Yes, we are talking about Lymphatic Drainage! With a slow rhythm and light pressure, this relaxing massage technique has a vast array of benefits. It can stimulate your immune system, improve tissue oxygenation and help you to eliminate any fluid retention within the body. Lymphatic Drainage also works on slowing down the ageing process and can boost skin tone for that beautiful glowing effect.
What is the lymphatic system is responsible for?
Nutrients, water and waste products are constantly being exchanged between cells and the fluid around them. The Lymphatic system works by removing any excess fluid, toxins and proteins from this fluid and drains it back into the blood circulation, promoting a process of detoxification. Defence cells located in the lymphatic system also screen the fluid and remove any foreign agents, protecting our body against infections.
The Lymphatic Drainage Technique
A light technique is used in combination with stimulation of the Lymph nodes and gentle strokes moving in the direction of the lymph flow. This method transports lymphatic fluid away from the congested area and toward the lymph nodes. These slow rhythmic strokes are gentle and are used to promote deep relaxation throughout the treatment. Compared to the other massage techniques, lymphatic drainage cannot be applied with firm pressure, does not cause any pain or discomfort and helps to accelerate sluggish lymphatic metabolism. Through the elimination of excess fluid congested with toxins, proteins and microorganisms, our cells can exchange oxygen in a more effective way, increasing the tissues nutrient supply.
Lymphatic drainage can be a powerful tool to reduce discomfort and improve circulation. Unlike all blood vessels, the superficial and delicate lymphatic vessels do not contain valves, which act in stopping back flow of fluid down its path. Therefore lymphatic fluid needs muscle power, such as massage or contraction to push it round the body. As a result, lack of exercise or prolonged periods of immobility (such as air travel or lack of mobility due illness) can cause fluid retention and that feeling of fatigue in our limbs.
Lymphatic drainage can be also used to reduce swelling after surgery and injury. As the technique is gentle with light pressure, it can be used safely to help our body to heal faster.
It is also a great to at reducing lymphedema, a common side effect of breast cancer surgery and radiation therapy. The technique can be applied to reduce pain, discomfort, reduce oedema, decrease inflammation and wash away the toxins after treatment.
Now that we know how lymphatic drainage works inside our body, how about we learn more about how to apply this treatment as a beauty regime?
An adequate supply of nutrients and oxygen to our skin cells is the most essential factor to obtain beautiful and healthy skin. Reducing fluid retention within the body increases the exchange of oxygen and helps eliminate unwanted waste products. This also assists in improving skin elasticity and increasing the skins tonus. Lymphatic drainage can help us to lessen the appearance of fine lines in facial tissue and can reduce the puffiness around the eyes. With no fluid retention, the appearance of cellulite is reduced as well.
Facial lymphatic drainage is a simple technique that can be used every day as part of our beauty routine. It can even be utilised when applying facial cream, resulting in beautiful, glowing and toxin free skin.
The benefits of lymphatic drainage can be improved in combination with other detoxification methods, such as a healthy diet, moderate consumption of sodium, physical activity and infrared sauna. The infrared wavelengths heat our body from the inside out, improving the circulation on a cellular level and helping to eliminate toxins. This can be used in preparation for a lymphatic drainage treatment to promote vasodilation, facilitating the move of the lymphatic fluid.
Written by Carolina Mori Pinto. Carolina is a Massage Therapist and Physiotherapist, graduating from her studies in Brazil. She is also a certified Mat Pilates Teacher, Acupuncture Therapist and specialist in postural re-education. Book a Lymphatics, Remedial or Relaxing massage with Carolina at pH Clinic