A customized form of bodywork, lymphatic massage may help the lymph system do its job better. By understanding the anatomy and function of this delicate system, your massage therapist can assist your body in clearing sluggish tissues of waste and swelling. By using very light pressure in a rhythmic, circular motion, a massage therapist can stimulate the lymph system to work more efficiently and help it move the lymph fluids back to the heart. Lymphatic massage can also help retrain the lymph system to work better for more long-term health benefits. Lymphatic massage can benefit just about everyone especially if you’re feeling tired and low on energy. In addition, athletes, surgical patients, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue sufferers may want to consider lymphatic massage.
Here’s why. After a sports injury or surgery, lymph vessels can become overwhelmed with the demand placed on them. When tissues are swollen, deep tissue techniques may actually cause damage to the lymph vessels and surrounding structures. Lymphatic massage is often the treatment of choice, because it helps the body remove proteins and waste products from the affected area and reduce the swelling. This helps reduce pressure on cells and allows them to reproduce faster to heal the body.
Surgical procedures involving lymph node removal such as breast cancer surgery can cause limbs to swell. Severe limb swelling needs the attention of a medical team, but in milder cases, lymphatic massage alone may be enough to prevent or even treat the swelling. It’s important that your doctor be involved in your care. Let your doctor know you’d like to see a massage therapist and make sure you have medical approval. Lymph massage can also be part of a care program for fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Because it’s so gentle, it is well tolerated by patients who are often experiencing sore trigger points throughout the body. And by encouraging lymph flow and removing waste products, this gentle form of bodywork can help restore immune function and improve vitality.
So, if you’re feeling a big sluggish, experiencing mild to moderate swelling, recovering from a sports injury, or interested in optimizing your lymph system for stronger immunity, ask your massage therapist about lymphatic massage. It can have a powerful impact on your body’s ability to heal.