Manual lymphatic drainage is a light and rhythmic form of massage aimed at manually assisting the movement of lymph fluid through the body. Many clients find it very pleasant and relaxing, as instead of deeply kneading the muscles (which can occasionally hurt), the pressure is aimed just below the surface of the skin. Unlike some other types of massage, there are no messy oils or deep heat type treatments to worry about; in fact, lymphatic drainage requires a small amount of friction or ‘dragging’, not gliding as with oil, in order to be effective.
Your masseuse may be able to combine lymphatic drainage massage for a particular area of concern (i.e. ankles affected by oedema) with remedial massage for other concerns. Please ask when you make your initial appointment.
About the lymph system
The lymphatic system is akin to a circulatory system that transports and processes fluid containing toxins around the body, to be drained into the bloodstream at the base of the neck. The toxins are then filtered out by the kidney, which sends them through the ureters to be excreted when you go to the bathroom. Muscle movement is largely responsible for the pressure gradient in this system. In healthy people, lymphatic drainage occurs naturally, however for couch potatoes and people with certain health conditions, it may need to be assisted.
Risk factors and how massage can help
Those with desk jobs or a sedentary lifestyle risk the build-up, or pooling, of lymphatic fluid ‘lymph’ in specific areas of the body. The toxins lymph contains have been known to adversely affect adjacent healthy tissues. Assisting with flow aids detoxification and has been proven to have a positive effect on stress and cortisol levels. This is because the purpose of the lymphatic system is to manage fluid levels in the body, filter out bacteria, transporting white blood cells to and from the nodes and bones, and carrying away waste products. With a little boost from lymphatic drainage massage at our Sydney clinic, you’ll notice the difference for days.
For the purpose of assisted detoxification and to aid oedema management a 90 minute lymphatic drainage massage treatment is recommended. This gives enough time for the masseuse to work strategically from the drainage points down to the area of most concern. Long, slow strokes are most effective, so this is a process that cannot be rushed. Most clients find that they’re relaxed enough that 90 minutes flies by.
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