Everyday Living, Fitness, health, New Face of 60, SUPER AGERS, WELLNESS

WHAT IS LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE?

PHOTO: THE MANOR IN TANZANIA

I’ve been a HUGE fan of massage FOREVER. I love to slide in and slip under the heated blanket and drool for 75 minutes. Most of the time, the massage therapist has to come in repeatedly and ask me to wake up…….I think you get the picture!

So….lately I’ve been hearing about the benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage. It sounds less soothing and more about “wringing” out, right?! I began to investigate. Here is what I found out. Turns out, it’s a very gentle method of massage that encourages drainage of excess fluids which can be trapped in your system for a myriad of reasons.

The fluid in the lymphatic system helps remove waste and toxins from the bodily tissues. Some health conditions can cause lymph fluid to build up. Lymphatic drainage massages can benefit people with lymphedema, fibromyalgia, and other conditions.

In this article, we explain the benefits of lymphatic massage, the people who may benefit from using it, and how they can prepare for and perform this type of massage at home.

What are the benefits?

Lymphatic massage on the fingers

Lymphatic massage can improve circulation and reduce swelling.

While the heart continuously pumps blood through the blood vessels, the lymphatic system relies on the movement of smooth muscles to transport fluid through the lymph vessels.

Health conditions can interrupt the normal flow of lymph, causing lymph fluid to build up in a particular area of the body, often in the arms or legs, where it can causing swelling. This condition is called lymphedema.

People can develop lymphedema as a result of infections, cancer treatments that involve the removal of lymph nodes, and any condition that damages the lymphatic system.

Lymphatic massage can reduce swelling and improve circulation throughout the lymphatic system. Lymphatic massage usually forms part of a treatment program called decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT).

DLT for lymphedema includes:

  • lymphatic drainage massage
  • compression garments
  • exercise
  • skin care

Who can benefit?

Lymphatic drainage massage can benefit people who are experiencing the following:

  • lymphedema
  • fibromyalgia
  • swelling or edema
  • skin disorders
  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • stress
  • digestive problems
  • arthritis
  • migraine episodes

The authors of a 2015 systematic review concluded that lymphatic massage might be more effective than connective tissue massage in relieving symptoms of stiffness and depression in people living with fibromyalgia.

People should not have a lymphatic massage if they have congestive heart failure, blood clots, kidney problems, infections, or circulation problems. If a person has any medical conditions, they should talk to a doctor before trying a lymphatic massage.

HAVE YOU TRIED THIS METHOD OF MASSAGE? DID YOU FEEL IT WORKED? WHAT WERE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?

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