Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymphatic drainage massage is a form of gentle massage encouraging the drainage of lymph nodes and the movement of lymph fluids around the body. It can help relieve symptoms of lymphedema, fibromyalgia, and other conditions. It involves gently manipulating specific areas of your body to help lymph move to an area with working and open lymph vessels.

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How are lymphatic drainage massages done?

A typical session is a two-step process:

  • Clearing: This step releases lymphatic fluid in your tissues.
  • Reabsorption: This step moves your lymphatic fluid to your lymph nodes.

Lymphatic massage aims to improve the flow of lymph fluid, which should reduce swelling. Massaging an area without swelling will make space for fluid to flow to those parts from more congested areas.

What are some conditions that can benefit from lymphatic drainage massage?

Lymphatic massages are often used to relieve lymphedema following breast cancer surgery. Other conditions that benefit are:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This is ongoing arthritis in your joints causing joint pain, swelling and stiffness.
  • Fibromyalgia: This condition causes chronic muscle and joint pain.
  • Chronic venous insufficiency: This happens when your leg veins aren’t working effectively, making it hard for your blood to return to your heart from your legs.
  • Lipedema: This happens when excess fat accumulates in your lower body, blocking your lymphatic pathway and causing lymphedema.
  • Regular Lymphatic massage sessions are not just for someone recovering from a surgery, or medical condition. They are also great for overall wellness!

Are there any risks?

Generally speaking, lymphatic drainage massage is a safe treatment to relieve lymphedema. There are some conditions and circumstances where lymphatic drainage massage is not recommended:

  • You have a heart condition.
  • You have kidney failure.
  • You have blood clots.
  • You have an infection.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re concerned your physical health might be affected by lymphatic drainage massage.

Josh Casey in Our Portland Office is a Certified MLD Specialist. See bio and booking information below: