy” foods or wine.
Day 2 – A pounding headache. Obviously the toxins that had been released through the movement of my lymph fluid were on the move. I also felt tired and emotional (I cried at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!!) Continued increased intake of fluid and did not want snack food.
Day 3 – Overrun by sheer fatigue. Do not plan anything strenuous the days after your massage – you just want to sleep. It can hit you any time soon after. Plus a little nauseous.
Day 4 – Not really tired anymore, still hungry for good food and thirsty. Visibly improved complexion.
Day 5 – A miracle. Everything seems easy. Exercise is easy. Concentrating is easy. No sense of fatigue. Like a teenager again without the angst!
Day 6 to Day 14 – A fortnight of mad unstoppable creativity and energy. A wrote a book, I made videos and audios, woke early, started exercising properly again, didn’t feel tired.
I am not sure if everyone experiences a flood of creativity, but I am sure it is related to my lymphatic massage. Clearing the toxins out of the body really peps you up, so you are working at 100%.
An amazing experience I would recommend to anyone:
I went for 3 sessions and would say you need at least 2 to ensure it works. You can also help yourself by exercising regularly, even jumping up and down helps!, or trying some DIY drainage techniques.
Keep your engine well serviced. Go for a body MOT and be ready for instant rejuvenation, increased productivity and endless creativity!