Lymphatic drainage massage is a form of gentle massage that encourages the movement of lymph fluids around the body.
The fluid in the lymphatic system helps remove waste and toxins from the bodily tissues. Some health conditions can cause lymph fluid to build up. Lymphatic drainage massages can benefit people with lymphedema, fibromyalgia, and other conditions.
What are the benefits?
- Lymphatic massage on the fingers can reduce inflammation
- Helps collect and drain toxins and impurities
- Lymphatic massage can improve circulation and reduce swelling.
Health conditions can interrupt the normal flow of lymph, causing lymph fluid to build up in a particular area of the body, often in the arms or legs, where it can cause swelling. This condition is called lymphedema.
People can develop lymphedema as a result of infections, cancer treatments that involve the removal of lymph nodes, and any condition that damages the lymphatic system.
Lymphatic massage can reduce swelling and improve circulation throughout the lymphatic system. Lymphatic massage usually forms part of a treatment program called decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT).
DLT for lymphedema includes:
- lymphatic drainage massage
- compression garments
- skin care
Who can benefit?
Lymphatic drainage massage can benefit people who are experiencing the following:
- swelling or edema
- skin disorders
- digestive problems
- migraine episodes
The authors of a 2015 systematic review concluded that lymphatic massage might be more effective than connective tissue massage in relieving symptoms of stiffness and depression in people living with fibromyalgia.
People should not have a lymphatic massage if they have congestive heart failure, blood clots, kidney problems, infections, or circulation problems. If a person has any medical conditions, they should talk to the doctor before trying a lymphatic massage.