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Boost Your Flow: Lymphatic Drainage Benefits for Active Bodies

Published June 17, 2024

BOOST YOUR FLOW: LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE BENEFITS FOR ACTIVE BODIES

BOOST YOUR FLOW: LYMPATIC DRAINAGE BENEFITS FOR ACTIVE BODIES

Whether you’re a professional runner or a yoga guru, you’re bound to sometimes feel the burn—physically. In other words, your muscles may feel achy or swollen.

Luckily, lymphatic drainage massage can help.

If you’ve seen this trend on social media and wondered what all the buzz is about, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of lymphatic drainage to see if it’s worth adding to your wellness routine.

WHAT IS THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM?

Understanding the lymphatic system will help determine if lymphatic drainage massage will benefit your needs. Your lymphatic system plays a crucial role in your immune system, allowing you to fight infections and balance your body's fluids.

The organs and other parts of the body that are part of your lymphatic system include:

  • Lymph nodes

  • Spleen

  • Tonsils

  • Thymus

  • Bone marrow

  • Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue

  • Adenoids

These organs, vessels, ducts, and tissues help drain any excess lymph fluid that leaks into your tissues. But when your lymphatic system is blocked, that fluid stays in place. This lack of lymphatic flow, in turn, can cause swelling.

HOW DOES LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE MASSAGE WORK?

Lymphatic drainage massage therapy is a set of gentle massage techniques against the skin—often performed by a professional—that moves lymph fluid to the proper location.

Manual massage therapy, compression clothes, and exercises are all crucial elements of lymphatic drainage.

To understand how compression wear can specifically aid in enhancing lymphatic drainage, check out our guide that explains the main benefits of compression wear, providing you with deeper insights into its effective role and recommendations for use.

BENEFITS OF LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE MASSAGE

Many people find swelling in their arms or legs when excess fluid pools in those areas. Often, this is due to surgery or symptom of something serious. It can also occur after an intense workout if lymph vessels become overwhelmed.

If you have conditions including lymphedema, fibromyalgia, chronic venous insufficiency or rheumatoid arthritis, lymphatic drainage massage may help alleviate symptoms. Healthy individuals can also benefit from this massage technique during sports recovery or for relaxation.

But what exactly are the key lymphatic drainage massage benefits?

1. REDUCED SWELLING AND INFLAMMATION

Lymphatic drainage massage can help reduce swelling and inflammation by stimulating lymphatic flow. Manual lymphatic drainage, especially from a trained massage therapist, moves stagnant fluids out of swollen areas.

One small study shows that manual lymphatic drainage can increase lymph velocity in people with and without lymphedema, which can help you feel better. Another summary supports using lymphatic drainage when recovering from musculoskeletal injuries because it can:

  • Reduce pain and inflammation

  • Improve your quality of life

  • Enhance your range of motion

2. DETOXIFIED IMMUNE SYSTEM

Since the lymphatic system plays a vital role in the immune system, it’s arguable that both can influence one another. In fact, lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) help the immune system fight foreign microorganisms, like viruses, bacteria, and cancer.

To that end, when it comes to their interaction, the idea is that stimulating your lymphatic system can help ensure your immune system works properly.

However, little evidence-based research exists about how lymphatic drainage affects healthy immune systems. Instead, it’s mainly anecdotal evidence that suggests lymphatic massage can boost immune function, which can help you fight colds and other illnesses.

3. ENHANCED RELAXATION

You walk into your favorite spa, and a smile spreads across your face. You lay down on the table, and your massage therapist works hard to help you release muscle tension or break down knots in your back. Their purposeful touch leaves you feeling completely relaxed and rejuvenated.

Many people enjoy lymphatic drainage because—like many other forms of massage—it’s quite relaxing. Interestingly, one study found that manual lymphatic massage of the abdomen corresponded with neural effects that helped improve relaxation.

Keep in mind, however, that much of the evidence that supports a connection between lymphatic drainage and relaxation is anecdotal. In other words, each person will likely have their own experience.

Even still, if you love bodywork, you may feel stress relief during or after this practice.

TYPES OF LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE MASSAGE

If you’re convinced and ready to incorporate lymphatic massage into your routine, you essentially have two options:

  1. Simple massage is a technique you can use at home.

  2. Manual massage is when a qualified practitioner does the exercises for you.

You or your therapist will use gentle pressure and avoid areas with infection or swelling. You may also work on spots ranging from your chest and shoulders to your arms and legs during your lymphatic drainage journey.

For the best of both worlds, you might even consider receiving professional training so that you can practice manual lymphatic drainage massage at home with the right technique.

For additional tips on promoting lymphatic drainage, explore our detailed article on the benefits of cold plunge therapy, which offers valuable strategies to complement your lymphatic health regimen.

IMPROVE YOUR EXERCISE AND RECOVERY ROUTINE WITH P.E NATION

Adding lymphatic drainage massage to your post-workout routine can help you feel relaxed, recharged, and ready for your next gym session. And by adding P.E Nation to the mix, you can feel comfortable, supported, and ready to take on whatever lies ahead.

That’s because we design elevated performancewear that helps you thrive both during and after your workouts. So, whether you’re looking for full workout sets, soft and supportive sports bras, squat-proof gym leggings, or cozy yet stylish post-workout jackets, you can trust P.E Nation to deliver.

 

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