What is a Lymphatic Massage, How it Works and its Benefits

The lymphatic massage is a rather gentle massage technique. The aim of this massage technique is to promote the draining of lymph from various tissues in the body.

Even though it is a popular technique, care should be taken when performing it on individuals suffering from certain diseases. Let’s look at lymphatic massage in detail:

What Is The Purpose Of A Lymphatic Massage?

The lymphatic massage is a unique therapy technique. Even its main purpose is quite different from most others. Most massage therapy techniques aim to stimulate the body’s muscles. However, the lymphatic massage technique specifically aims at detoxifying the body.

The purpose of this massage therapy technique is to manipulate the body and encourage it to move fluids through its muscles and tissues. This causes various toxins stored in the tissues to move out. As a result, the lymph becomes healthier. Of course, it also causes the body to have a healthier immune system and also results a substantial boost to overall energy levels.

One of the main misconceptions about this type of massage is that it is only used for releasing toxins from the body. However, the purpose of the lymphatic massage extends far beyond just toxin release. There are many people who enjoy lymphatic massage due to its relaxing properties.

There are quite a few therapists who use the lymphatic massage to cure sports-related injuries. In short, the lymphatic massage therapy technique is quite like most others therapies in the sense that it can be used for multiple purposes.

What is The Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic massage therapy uses the body’s own ability to heal itself and eliminate ailments. This massage encourages the body to enhance this natural capability which could cause it to ward off diseases and heal itself. It is known as the lymphatic massage because it stimulates the lymphatic system which is a network within the human body.

This network is responsible for carrying fluids throughout the body. These fluids are not blood and are actually known as interstitial fluid. The interstitial is a clear fluid that that circulates around the body. It travels via the organs, nodes and ducts to and improves overall immunity.

When these fluids are distributed across the body, it develops the strength to fight off infections and viruses. The lymph fluids also help the body to driving out toxins stored in the body and acts like a cleanser. However, unlike blood which is pumped into the body by the heart, there is no central pump for the lymph fluid.

The interstitial fluid depends on the body’s natural movements to move around. The most common movements that help the lymph fluid in circulating around the body are breathing and physical manipulation.

How Does Lymphatic Massage Work?

The lymphatic massage is usually required when the interstitial fluid gathers up in a single spot of the body. This situation is known as lymphedema and it can cause swelling and discomfort.
The usual spots where the lymph fluids gather up are the arms or legs. If this situation is not treated quickly, it can develop into an abscess or an infection.

There aren’t many treatments for this condition. However, the lymphatic massage is widely considered to be one of the most effective and safest methods of treating lymphedema. The lymphatic massage has to be performed by a CMLDT. A CMLDT or Certified Manual Lymph Drainage Therapist is commonly a nurse or a therapist who has received special training.

There are many types of traditional massage techniques used in the Lymphatic massage. These techniques are combined with pumping movements and the application of light pressure. These movements are applied directly to the lymph nodes which cause the stored fluid to move outwards.

Once the fluid makes its way out of the muscles, it is cleansed and circulated to other parts of the body. One of the most important aspects of a lymphatic massage is to drink water afterwards. This helps in flushing the toxins released by the body. Water hydrates the body and helps in getting rid of the toxins as soon as possible.

The Benefits of Getting a Lymphatic Massage

There are many advantages to getting a lymphatic massage. There are many types of disorders that can be cured by this massage technique.

Moreover, it may also train the body to fight against infections and viruses. In other words, it could strengthen the body’s immune system. Here is a list of issues that can be cured or prevented if you get a lymphatic massage:

  • Infections related to cold and flu
  • Pain caused due to arthritis
  • Pain resulting from cramps during menstruation
  • Pain that is caused when women are breastfeeding

It could also:

  • Increase appetite
  • Give a substantial boost to metabolism
  • Eliminate the feeling of fatigue
  • Eliminate the feeling of depression
  • Help in curing sports related injuries by increasing circulation in injured areas

In addition to these issues that a lymphatic massage can treat or prevent, there is another substantial benefit of this therapy. There are many individuals who prefer this type of massage therapy to be done right before surgery.

Getting a lymphatic massage prior to surgery could boost the healing process post-surgery. It may come as a surprise, but lymphatic massage therapy also cures cosmetic issues.

Challenges in Getting a Lymphatic Massage

There are many advantages to getting a lymphatic massage. However, there are quite a few cons of this amazing massage therapy technique as well. For example, lymphatic massage therapy could reduce the chances of curing breast cancer.

However, no study has been able to conclusively prove this yet. But, individuals who are undergoing chemotherapy should avoid getting a lymphatic massage therapy in any case. If such individuals do get a lymphatic massage, their body may not be able to absorb the medicines being given to them.

Also, people with tumors or cardiac diseases should avoid this massage as well. In rare cases, the lymph nodes may assist the spread of cancer. So, medical advice should be sought prior to seeking this type of massage therapy.

If you want to broaden your massage therapy practice, you should consider getting training to administer lymphatic massage and become an authorized CMLDT.

You can utilize our database of massage schools near you and request information for free today. The information you get will allow you to determine whether the school is the right fit for you. All information is free if you request it through our database here.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

Posted in Types of Massage Techniques

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