Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Lymphatic Massage?
Lymphatic drainage is a gentle, rhythmical massage treatment performed by a specially trained lymphatic massage therapist to stimulate the circulation of lymph fluid around the body. This helps to rapidly speed up the removal of wastes and toxins from a sluggish lymphatic system.
What can I expect from a Lymphatic Drainage Session?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a gentle, hands-on, light touch physical therapy technique. It is a progressive technique that typically requires more than one session for maximum effect. Goals are discussed during the first treatment to meet your expectations and specific needs. For surgical care, sessions can begin 48 hours post-operative. Depending upon your surgical procedure and stage in the healing process, each treatment is customized with other gentle modalities to promote healing, relaxation and pain relief. Manual Lymphatic Drainage assists your body to reduce swelling and inflammation which in turn optimizes wound healing.
How does Manual Lymphatic Drainage work?
When performing Lymphatic Drainage Massage, the massage therapist will move the client’s skin in different directions, which stretch the microfilaments just below the skin that control the openings to the initial lymphatics. As the initial lymphatics are opened, they fill with interstitial fluid. This initiates a pumping response which is similar to peristalsis, moving the fluid toward the lymph nodes. Within the lymph nodes lymphocytes cleanse and purge the lymphatic fluid of any microorganisms, foreign particles, and excess proteins, enzymes or hormones in the blood. From the lymph nodes, the cleansed fluid is emptied into the lymphatic and thoracic ducts for return to blood circulation.
While Lymphatic Drainage Massage works directly on the superficial circulation of lymph fluid, it affects the deep circulation, including toward the nodes within the intestinal and respiratory organs, because lymph flow is increased through the whole lymph system. The pumping response of the initial lymphatics moves like a wave through the entire lymph system to the deepest layers of the body.
Who can benefit from Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Everyone can benefit from Lymphatic Drainage Massage. It cleanses the body and boosts the immune system, something everyone needs on a regular basis. Lymphatic Massage is especially useful for those who suffer from:
- Recent surgery
- Soft tissue injury accompanied with inflammation
- Lowered immunity
- Recent or recurring illness
How does Dry Brushing help the Lymphatic System?
Dry Brushing is like a mini Lymphatic Massage that can be done at home. You can increase the benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage by incorporating Dry Brushing into your daily self-care. The dry brush can be used to move the skin over the initial lymphatics to open and to stimulate the lymph vessel contraction. While Dry Brushing offers cleansing benefits, Lymphatic Drainage Massage performed by a professional will affect the lymph system and our immunity more profoundly.
The Benefits of Dry Brushing
- Dry brushing cleans the lymphatic system. Lymph is considered part of our immune system and is made of white blood cells called lymphocytes and the interstitial fluid that bathe our cells, bringing our cells nutrients and removing their waste. All detoxification occurs first and foremost through the lymph. Our bodies contain far more lymph than blood, so you can see how important this might be.
- Dry brushing removes dead skin layers. Dry skin brushing helps shed dead skin cells, which can help improve skin texture and cell renewal. Dry skin is a sign of detoxification. Therefore, it’s good to keep the process going by removing the dead skin daily. If this does not occur, a “log jam” can happen where the person ends up with eczema, psoriasis, and dandruff.
- Dry brushing strengthens the immune system. Dry skin brushing may reduce duration of infection and accelerate the clearing of toxins. It helps support the immune system during cancer and other chronic illness treatment. By stimulating the lymph vessels to drain toxic mucoid matter into organs of detoxification we can purify the entire system. After several days of dry brushing, sometimes you may notice a gelatinous mucoid material in your stools. This is a normal sign that the intestinal tract is renewing itself. Best of all, it feels invigorating!
- Dry brushing stimulates the hormone and oil glands, thus helping all of the body systems perform at peak efficiency. The skin is your body’s largest organ. When improperly maintained, the elimination duties of the skin are forced upon the kidneys. So, give your kidneys a break—keep your skin clean and rejuvenated. Bathe daily and do a dry brushing before the bath to help stimulate blood flow to the surface so that toxins can more easily escape.
- Dry Brushing tightens the skin by increasing the flow of blood which, in turn moves toxins and lessens the appearance of cellulite. Our bodies make a new top layer of skin every 24 hours – skin brushing removes the old top layer, allowing the clean new layer to come to the surface, resulting in softer, smoother skin.
- Dry Brushing tones the muscles. Dry skin brushing helps muscle tone by stimulating the nerve endings which causes the individual muscle fibers to activate and move. It also helps mobilize fat and helps to even distribution of fat deposits. This is a great technique for invalids who can’t exercise.
- Dry brushing stimulates circulation. Our skin breathes! And yet, in most people, this vital route of detoxification is operating far below its capacity, because it is clogged with dead skin cells and the un-removed waste excreted through perspiration. Dry skin brushing increases circulation to skin, encouraging your body’s discharge of metabolic wastes. Increased blood flow begins entering the areas brushed and you will experience an increase in electromagnetic energy that permits you to feel energized and invigorated. By activating the circulation, you can also prevent varicose veins.
- Helps digestion — Dry skin brushing helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores. Healthy, breathing skin contributes to overall body health. When you brush, the pores of your skin open allowing your skin to absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. Clogged pores are not just a cosmetic concern. Healthy, breathing skin contributes to overall body health.
How to Dry Brush (Easy, Fast Instructions)
- Begin with your feet and brush vigorously in circular motions.
- Continue brushing up your legs.
- Proceed to your hands and arms.
- Brush your entire back and abdomen area, shoulders and neck.
- Use circular counter-clockwise strokes on the abdomen.
- Lightly brush the breasts.
- Brush upwards on the back and down from the neck.