Transform your body from within. Think of lymphatic massage as the Marie Kondo for your body. Just like decluttering your personal space or organising your wardrobe, lymphatic massage helps clear out the build-up of toxins and waste in your body’s systems. It’s like hitting the reset button, and there are certain times you need it more than others. Here, we pinpoint the best times to undergo lymphatic massage and how this rejuvenating therapy can work wonders to restore your body’s natural balance, promote detoxification, and enhance your well-being.
Lymphatic drainage massage, also known as manual lymphatic drainage, relieves swelling that happens when medical treatment or illness blocks your lymphatic system. Lymphatic drainage massage involves gently manipulating specific areas of your body to help lymph move to an area with working lymph vessels. It has become increasingly popular for its internal detoxification and external aesthetic benefits.
What is The Lymphatic System?
It’s a network of lymph nodes and vessels that drain excess fluid, metabolic waste, and toxins from the body. It’s a part of the immune system and is complementary to the circulatory system. However, unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump with which fluid can be moved, so it must be stimulated manually through methods like lymphatic massage.
This technique begins by stimulating lymph nodes, then performing manual massage techniques with soft pressure along the lymphatic pathway. This move fluid from the body’s tissues to the lymph nodes, then to urinary tract where it can be eliminated.
The massage has many benefits, including:
- Reducing bloating and fluid retention
- Reducing the appearance of cellulite
- A visual slimming, contouring, and sculpting effect
- Enhancing circulation
- Decreasing inflammation and swelling
- Promoting digestive health
- Boosting the immune system
- After a Workout
A post-workout lymphatic massage can aid in muscle recovery, reduce inflammation, and promote circulation, allowing you to feel refreshed and revitalised.
*TIP* Before and after a massage, avoid alcohol, as the muscles will be softer immediately afterward and may lead to overstretching and injury.
- Prepping for a Special Event
Treat yourself to a lymphatic massage before a wedding, party, or important event to feel confident and rejuvenated. A lymphatic drainage massage gently helps move your lymph fluid throughout your tissues and organs, ramping up your immune system, reducing stress and fatigue, and flushing out excess fluid. The results, as growing research suggests, are better-functioning organs and overall health. Plus, the nearly immediate de-bloat is pretty amazing.
*TIP* If you can’t work this into a consistent routine, try incorporating it into the day before a special event for a little energy boost.
- Pre- and Post-Surgical Procedures
It can aid in the healing process after surgeries or medical procedures, helping to minimise swelling and promote faster recovery. Miami plastic surgeon Adam J Rubinstein, MD recommends the Ballancer Pro lymphatic massage system for all of his post-procedure care: “This high-tech system offers a precise lymphatic massage using air cells that inflate and deflate according to specific algorithms, effectively reducing edema and promoting fluid drainage.” The state-of-the-art suit comes in two parts, a jacket and pants, and the treatment can be customised depending on the procedure that was performed.
*TIP* While the lymphatic massage protocol typically begins the day after surgery, Dr. Rubinstein recommends starting before the procedure. “We usually start a pre-procedure protocol so you can milk out the edema from the tissue before you have your surgery. Then afterwards, you can do the same thing to get rid of that post-inflammatory edema.”
- When Overwhelmed with Stress and Anxiety
Lymphatic massage activates our parasympathetic nervous system, relieving pain, calming anxiety, and reducing stress. When stress and anxiety take a toll on your well-being, a lymphatic massage can be a wonderful self-care practice to restore inner balance and find a moment of tranquillity.
Naturally, you can use your hands to manually manipulate the lymphatic vessels, but it takes a deeper understanding of the pathways and plenty of patience to consistently gauge and apply the correct pressure throughout your routine.
*TIP* Lymphatic massage can be performed daily with the best time being before you go to bed and after you shower.
- For Weight Loss and Body Contouring
Massage combined with fists for deeper work aids lymphatic drainage and reduces inflammation. Laser therapy, combined with hands-on massage, is common for the ultimate body contouring result. If you’re on a weight-loss journey or seeking to tone and shape your body, incorporating lymphatic massage into your routine can complement your efforts and enhance results.
*TIP* To maximise the benefits of lymphatic massage for weight loss and body contouring, consider incorporating dry brushing into your routine. Dry brushing before your lymphatic massage helps stimulate blood flow, exfoliate the skin, and enhance lymphatic drainage. Remember to moisturise skin afterwards to keep it hydrated and nourished. Try Dreem Distillery Among the Stars body oil for ultimate hydration.
- Rejuvenating Your Complexion
Lymphatic massage can contribute to healthier, clearer skin. It reduces inflammation, the precursor to aging and the cause of most skin concerns. It provides a clean environment for cells to function and receive nutrients, resulting in a clear and glowing complexion. Incorporating lymphatic massage into your skin-care routine can help address common skin concerns like rosacea, acne, congestion, and hyperpigmentation. The lymphatic system irrigates our tissue and filters and flushes excess fluid and cellular waster from the spaces between our cells. This provides a clean environment for them to function and receive the nutrients they need. For our face, that translates into a clear and glowing complexion.
*TIP* A few signs your lymphatic system needs a boost from head to toe: stress, insomnia, brain fog, dark circles, sinus congestion, acne, hyperpigmentation, sagging jowls, fluid retention under the chin, ringing in or tenderness around the ear, tension in your neck, wrinkles on the chest, breast tenderness, lack of flexibility, constipation, digestive issues, joint pain, shallow breathing, hip and back pain, heavy legs, swollen ankles and feet.
- Adam J Rubinstein, MD