Ask a Therapist #24: What is lymphatic massage?
Heather Nov 20, 2013
Lymphatic massage is a special type of massage that works specifically with the fluids that run through the lymph system. These fluids run through a tiny network of tubes that line the muscles throughout the body. Unlike the cardiovascular system they do not have their own pump. The way these fluids get recycled through the body is by the movement of the muscles they are surrounding. This is why movement is an important part of your daily routine! It moves the lymph around the system, giving your cells fresh fluid and carrying away waste.
When the fluid builds up in the tissue you get swelling, most commonly in the lower extremities due to the constant pull of gravity.
Lymphatic massage is very useful to help move the stagnant lymph from problem areas. It is a rather light massage as we are not trying to engage the muscles themselves but the network of lymph capillaries that run along them. Lymphatic Massage Therapists have received extra training and are most commonly found in hospitals and medical massage clinics. As with any therapy feel free to ask your therapist questions like: Where did you receive your training? How long have you been practicing? What are your specialties? Massage works best when you take an active part in your care!