Lymphatic Drainage

shutterstock_119142040Lymphatic drainage  is a very light and gentle massage that promotes lymph flow in the body. This form of massage is particularly good for detoxification, edema and pre and post-surgery . This massage can also help treat scar tissues, spider veins, redness and acne.

The purpose of the lymphatic drainage is to stimulate the lymphatic system so puffy swollen tissues are drained, the body’s immune system is supported and the body can speed up the healing process from any injuries or surgeries.

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a specialized, gentle massage therapy designed to eliminate toxins in the lymphatic system and treat more serious conditions such as Lymphoedema (aka “Lymphatic Obstruction”).

Developed in the 1930’s by the Danish physicians Drs. Emil and Estrid Vodder, Manual Lymphatic Drainage has become an important part of maintaining a healthy lymphatic system (also called “lymph system”).

But what, precisely, is the lymphatic system and what does it do? The word “lymph” is from ancient Latin, meaning “clear waters.” The fluid in the lymphatic system looks like blood plasma, but it contains higher concentrations of white blood cells; this fluid flows in one direction through the circulatory system towards the heart, returning important proteins and interstitial fluid into the bloodstream.

Literally every toxin and foreign organism our bodies take in—from gas fumes to bacteria—enters the lymph system. Our lymphatic system helps to filter these toxins, keeping us healthy. The adenoids, spleen, thymus and tonsils are all connected to the lymph system, and lymph nodes help us to fight infections and disease.

So how does massage therapy aid in cleaning out the lymphatic system? Very simple: the lymphatic system has no pump, instead relying on proper breathing and contraction of the skeletal muscles to aid in filtering out toxins. Individuals who eat an unhealthy diet, do not exercise, do not perform deep breathing or who are exposed to high concentrations of toxic chemicals are at great risk of “stagnating” and damaging their lymphatic system. The results of this can lead to more serious and even fatal health issues such as Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and heart disease. In fact, for the latter, it is the lymphatic system which is responsible for cleaning cholesterol out of the body to begin with!

While Manual Lymphatic Drainage cannot completely guarantee perfect health, it offers a higher chance of fighting off infections and potentially preventing—or at least aiding in the treatment of—more serious diseases.

Your massage therapist will apply a very gentle touch to the lymph node areas such as the throat, underarms, liver, kidneys, etc., stroking, rubbing or tapping the skin to follow the lymphatic system. This helps to move lymph fluids through the body and detoxify the lymph system. You may feel a slight tingling sensation as the lymph fluids begin to circulate, but there will be no pain or discomfort during your session.

It is recommended to attend your massage session well-hydrated, in order to help your lymphatic system flush out the toxins in your body. Many massage therapists will also advise supplementing your diet with Vitamin C to enhance your immune system. You should avoid applying any lotions to your skin prior to treatment and also avoid consuming alcohol the night before, since this puts a strain on your liver and lymph system, making the detoxification process far more difficult. A typical session will last about an hour, perhaps up to five times weekly, over a few weeks’ period. It is also important that you spend at 10-15 minutes moving around after your session, performing gentle exercises such as walking (or even yoga) to aid your body in removing waste toxins.

Keep in mind that Manual Lymphatic Drainage is highly beneficial even to the healthiest of individuals, because every single one of us is being exposed to certain toxins on a daily basis, no matter how much we might try to avoid them.

If you are interested in receiving or learning more about this essential treatment, give us a call. Our therapists at Unique Health & Wellness, Inc. are among the best in Edmonton, and we are here to serve you. If would like to book a lymphatic drainage or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 780-938-8623 or info@uniquehealthinc.com. We are here for you!