Our waters here in the Lowcountry are some of the cleanest in the world, due to the quantity of oysters that filtrate and remove debris from the water.

When you see clear water in a lake, stream or tributary, the end result is preceded by a vast filtration system of rocks, debris and other elements.

Our lymphatic system’s anatomy is like the sewage treatment plant of a city. When we move lymph along in our bodies, the end result is a clean, sparkling output.

The lymph system is made up of groups of organs, glands, vessels and drains that do this filtration. They include the thymus, bone marrow, spleen, tonsils, appendix, nodules in the small intestine, and the lymph nodes. Through maintaining optimal cellular health, a strong foundation for life is provided.

Manual lymph drainage massage (LDM) uses gentle, light strokes and rhythmic manipulations to stimulate the lymph movement.

Another effective way to move lymph is through dry brushing. This is a technique using soft strokes against the skin to stimulate your lymphatic system with a body brush.

It  exfoliates the skin and is a unique, gentle twist of performing self manual lymphatic drainage. It is generally recommended to do first thing in the morning before showering.

Most people start at their feet though some prefer to start brushing to clear the trunk first, just like a lymphatic massage therapist would for manual lymphatic drainage. You should follow the same

pathways but with the brush instead of your hands. 

Do it very lightly. In this instance, less pressure is more. Additionally, the manual stimulation encourages the production of collagen and elastane so over time and with multiple lymphatic draining massages, skin looks youthful, glowing and healthy.

The science behind why this massage works is fairly simple. Stroking the areas of the body that process the lymph fluid, and the lymph nodes, causes the fluid to drain.

The LDM massage procedure not only supports immune health, it also works well and has been demonstrated to show positive results post surgically. Most patients post-cosmetic surgery need four to six LDM treatments to remove most of the excess fluid. Patients can expect relief from swelling after the sixth treatment.

What are the benefits of lymphatic drainage massage?

• Good lymphatic drainage supports your immune system

• Excellent for preventing common illnesses such as colds and viruses

• It speeds up healing

• Reduces water retention and bloating

• Encourages weight loss because stimulating the lymphatic system helps to raise your metabolic rate, which burns calories

• Helps to relieve lymphedema (when the body swells excessively,

normally in the legs, feet, and arms)

• Promotes glowing, plump and firm skin

• Breaks down cellulite because it encourages the removal of fatty deposits

• Encourages better circulation

• Speeds up scar tissue healing

• Cleans out blocked pores because it encourages removal of toxins and impurities

It is a good idea to practice lymphatic drainage massage under the

guidance of someone with the right training, such as a massage

therapist, or other professional that has been trained knowing

endangerment sites and contraindications.

Remember to consult a doctor before using lymphatic drainage massage because it can affect the flow of fluid and lymph when you have certain health problems or are taking particular medications.

Cindi Stone is a licensed massage therapist at Inner Peace Massage in Bluffton.