A great deal of the human body is made up of liquid. A lot of that liquid is found in the body in the form of blood but even more of it exists in the form of lymph fluid.
Our lymphatic vessels run parallel to our veins and are filled with lymph, which if you were to look at it has a yellowish appearance. This fluid is designed to feed all of the cells in our bodies transporting and delivering all the essential nutrients that each cell needs to survive. At the same time lymph then carries away toxins and waste from the cells so that they can be expelled from the body. When the lymphatic system is not functioning properly lymph fluid builds up, causing painful swelling, the formation of fibrous tissue and damage to the immune system which just cannot function efficiently any more.
Manual lymph drainage massage (also called lymphatic drainage and lymph massage) is a form of very light massage that encourages lymph flow in the body. It is particularly good for detoxification, oedema (swelling), pre- and post-plastic surgery and post-liposuction. It can also help with cellulite treatments, scar tissue, spider veins, redness and acne.
A therapist trained in lymph drainage massage stimulates the lymph system with extremely light, circular pumping movements. By stimulating the lymphatic system, the therapist helps drain puffy, swollen tissues, supports the body’s immune system, helps the body heal from surgery, and aids in the body’s natural waste removal or detoxification.
The lymphatic system is located directly beneath the skin, so the pumping, circular movements are very light. Manual lymph drainage should have a very soothing, relaxing effect. It can be used as part of a facial, or as a whole body treatment.
Drink plenty of water after a lymph drainage massage to help flush out toxins. Stay away from salt and alcohol after a massage, as they inhibit the body’s ability to flush out toxins.
Lymph drainage massage was developed in the 1930s by Emil Vodder, a native of Copenhagen, Denmark, who lived on the French Riviera. While he studied medicine, he did not earn a medical degree because of illness. He earned a doctorate in philosophy because of his work in art history.