Q & A: Lymphatic Massage

March 28, 2024

Licensed Massage Therapist Jodie Leigh Cowland answers all of your questions and concerns around Lymphatic Massage.

1. What should you do before a lymphatic massage?

  • Stay hydrated drinking plenty of water. Must empty bladder before treatment starts. Having plenty of water in your system will allow the detoxification process to flow more smoothly. If you’re dehydrated, the process will take longer and might not be as effective.
  • Eat a healthy light meal before your treatment. Nothing that causes your body of inflammation. Avoid: alcohol, sugary foods, fried food, and gluten.

2. What should I do after a lymphatic massage?

  • Stay extra hydrated
  • Stay away from heavy meals and anything that causes inflammation.
  • Stay away from alcohol.  Alcohol causes inflammation in the water and blood system.
  • Get in some gentle movement. No intense working out, but a light walk outside is always recommended to continue the flow in your system!

3. What are the benefits of a lymphatic massage?

  • Reduction of Swelling and Inflammation
  • Enhanced Immune System Function
  • Relaxation and Stress Relief
  • Treat Lymphedema effects
  • Help with Post-surgical swelling
  • Can help with Chronic venous insufficiency

4. How often can you do a lymphatic massage?

A person should schedule a series of sessions (one Lymphatic Detox Treatment per week for three weeks) and continue treatment until they notice a change. Treat yourself to one or two lymphatic drainage sessions every month if you experience a high frequency of common colds, allergies or headaches.

5. Risks and possible side effects:

Lymphatic drainage massage is generally considered safe, However, there are some risks and side effects to be aware of. Increased urine output: The body eliminates excess lymph by way of kidney filtration. This often results in the urge to use the restroom almost immediately at the conclusion of the massage session. It’s encouraged to drink plenty of fluids the day of the massage session. Herbal tea and water. Fatigue or drowsiness: Some individuals may feel tired or relaxed after the massage. This is a normal response. It is recommended to take it easy after your treatment. It is not recommended to receive  MLD massage and return to work/ have a busy day. Light movement followed with rest. Temporary increase in symptoms: In some cases, existing symptoms, such as headaches, nausea and fatigue, may temporarily worsen before improving.  This occurs because the body is adjusting to the increased lymphatic flow. – Again, plenty of fluids is a must! You should avoid getting a lymphatic drainage massage if you have an infection, heart condition, blood clots or kidney failure. Manual lymphatic Drainage massage while pregnant is OK.

6. Why is it important to make sure your massage therapist is trained?

Manual Lymphatic Massage is an additional modality certification. Some courses are 45 hours +  in training. This is not something you learn in basic massage therapy school. MLD Training in with in-depth knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system, and special techniques to manipulate the lymphatic system. Ensuring they understand how MLD affects the body.

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