The lymphatic system is important
Benefits of Lymphatic drainage massage
The massage consists of very gentle, rhythmic pressure, whispery soft finger strokes, or ultralight drumming, about the same as one would use to stroke the face of a significant other.
Your therapist will stretch the skin in the direction of the lymph pathways toward the lymph nodes. The logic is that this will counteract the lymph system’s tendency to become sluggish or even blocked by causes like spending too much time on the couch or eating unhealthy processed foods.
who needs the lymphatic drainage massage?
Lymphatic-drainage massage is considered a staple practice for reducing swelling, relieving fatigue, or helping the body detox (removing waste from our own metabolic processes, not heavy metals or pollutants), which is why it’s included in spa fasting, cleansing, and smoking-cessation programs.
Lymphatic-drainage massage can also offer some relief for fluid retention brought on by travel, menstruation, or pregnancy.
Lymphatic drainage is sometimes so relaxing that clients are lulled to sleep during treatments, and the fact that the massage doesn’t necessitate any direct pressure explains why it’s appropriate and often prescribed for reducing swelling following surgery or injury.
Some basic light strokes include “stationary circles,” “pump,” and “scoop”—no kneading or deep muscle work. This massage is actually a draining process intended to firm and tone skin and to improve health.
No massage oils here, so lymphatic drainage can focus on the face, the entire body, or just on swollen and bloated areas.
Those who decide to relax with lymphatic drainage should be prepared to feel a little off-kilter following a massage. It’s a little like a post-party hangover, so drinking lots of water is key!
The story behind this massage
The specific treatment, called manual lymph drainage (MLD) was developed in the 1930s in France by Emil Vodder, a Danish physical therapist, and his wife, Estrid, a naturopath.
Their method is still taught to spa therapists at Dr. Vodder Schools around the world though not all therapists use the Vodder method; some learn lymphatic drainage through a course in massage school, or through training in Ayurveda or naturopathy. A 160-hour training is required for medical MLD.
It may sound like a medical procedure straight out of a science fiction movie, and spa clients may be turned off by it's name initially, but once they discover the benefits of lymphatic drainage massage, they’re hooked.
Benefits of lymphatic drainage range from a decrease in facial puffiness and a boost in immune function to a smoothing of cellulite and a soothing of muscle soreness.
After spa-goers have had a lymphatic drainage massage, they may never go back to a regular massage again!