LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE MASSAGE
A lymphatic drainage massage, also known as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), is a massage where your masseur applies gentle strokes and movements on your skin, pushing the lymph into the lymph nodes. These lymph nodes, located in different areas of our bodies, then filter the lymph and remove toxins from our bodies, thus ensuring the smooth performance of our lymphatic system.
Our lymphatic system:
An interconnection between lymph veins and lymph nodes spread throughout the body forms the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes hold white blood cells that target harmful substances and remove toxins, creating a healthy lymphatic and immune system.
Where are the lymph nodes located?
To effectively do the lymphatic drainage massage, you must know the location of lymph nodes on a human body. A human body contains lymph nodes just beneath the skin, in armpits, on both sides of the neck and groin, arms, and back of knees where you can feel and touch them. On the other hand, a human body has several lymph nodes in the pelvis, chest, and abdomen, which we cannot feel or touch. Thymus glands, adenoids, spleen, and tonsils also are lymph organs found inside our bodies.
The Principles of lymphatic drainage massage:
While performing the lymphatic drainage massage, you should follow the following principles.
- Since the lymph nodes on a human body are just beneath the skin, you should apply appropriate gentle pressure to ease the flow of lymph toward the lymph nodes. When you put deeper pressure, you stifle the smooth movement of the lymph.
- You should always start massage closer to any lymph node while pushing the lymph fluid towards the node. Later, gradually massage the areas farther from the node, but keep pushing in the direction of the nearby node. Therefore, while performing the massage on thighs, for example, apply gentle sweeping strokes to push the lymph into the nodes in the groin area.
- Always direct your strokes towards a nearby node.
How to do the lymphatic drainage massage?
Rest and breath deeply:
You should lay down on a flat and comfortable surface, and rest your palms on your stomach, and breathe deeply four to five times while keeping your body relaxed.
Massage the front of the neck:
To massage the neck, you can either massage both sides simultaneously or each side separately. Unite your middle and index finger and place them slightly above the collar bone, and massage inwards and downwards in the direction of your collar bone. Also, gently grab the skin and stretch it minutely before releasing it. Repeat this step 10 to 15 times. This will purify the lymph and drain it into the bloodstream of your neck. This is a very effective lymphatic drainage massage.
Massage the sides of the neck:
Again, with your index and middle finger, gently grab the skin just below the ears, and stretch the skin outwards and down. Massage the skin 10 to 20 times.
Massage the back of the neck:
Stretch the skin on both sides of the back of your neck slightly under your hairline using your middle and index finger, towards the spine and then downwards before releasing it.
Massage the underarm:
Rest your arm away from your body so that the underarm is exposed. Again, hold your skin gently between your index and middle finger and stretch the skin upwards towards the chin. Repeat this step 10 to 15 times on both the underarms.
Massage the hip:
To massage the hip, start from the outside of the hip to the underarms, using small strokes while stretching the skin. The lymphatic drainage massage will cause your lymph fluids and surrounding area will drain into nodes in the underarms after performing this step.
Massage the abdomen and back:
Massaging the abdomen and back involves stretching the skin and applying strokes upwards towards the heart.
Massage the thighs, knees and lower legs:
Place one hand on the back and the other on the inside of your thigh. Tenderly stretch the skin on the back and inside of your thigh towards the side of the thigh and upwards towards the underarm, pushing the lymph to the underarm. You should start from the top of the thigh and then apply the same steps, gradually going down to the knees and lower legs.
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