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What is a lymphatic drainage massage or detox massage?

What is a lymphatic drainage massage or detox massage?

About this post

Let's de-bunk the benefits of lymphatic drainage to see if it's right for you.

Posted by

Claire

Tags

  • Massage
  • Wellbeing

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First, what's the lymphatic system?

Lymphatic drainage massage or treatment uses gentle, repetitive strokes to facilitate the lymphatic system. It is a specialised massaged that is sometimes referred to as a ‘detox massage’, supporting your body’s internal filtration system to help keep your immune system in check.

What is the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system plays an instrumental role in protecting us from infection and disease. This network of tissues and organs is part of the body's immune system and assists in removing toxins, waste and other unwanted materials from the body.

The principal function of the lymphatic system is the transportation of lymph, a fluid containing the white blood cells that are essential for fighting infections throughout the body. Lymph fluid passes through lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes, with the latter filtering the lymph.

With the lymphatic drainage system so important for such functions as filtering plasma in the bloodstream and checking the quality of the blood, it is instructive to know the wide range of health benefits that the right lymphatic drainage treatment can bring.

What are the detox benefits of massage?

Many people presume that to detox their bodies, they need to just focus on their diets. Including massage in a regular routine can help towards achieving a full body detox.

1. Helps to improve mood and combat anxiety

It has been suggested that massage can help to improve mood. A 2004 meta-analysis of 37 studies found reductions in trait anxiety and depression to be among the greatest effects of massage therapy.

2. Boosts body’s filtration system

Massage has been noted for its ability to stimulate the body's natural cleansing processes, which can slow down due to such factors as poor diet or insufficient exercise.

3. Can increase energy

Any kind of massage helps to stimulate the body's circulation, ensuring that blood pumps around the body with greater vigour. The better your circulation, the more energy you can expect to have and the more effectively your organs will function, particularly regarding the elimination of toxins.

Lymphatic drainage massage technique

There are various "schools" of how lymphatic drainage treatment - also known as manual lymph drainage (MLD) - can be performed. All are based on the application of directional manual pressure to the limb and torso to assist in the drainage of excess lymphatic fluid.

Lymphatic drainage massage is based on a single principal motion, with a straight stretch sufficient to open the initial lymphatics and stimulate the lymph angions, supported by a little lateral motion. Lymphatic drainage motions use stationary circles as their basis, with the emphasis on pushing the lymph towards the correct nodes.

One of the defining aspects of any lymphatic drainage technique is the light application of pressure, which can even surprise massage therapists, especially those trained mainly in Swedish or deep tissue massage. The finest practitioners of lymphatic drainage know that it takes almost no pressure at all to deform the skin, and that pushing too hard collapses the initial lymphatic.

Success depends on such factors as rhythm, sequence and the direction of the strokes - after all, the purpose is to push the lymph towards the correct nodes, rather than away from them.

Whenever there are mistakes with technique, the treatment will not be as effective. This is why it is important to request lymphatic drainage through reputable specialised therapists.

Who would lymphatic drainage be good for?

Lymphatic drainage treatments could be of relevant to a wide range of individuals wishing to detox and enjoy good all-round health. If your approach to health and fitness is not what it perhaps should be, you may feel aches, pains and even swelling (lymphedema), or risk the deterioration of vital organs and glands. This is where lymphatic drainage treatment may help.

There is a strong link between the well-documented detoxification effects of massage and the lymphatic system. With the lymphatic system lacking a pumping mechanism other than the movement of the body, the circulation of lymph fluid can become sluggish. This could lead to the accumulation of toxins and compromise your body's ability to transport immune cells to where they are most needed.

Visit our lymphatic drainage treatment page to easily book a massage by with a specialised therapist.

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