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Lymphatic Drainage Massage; Lymphatic Massage & Its Benefits

Lymphatic Drainage Massage; Lymphatic Massage & Its Benefits

Lymphatic Drainage Massage is popularly known as lymph drainage massage which is known to have a number of health benefits. The massage generally focuses on the lymphatic system which is an integral part of the immune system.

The above type of massage most commonly aims to help the body maintain the adequate level of blood circulation along with immune function and body fluid balance.


What’s a Lymphatic System?

In order to know more about lymphatic massage, let’s grab some more detail about our lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is basically made up of blood vessels and lymph nodes with a mixture of various immune system elements along with water, proteins and waste products.

The largest lymph nodes are found in the neck region along with armpits and groin. All the above system works together to make sure clean lymph is circulated back to the veins that carry deoxygenated blood towards the heart.


Most of the times, lymphatic massage or lymphatic drainage massage is given to patients with Lymphedema that involves swelling in one of the legs and arms.

This swelling is caused by the accumulation of lymph fluids which is collected in soft tissues. And this may happen due to some kind of injury, surgery, infection or other kind of treatment of a disease. Most common symptoms of lymphedema include:

  • Recurring infections
  • Hardening or thickening of the skin
  • Weakness
  • Heaviness in the limbs
  • Tissue swelling
  • Skin discoloration
  • Pain


Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Please note that patients suffering from Lymphedema can be treated by giving tight stockings or bandages. But a manual lymphatic drainage massage can help to increase the benefits.

For example, if you experience any kind of lymphedema after you go ahead for mastectomy, that basically involves the removal of breast tissue to prevent breast cancer, lymph drainage massage can easily help such patients to moderate symptoms after they go ahead with surgery.


Treating Other Health Conditions

Other than lymphedema, lymphatic drainage massage can help treat a number of other health related issues. There are some conditions that benefit more than others.

As per the study conducted in this regard, lymphatic drainage massage has been found to be more beneficial for the following:


‌Rheumatoid arthritis

If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, you may experience poor lymph flow in the body as the disease progresses. This generally increases pain and swelling in the joint. And due to this, joints lose their function and change its skin color as well.

In such cases, lymph drainage massage can help ease such kind of later-stage rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.


‌Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)

It mainly happens when the walls of the veins found in legs do not function properly. And this makes it hard for the blood to folow nack to the heart from the legs.

In such cases, Lymphatic drainage massage can help increase the blood flow.

Using the lymphatic massage, it helps the larger artery of thigh, also known as femoral artery to work better. But it is still unclear how long its effect lasts.

It’s also unclear if this kind of massage provides long term relief from swelling and pain.



A therapy of lymphatic massage or lymph drainage massage may help patients suffering from fibromyalgia. The above condition will cause the inflammation of the skin nerves along with tissue swelling and discoloration of the skin.

This kind of massage has been found to be more effective as compared to the connective tissue massage in treating various kind of medical ailments like stiffness and depression.

It also aims to improve the life of patients suffering from fibromyalgia.


Types of Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Please note that there are 4 types of lymphatic massage used by doctors, massage therapists and physical therapists. These include:

Leduc: The above technique basically relies on hand motions as it collects lymph fluid before it redirects it for reabsorption into the larger lymphatic system.

Casley-Smith: This kind of lymphatic massage system basically involves circular hand motions that allow using the sides and palms of the hands.

Foldi: It’s basically the extension of the Voddi technique that requires therapist to go between moments of relaxation and circular hand motions

Vodder: It’s a kind of foundational technique that uses a number of sweeping motions around the affected area.

Please note that all the above suggested techniques precisely work on the same principle. In doing so, they make use of the gentle movements to stretch the skin in the direction of lymph flow.

Please be aware that all these techniques need to start at the part of the limb which is nearest to the torso and move outward. The above procedure mainly lasts for 15-60 minute duration.


What Happens During a Lymph Drainage Massage?

Please consult your doctor before you undergo the lymphatic massage or lymphatic drainage massage. Here you need to make sure that you receive such kind of massage from a trained professional only.

It’s because the therapist follows a particular sequence of massage techniques that includes some cupping motions, gliding, compression and stretching movements.

There often occur some Light rhythmic movements that has the capacity to stimulate the lymphatic system without pressing hard on the vessels. These help make the lymph fluid move quite easily through the tissues and nodes. It’s to make sure that fluid doesn’t get trapped anywhere.


When to Get a Lymph Drainage Massage?

Please be aware that a Lymphatic massage is a useful technique which is practiced in treating health conditions like lymphedema.

And so, if you have symptoms of trapped fluid in your body, you need to discuss this with your doctor along with other benefits of having lymphatic massage.

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