The lymphatic massage is the technique to drain the lymph through the lymphatic channels, when they are obstructed. It is also used to divert the lymph to other lymph nodes that are not damaged, in case there is any damage to the corresponding vessels.It is a gentle and painless therapeutic massage technique, which aims to treat edema and obstructions of the ducts or lymph nodes.

What is lymphatic massage for?

Lymphatic massage is used to combat circulatory conditions such as:

  • Acne
  • Cellulitis
  • Varicose veins
  • Facial edema
  • Traumatic edema such as bruises
  • Dislocations
  • Muscle jerks

The lymphatic drainage technique, applied in this massage, is used to deliver excess fluid accumulated in the areas of edema to the healthy lymphatic sites . This is accomplished through strategic manipulations.

The Lymphedema is a deficiency of lymphatic drainage. The body is unable to conduct excess waste and water from the bloodstream. Then edemas appear , accumulations that, if not drained, can lead to serious diseases.

The cellulite is an inflammation of the subcutaneous connective tissue that gives skin the appearance of “orange peel”; has four stages:

  • The first is marked by a progressive decrease in venous-lymphatic circulation, which creates interstitial edema.
  • The second is the formation of adipocytes, fat cells; in this state, the elasticity of the skin is compromised.
  • The third is the constitution of micronodules, which are the agglomerations of adipocytes, covered with tissue that interconnects them and increases in size as they accumulate. Thus the transit of lymph is prevented. They are already visible to the naked eye.
  • The last stage is fibrosis , which is the excessive formation of fibrous connective tissue in an organ or tissue, as a consequence of a reparative or reactive process.

Fibrosis is produced by a chronic inflammatory process, which triggers an increase in irreversible cell production, which in turn decreases local circulation.

Steps of lymphatic massage:

In a lymphatic massage session there is a sequence that must be followed:

  • Preparation of the patient, putting on comfortable clothes
  • Relaxation in a comfortable and quiet environment
  • Detection of areas of lymphatic blockage
  • Perform the massage to drain, in the direction of the closest healthy lymph nodes
  • Repeat drainage movements as needed

There are two important movements in the application of this technique: the evacuation movement and the catchment movement .

Both are used to combat pathologies associated with edema, which are often linked to circulatory conditions such as: acne, cellulite, varicose veins, facial edema, and traumatic origin such as bruises, dislocations, muscle pulls.

Evacuation movement

The call or evacuation movement consists of pulling or pushing the lymph in some way , towards the desired direction, moving it away from the diseased area towards the healthy collector vessels and collectors.

Uptake movement

The uptake or reabsorption movement favors the penetration of the lymph into the lymphatic vessels at the level of the edema area, guiding the lymph through the ducts to the nearest healthy lymph node.

Lymphatic system

Therapeutic massage performed on the back.

To better understand the usefulness of lymphatic massage, it is appropriate to detail the functioning of the lymphatic system . This is part of the circulatory system, and has a nature analogous to it, to the venous or arterial circulation.

It is made up of a liquid called lymph , which comes from the blood and returns to it through the lymphatic vessels.

The lymph serves to:

  • Transport nutrients like lipids
  • Distribute white blood cells, which fight infectious agents
  • Transport waste from cell processes

Cellular waste molecules, such as fat and protein particles, are carried through the lymph. The fluid drains into the lymphatic vessels and circulates through the lymph nodes .

The lymph nodes are small structures in the blood is cleaned and filtered. This filtration prevents bacteria, cancer cells, and other infectious agents from integrating and spreading throughout the body.

Later, the blood enters the circulation in the collecting veins of the neck, through the ganglia in the neck.

The lymphatic system constitutes a secondary transport mechanism that does not rely on a propellant organ , such as the heart, which supports the circulatory system.

The pressure in the lymphatic system depends on the pressure in the circulatory system and the movement of the muscles.

This therapeutic process must be practiced by a doctor specializing in the lymphatic system or by any person who verifies a certification that authorizes it.



Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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