What Is Lymphatic Massage?
The lymphatic system is the system of tissues, vessels, and organs that work in conjunction to maintain fluid levels in our body, support immune function, and keep blood circulating. The system carries lymph, a clear fluid that contains proteins, waste, fat cells, and metabolized cells through the body which is filtered through the lymph nodes. Waste is removed from the body as clean lymph circulates back through. When the lymphatic system isn’t moving lymph through the body properly, excess fluid in the body builds up, causing edema and creating a puffy, uncomfortable look and feel.
Lymphatic drainage massage was developed to treat lymphedema, a condition of accumulated fluid within the body. This swelling often happens when medical treatment or illness blocks your lymphatic system. A trained massage therapist can manually massage the body in a way to push lymph through the body, breaking up areas of swelling and reducing excess fluid in the body. In short, lymphatic drainage massage is a form of gentle massage that encourages the drainage of lymph nodes and the movement of lymph fluids around the body. These lymph fluids help remove waste and toxins from the body.
Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage:
Your lymphatic system is key to healing, regenerating tissues, and removing toxins from the body. When the body has experienced stress, such as fighting off illness, healing from an infection, or experiencing emotional stress, the lymphatic system can slow down. Manual lymphatic massage helps “re-start” the system of moving lymph through the body and can provide a variety of benefits, including:
• More efficient healing from illness, injury, or surgery
• Supports relaxation and relieves stress
• Reduces scar formation by boosting healing responses
• Removes excess water and metabolic waste from the tissues in the body
• Reduces swelling and fluid retention
• Improves skin quality and provides a more vibrant appearance
How a Lymphatic Massage is Performed?
Only trained professionals should provide lymphatic massage. In New York State, licensed massage therapists are ONLY permitted to use our hands. ABSOLUTELY NO machines or tools during manual lymph drainage massage.
These massage movements should promote circulation and healing by pushing the fluid toward the heart. The pressure used should affect only the skin, meaning gentle pressure is mandated. In addition, there should be no pain or skin reddening, and NO lotions or other products are to be used, only the hands.
Post-Surgical (Cosmetic/Non-Cosmetic) Lymphatic Drainage Massage:
One of the side effects of surgery is swelling. This is a normal inflammatory response and a part of the healing process as fluid rushes to the area to nourish it with white blood cells. Body procedures, particularly tummy tucks and liposuction, often cause additional swelling as excess fluid and fat cells will harden within a few weeks of surgery. Lymphatic massage helps to move the fluid that has built up and allows it to move back into the lymphatic passages where excess waste and fluid can be flushed from the body. This prevents fibrosis, which is the development of thick, fibrous scar tissue under the skin as well as reduces swelling and bruising. Many doctors highly recommend lymphatic drainage massage after surgery to help alleviate the pain, speed up the healing process and enhance the procedure results.
Benefits Of Post Surgical Massage:
• Enhances circulation.
• Improves lymph flow, which decrease swelling and edema.
• Decrease bruising.
• Prevent and decrease severity of fibrosis.
• Decrease scaring.
• Decrease pain.
• Increase comfort and movement.
• Better sleep.
• Improved recovery time.
• Eliminates toxins from the body including anesthesia and cellular debris.
• Promotes the healing of incisions.
• Carries white blood cells and proteins to the blood.
• Improves overall results of liposuction surgery.
• The skin and tissues are hydrated more efficiently, thus achieving a better appearance.
• Improves overall health of the body.
Will You Re-Open My Sutures To Drain Fluid?
Absolutely NOT! This is NOT Lymph Drainage Massage! A new style of “Lymphatic Massage,” referred to as Brazilian Lymphatic Massage, has surged in the last few years. In this ILLEGAL procedure, the surgical holes are reopened, and blood and plasma fluid are pushed out of the open wounds. In addition to the huge infection risk, the fluid is squeezed against the bodies lymphatic system which, coupled with the deep pressure, causes more pain, swelling, and can lead to a Seroma. (A mass or lump caused by a buildup of clear fluid in a tissue, organ, or body cavity.) Re-opening wounds, removing drain Tubes and needle aspirations require a medical license. A massage therapist is not trained or permitted by law to perform these procedures. When any of these procedures are performed, the chances of infection are increased significantly. They should be avoided at all costs!!