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Lymphatic Massage: 5 Things You Need to Know

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

I have a friend who is a pretty well-known massage therapist, Brenda Austin, owner of Now & Zen Bodyworks. If you visit her social media accounts, more specifically her Instagram, you'll see the various services she provides. One that always intrigued me was her lymphatic massages. I would see her rubbing and kneading rapidly over her client's body. Before doing my research I thought lymphatic massage or manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) was only performed post-op. But, it actually has a number of benefits. I've collected the top 5 things you should know about MLD.

1. What is it?

Lymphatic massage or manual lymphatic drainage massage is a massage technique that assists the lymphatic system in maintaining the body’s fluid balance, blood circulation, and immune mechanisms. Basically, it optimizes the healing power of your own body. Therapists work with flat hands, using all the fingers to simulate gentle, specific wave-like movements. We have various lymph nodes throughout the body that help filter out debris. Large groups of lymph nodes are found in the groin, neck, and armpits. Only specially trained massage therapist can perform a lymphatic massage. It includes gliding, stretching, and cupping motions. The massage stimulates the lymphatic system without compressing vessels, ensuring the lymph are able to travel through tissues and lymph nodes.


2. Who should get lymphatic massages?

ANY & EVERYONE!!! There are people who have incorporated it into their skin and wellness regimens because of the detoxification benefits. I really thought this was for those who had recently undergone cosmetic procedures to minimize swelling, but I was wrong. There are a number of other benefits to this. It can assist with digestive problems, pain relief, deep chronic pain, insomnia, cellulite, hormonal imbalances, headaches(now I know some people only needed to read that), stress relief, and the list goes on and on. I read it is used in the treatment for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, and as a sufferer I now think I want to give it a try.

"Keep your lymphatic system flowing and your entire system will go with the flow."

3. Can my current massage therapist perform lymphatic massages?

Yes and no. He/she can if they have been train specifically for this type of massage.

I would suggest making sure the massage therapist has been trained. Check their website and social media. Also check those reviews. You want this to not only be done but be done correctly.

4. Who should steer clear of MDLs?

Lymphatic drainage should be avoided by individuals experiencing any of the following:

  • Congestive heart failure

  • Inflammation or infection of the lymphatic vessels

  • Increased risk of blood clotting

  • Skin infection

  • Post-surgery lymphedema marked by localized swelling

5. So is it not use by those who have had cosmetic surgery?

It is! As previously mentioned it helps with swelling and healing. Someone who may have recently had a tummy tuck, mastectomy, or BBL(Brazilian butt lift) could benefit greatly from this procedure. You’d want that swelling to go away and be able to show off your snatch waist and new body. MDL should be apart of post-op care, you want the best outcome....the snatchage! But keep in mind it is also for the trainer who is working out daily and needs recovery. That cancer or lupus patient(here!) could use the added defense in immune system. A coworker who sits all day and is puffy in the legs and ankles may also want to book a MLD.

I hope I covered any possible questions someone may have about MDLs. Brenda is always accepting clients and if you fit the criteria I suggest giving it a go. You only get one body, spoil it!

Until next time loves,

Curls n' Cocktails


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