Of all our bodily systems, our lymphatic system is one of the most vital and imperative to our well-being. Unlike our cardiovascular system that regularly pumps and circulates blood, our lymph system is a little more high-maintenance. Lymphatic drainage recruits all key players - our lymph vessels, tissue, nodes, lymphocytes, glands and organs - to effectively transport stagnant fluid and waste. Massage therapy is often the first drainage technique that comes to mind, however there are numerous other ways to stimulate the lymphatic system.
Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage
Factors that contribute to a sluggish or blocked lymph system
LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE MASSAGE
Manual lymphatic drainage, the good old fashioned way, moves fluid throughout the body and enables reabsorption into the venous system. It’s a therapeutic form of soft tissue mobilization that dramatically enhances lymph formation, while prompting drainage within the superficial and deep systems of the lymphatic vascular network. Manual lymph drainage effectively reduces traumatic and post-surgical edema and can also provide symptomatic relief of migraines, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, stress, fatigue and several other inflammation triggers. Pam Durant, our board-certified massage therapist, is a certified lymphedema therapist that specializes in manual lymphatic drainage and complete decongestive therapy. Contact the front desk to book your lymphatic massage with Pam.
Our lymph vessels dilate when our body is exposed to heat and contract when our body feels cold. Alternating between hot and cold water during your shower uses the water temperature and pressure to act like a ‘pump’ and circulate lymph fluid that may be otherwise ‘stuck’. A few things to keep in mind: 1) avoid this if you are pregnant or have any compromised conditions, like heart and blood pressure, and 2) finish your shower off with cold water.
A temporary yet gratifying fix, gua sha is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that uses a curved/rounded-edge stone to manipulate the skin in such a way that stimulates blood flow, circulation and collagen production. The pressure from the stone releases muscular tension, thus contouring and sculpting the face. At-home facial lovers, this one is for you. Begin by releasing the neck area in a downward motion, then work your way up toward the face. For the ultimate depuffing, store your stone in the freezer. There are several tutorials that speak to the direction, repetition and method.
Longevity-approved: The Wildling Empress Stone
With intentionally designed edges and healing minerals, this gua sha stone is a must for both beginners and seasoned sculpters.
MORE WAYS TO GIVE YOUR LYMPHATIC SYSTEM A BOOST
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