What is lymphatic drainage and what is for?
Lymphatic drainage is a gentle massage that increases the movement of the lymph fluids within your body. With plenty of benefits, it’s a treatment you cannot miss if you want to improve your overall health.
What’s the lymph and what function does it have?
Before we get into what lymphatic drainage is, it’s important to understand what the lymph is referred to. Basically, lymph is an almost colorless fluid that comes from the blood and that circulates through our body’s lymphatic vessels and reaches the veins.
Its function is to act as an intermediary in the nutritional exchange of substances between the blood and the vessels. For this reason, its composition is constantly changing, and it’s a mixture of water, proteins, waste, and immune system elements. The lymph is not only essential for the assimilation of fats from food and to protect us against infections by external agents, but it also cleans our tissues when the lymph is transported back to the veins in order to reach our heart.
But where is the lymph exactly located? The lymph nodes are located throughout our body to be able to filter the debris, but the biggest nodes are under the jaw, in the armpits, and in the groin. It’s likely that you have seen at least the first ones when they are swollen, as this tends to happen when there is a nearby infection or trauma.
What’s the meaning of lymphatic drainage?
Lymphatic drainage is referred to as a massage that stimulates the movement of the lymph fluids throughout the body. In some circumstances, the lymph might not circulate correctly due to some kind of obstruction and the fluid starts to build up. When the vessels suffered from a pronounced enlargement in inflamed tissue, it displays leakiness, which is the result of reduced functionality.
With the lymphatic drainage, this functionality is restored. It has usually been used to treat lymphedema, which is a condition that involves swelling in the legs and the arms. This swelling is caused by the collected lymph fluid in the soft tissues, and it’s due to a genetic condition, surgery, infections, injuries, cancer treatment, etc.
There are other health conditions that can be treated with lymphatic drainage. For example, arthritis, chronic venous insufficiency, and fibromyalgia. However, this massage is also helpful to reduce water retention and the puffiness of the skin, which might appear after giving birth, to treat skin irritation and dull skin, which is commonly characterized by a lack of radiance and a flat appearance.
Benefits of lymphatic drainage
As a manual massage that stimulates the lymphatic system, the lymph moves to the nods and accelerates the removal of all the accumulated liquid that is stuck between the cells, to direct it to the capillary vessels. With specific movements, all the residues are eliminated, and the skin goes back to looking tone and radiant.
The therapist will use a particular sequence with several massage techniques that can include compressing, stretching, or gliding, among others. With the rhythmic movements, the lymphatic system gets stimulated, and the fluid will circulate without getting trapped at all. But what other benefits can you get out of a lymphatic massage?
Researchers have concluded after a study carried out in 2010 that lymphatic drainage effectively reduced the circumference of the thighs and the thickness of both thigh and abdominal fat. Therefore, it is often used to reduce the amount of cellulite and to minimize its appearance, as it reduces the amount of fluid that is pressing up against the fibers beneath the skin. The result is reduced swelling and less water retention.
Improves the immune system
A lymphatic massage can benefit the immune system as it contributes to the elimination of toxins throughout the body. As this is one of the lymph functions, the movements applied on the skin activate the fluids to continue their journey, instead of getting stuck in one place where they cause swelling.
Increases lymphatic flow
As we have said, when the fluid starts flowing and circulating towards the vessels that transport blood, it promotes a faster removal of the excess of the interstitial fluid. In the spaces around cells, there is a fluid that comes from substances that leak out of blood capillaries, which are the smallest kind of blood vessel. Its function is to bring oxygen and nutrients to the cells, but also to remove waste products. The old interstitial fluid is drained towards the lymph vessels, while a new one is made.
The massage on the skin stimulates blood circulation. Toxins are removed and so the lymphatic drainage becomes effective in tissue regeneration. This treatment improves the appearance of stretch marks, scars, wrinkles, or surgical incision marks. It can even contribute to detoxification and anti-aging therapies.
Energizes the body
As the lymphatic drainage is meant to eliminate the toxins that are stuck between your cells, you will feel an overall lightness. If your body is suffering a build-up of toxins, it’s comprehensible that you might feel headaches, fatigue, or even insomnia. With a massage, you will get rid of all the toxins coming from stress, heavy metals, dead cells, and any kind of excess debris. Therefore, clean blood will circulate throughout your body, and you will feel energized.
Where to get your lymphatic drainage
If you’re looking for lymphatic drainage to enjoy all its benefits in your body, you have the option of finding a therapist, or you can also try yourself at home. The first option will combine the drainage with other techniques, like contouring, that are deeper strokes that release tissue and boost a chiseled effect; myofascial release, which applies pressure on the tissue to restore motion; or Compressive Microvibration, which is the one used in the full body treatment in the Endosphères Therapy.
Endospheres Therapy is a body and facial treatment born especially for taking care of the lymphatic and venous system. If you’ve never tried it, find the nearest Centre and experience the mechanical lymphatic drainage!