Lymphatic drainage: what it is, its benefits and how to do it at home
What is lymphatic drainage?
Lymphatic drainage is a massage technique that aims to stimulate the lymphatic system – the complex network of vessels that transport fluids through the body – to work faster. This technique is a guide .
Among the main benefits of this method are reduced fluid retention, activating blood circulation , fighting cellulite and even relaxing the body .
To better understand how it works, it is necessary to know the structures that make up this system, lymph nodes and lymph nodes:
The lymphatic system serves as the third circulation, in addition to the arterioles and venules, and lymph is the fluid that circulates through this network of lymphatic vessels.
Lymph, like blood, carries out metabolic exchanges with cells and is then collected by the vessels of the lymphatic system, returning to the lymph nodes.
Lymph nodes, or lymph nodes, are located throughout the body. They are an important part of the immune system. Their job is to help the body recognize and fight germs, infections, and other foreign substances. For them is directed lymph that is collected from the filtered vessels .
Common areas where lymph nodes can be felt on palpation include:
- Neck (there are a series of lymph nodes on either side of the neck)
- Under jaw and chin
- behind the ears
- in the back of the head
What is lymphatic drainage used for?
The function of lymphatic drainage is to remove the accumulated lymph between cells, which can occur due to a person’s delay in the production of lymph, for example, or due to difficulties in the absorption of cells. With this stimulation, there is a decrease in swelling and an improvement in cellulite.
The procedure also improves blood circulation in general , relaxes the body and can work discreetly in the fight against localized fat – because massage increases metabolism in place.
Fats – mainly in the form of triglycerides – and vitamins are transported by the intestinal lymph and flow to the liver where they are metabolized and nutrients and blood volume are sent into the circulation in a balanced manner.
Therefore, when there is an improvement in the lymphatic circulation, there is also an increase in the oxygenation of the body tissues which improves the appearance of cellulite and localized fat.
But make no mistake, lymphatic drainage does not lose weight by itself! It will help reduce measures by eliminating bloating and eliminating toxins from the body. But for more effective results, it will be necessary to address healthy habits, such as a balanced diet and physical exercise.
How is lymphatic drainage?
In order to be effective, lymphatic drainage must be performed along the path of the lymphatic vessels towards the lymph node. When done manually, the movements are light with pressure on the bracelet.
Each area of the body requires different movements, always ending in a few lymph nodes. In the legs, the movements are ascending: from the leg to the popliteal fossa (back of the knee), from thigh to thigh. In the abdomen, the movement should be on the thigh. In the arms and chest, the movements go to the armpit.
It is also possible to perform lymphatic drainage on the face, always towards the lymph nodes, this time from the neck. Finally, the scalp can also be something of a massage, mainly in two points: at the top of the skull and the second slightly down towards the temples.
Manual x instrumentation lymphatic drainage
Lymphatic drainage can be performed with the help of internist devices, which have vacuum and rolling mechanisms – but they are not as effective as manual drainage, in which the professional can finally examine the area to be massaged and work further on those who need it most.
In order to be more efficient, it is recommended that a professional empty the lymph nodes in circular motions in a clockwise direction before draining the lymph towards them.
The number of lymphatic drainage sessions required
This is a treatment that needs to be done frequently to get results. You can even learn the movements and do lymphatic drainage yourself at home every day. Or, if you prefer to do it with a professional, it can be one to three times a week .
Regular repetition is important because when a person stops performing lymphatic drainage, fluid retention returns. It is possible to feel edema again within a week, but this varies from the relationship between weight and height, to excessive consumption of sodium and whether or not there is enough fiber.
Professionals who can do
Lymphatic drainage should be performed by qualified professionals, such as physical therapists and massage therapists .
Contraindications to lymphatic drainage
Lymphatic drainage is contraindicated for people with an infection, as infectious cells can fall into the lymphatic system and spread easily throughout the body. Patients with vascular risks, such as heart failure, thrombosis and decompensated hypertension, should avoid treatment.
It is also contraindicated in patients using some specific chemotherapy drugs, as there is a possibility that tumor remnants from cancer cells may be picked up in the lymph nodes and spread to other organs of the body.
A doctor’s prescription is not necessary to perform lymphatic drainage, but it is recommended to consult a dermatologist to check if the technique is indicated and will work.
Can a pregnant woman do?
Not only can they, but they must too! Edema, or fluid retention, is a common problem during pregnancy, and drainage is ideal to reduce this discomfort. It can even help prevent cellulite and stretch marks, and significantly reduce body swelling at the end of the day.
However, such drainage can only be carried out with the approval of a doctor! Usually this happens from the third month of pregnancy and the massage should be differentiated, because one should not drain the abdomen and breast area , but only make smooth sliding movements. The pregnant woman cannot lie on her stomach, so the fluid is drained from behind with the patient next to her.
Does lymphatic drainage leave bruises?
Lymphatic drainage cannot leave bruises on the body, it means that some blood vessels have ruptured. This usually happens when a professional who applies this technique combines modeling massage or other types of treatments. However, even a designer should not leave this kind of mark.
lymphatic drainage results
The general benefits of lymphatic drainage, such as improvement in swelling (edema), can be felt right away. In the case of cellulite, the results depend on a number of factors, such as diet, smoking, stress, and the degree of cellulite, it is first necessary to change the habits that cause fluid retention.
In more advanced cases, more lymphatic drainage sessions are necessary for results to be seen.
Lymphatic drainage allies
Balanced food: The results of this treatment to improve blood circulation are much greater if the patient eats well. For example, reducing the amount of sodium helps a lot in reducing fluid retention, which is one of the problems that is treated by lymphatic drainage. And sodium is not only found in salt, it is also very common in industrial foods, even sweets such as crackers, juice powder and soft drinks.
On the other hand, it is beneficial to include more fiber in your diet, as this improves intestinal transit and thus there is also an improvement in fluid retention.
Fluid Intake: It may sound ridiculous, but the more fluids you drink, the less fluid you retain! This is because our body has a very high balance of water, so the less it is available in the body, the more it is retained – and the less it is eliminated in the urine, for example. Therefore, making sure your body is always well hydrated helps reduce fluid retention, and promote lymphatic drainage.
Regular physical activity: It does no good, an increased amount of physical activity will always be indicated when it comes to health. In the case of exocrine, exercise increases the oxygenation of the body which enhances the work of lymphatic drainage.