Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, when included in massage, increases venous blood due to its
effects on superficial veins and improves lymphatic fluid flow within lymphatic capillaries. It helps decrease
venous pressure in capillaries and enhances proper filtration of the tissue spaces to help reduce certain types
of edema (swelling). Lymphatic flow is increased by the light pressure applied during this type of
The Lymphatic sytem has lower pressure and slower fluid flow than veins. Inactivity or
illness can seriously interfere with lymph flowing throughout the body. Lymph fluid (nearly 2 liters produced
every 24 hours), collects in dozens of lymph nodes or glands. The lymph filters out impurities, toxins, bacteria
and dead cells that build up in the body. Once trapped, specialized white blood cells called phagocytes are
released to destroy bacteria and prevent infections. By clearing the lymphatic system of toxins, it can function
as a more efficient filtration system for waste removal.
The lymph system functions as a secondary circulatory system to reach all parts of the
body. Lymphatic movement depends upon muscular activity. Due to decreased lymphatic flow, toxin build up results
in fatigue, pain, and lowered body resistance to infection. Massage greatly improves these conditions. In fact,
all of the body's major lymph nodes can be reached and effectively stimulated by specialized
lymphatic massage techniques.
Another mechanical effect of lymphatic massage is the stretching of the superficial
tissues. Friction may help to loosen subcutaneous scar tissue or adhesions. Massage can help to prevent scarring
to some degree by not allowing stagnation of tissue fluids following injury.
Although lymphatic massage does not increase total blood flow, as it does in the arms and
legs, it promotes production of red blood cells in bone marrow. This may be helpful in certain types of
Massage helps to build muscle tone and a sense of overall wellbeing. A professional massage
session has a similar effect as a brisk walk yet does not increase the workload of the cardiovascular system or
exhaust muscle tissue. Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is even beneficial for the debilitated and bed bound
A Lymphatic Drainage Therapy session involves a gentle manual flushing of the lymph
node groups and a light stretching of the superficial and deep capillaries throughout the body. The client feels
relaxed, de-stressed, and refreshed.