Updated: Feb 10
The lymphatic system is an important part of the body’s immune system. With lymph nodes scattered across the body, it acts as a sewage system by flushing out fluids from the blood vessels. If this system gets damaged due to surgery or chemotherapy, fluid accumulation can cause swelling in the arms and legs. This problem can be addressed by manual massaging to encourage movement and eventual elimination.
How it works?
As the heart pumps blood through veins and blood vessels, the lymph nodes and system move fluids with the help of muscles in different regions. People can develop lymphedema due to infection, removal of lymph nodes and even cancer. A licensed massage therapist with experience in this area can help. Massage reduces water retention and boosts circulation as well. Lymphatic massage is a major part of DLT or decongestive lymphatic therapy.
People with lymphatic problems benefit wearing compression garments, exercising regularly and practicing skin care. It is also helpful for people with
Who should not get a lymphatic massage?
People with kidney issues, blood clots and heart problems should not undergo treatment without medical advice.
Preparing for massage therapy
For best results, massage is usually best performed by a licensed therapist. Do some research and find the best therapist to help you with your specific issues. Keep in mind that massage should be done gently and on the skin’s surface. Light pressure should be used and swollen areas should be avoided. Drinking extra fluids will help flush out toxins.
The following steps are used to stimulate the lymph system. Deep breathing is key to moving fluids through the nodes and blood vessels. Follow the therapist’s instructions. The front, side and back of the neck are gently massaged with the fingertips to activate the nodes and move the fluids.
The lymph node system is present under the arms, groin area and behind the knees. Being aware of the lymph system and the affected areas is essential to move fluids to functioning areas for disposal.
How to find out whether the massage therapy is effective?
People with drainage issues and edema notice a marked reduction in swelling. If your doctor recommends the use of compression garments like hose or sleeves, use these regularly.
Using these along with massages with a licensed massage therapist will alleviate pain and discomfort. Proper lymphatic function can also be boosted by following some simple steps. Staying hydrated by drinking water and regular exercises are the most important. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies for nutrients and fiber. Reducing or eliminating processed food from the diet will also help.
Since the lymphatic system’s functioning affects overall health, it is important to know what to do. Working with a therapist and following doctor's orders helps in keeping swelling down and improving circulation. You can get a reference from your cancer specialist or GP for a licensed massage therapist or a massage clinic.
Contact Us Today
To schedule an appointment with Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Advanced Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist and Health Coach, Anna Bass LMT, please call 412-328-4540 or Book a Massage Here.
Providing massage services to patients in Tampa, Brandon and Riverview, FL.