If your lymphatic system is blocked, this must absolutely be addressed first and before any other massage, soft-tissue, or bodywork styles !
Lymphatic drainage (also called manual lymph drainage and lymph massage) is a hands-on method of stimulating the flow of lymph and body fluids.
The proper functioning of the lymphatic system is essential to our overall health. It is both the plumbing/irrigation and defense systems of the body. Its own network of vessels are the primary route to cleanse and detoxify our blood, kidneys, liver, and interstitial body spaces, and supplements the circulatory system and elimination organs. The lymph nodes filter out toxins and destroy foreign substances and microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, or fungi), to maintain a healthy immune system.
Exercise and manual lymph drainage are the only ways to stimulate the lymph system, which can easily become stagnant, blocked, and toxic due to inactivity, poor diet, and unresolved negative emotions. Toxic exposure and stagnation (which leads to inflammation and toxicity), can further lead to chronic pain, both physical or emotional. Toxins and stagnation can also compromise our cellular and immune system from functioning optimally.
The lymphatic system is a very slow moving system and the superficial lymphatics located just beneath the skin respond to very light gentle movements. The deeper lymphatics and lymph nodes may require mildy-deeper pressure or gentle rocking, especially if they are congested or blocked. I draw on several lymphatic styles and tools depending on what’s best and appropriate for each person’s body: LDT, Ayurvedic, Tibetan, cupping, guasha, and FSM (microcurrent).
LDT (Lymphatic Drainage Therapy) developed by Bruno Chikly, MD, DO is based on the traditional procedures of Frederic Millard and Emil Vodder. It is a very light touch without the use of lotion or oil. With Ayurvedic & Tibetan styles, cupping, & guasha lotions or oils are used.
Cupping: I use oil with silicone cups to glide over the body. [This a much more comfortable and safer style than traditional glass cups heated by flaming cotton balls to create suction.] Cupping loosens soft tissue, muscle, fascia, connective tissue, and adhesions; stimulates the flow of lymph, blood, and fluids, which unblocks stagnation in both the superficial and deep tissue layers, reducing congestion, fluid retention (edema), and inflammation.
FSM Microcurrent: specific frequencies address the condition of the tissues, along with the lymph, related tissues & organs, and even emotions.
LDT compliments detoxification and cleansing programs and is especially good for post-surgery edema. If you are not on a specific cleanse or detox program, it is best to eat very lightly or drink only liquids before these sessions. It is essential to drink plenty of water after lymphatic drainage to help flush out toxins, and avoid alcohol and salt.