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What Is Lymphatic Drainage?

The term sounds complex, but lymphatic drainage is actually a simple concept. Lymphatic drainage massage, which is also referred to as manual lymphatic drainage, helps treat swelling. It is the process of reducing swelling in the body that is caused by fluid retention. So, how does a lymphatic drainage massage help? Here’s what you need to know.

What is lymphedema?

After your heart sends blood to your tissues, the tissues may retain fluid. This often happens when people are recovering from surgery or other complications. The fluid retention causes painful swelling, which is called lymphedema.

What is lymph?

Lymph is the fluid that remains trapped in the tissues of the body. This is normally collected by your lymphatic system. However, if something disrupts this process, the lymph gathers in your extremities. This causes your arms and legs to swell.

How does a lymphatic drainage massage help?

A lymphatic drainage massage manually manipulates your tissues to help the lymph move out of the swollen areas. The trained massage therapist will use specific techniques to effectively ease the swelling and relieve pain.

What conditions can benefit from lymphatic drainage massage?

A professional massage therapist can perform lymphatic drainage massage to provide relief for people who are suffering from a variety of conditions. These include:

  • Breast cancer: Lymphatic drainage massage is a common therapy used for relieving lymphedema following breast cancer surgery.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Arthritis causes joint swelling, which results in stiffness and pain. Lymphatic drainage massage can help relieve this ongoing pain.

  • Fibromyalgia: This condition causes join pain and chronic muscle issues. By delivering lymphatic drainage massage, a massage therapist can help reduce fibromyalgia pain.

  • Chronic venous insufficiency: If the veins in the legs don’t work properly, the blood cannot easily return to the heart. This results in chronic venous insufficiency. Lymphatic drainage massage can help improve blood flow and reduce these effects.

  • Lipedema: When excess fat accumulates, your lymphatic pathways become blocked. This condition is referred to as lipedema. A lymphatic drainage massage can help treat the symptoms of lipedema.

Are there any risks to lymphatic drainage massage?

Generally, lymphatic drainage massage is considered a safe treatment for lymphedema. However, it may not be recommended if you have a heart condition, kidney failure, blood clots or an infection.

Who can perform lymphatic drainage massage?

You may be able to perform some lymphatic draining massage techniques on yourself, based on doctor instructions. However, it is typically recommended (and easier) if you work with a trained massage therapist to perform these techniques on your tissues.

Where should I go to get a lymphatic drainage massage?

Look for a trained massage technician who is familiar with lymphatic drainage massage techniques. Since these techniques differ from other types of massage, it is important that they know how to treat your condition specifically.

We know lymphatic drainage massage

If you’re struggling with pain from lymphedema, contact the trained experts at Better Living Massage Center. We offer professionally skilled therapists to serve you and help you feel your best. Contact us today for more information at 989-356-2221.


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