Monday, March 1, 2010

Lymphatic Massage

As I mentioned in my last post, I believe lymphatic massage is the best way to begin detoxing and the key that unlocks your body's natural detoxing system so that other methods become even more effective for you as well.

Lymphatic massage is so powerful because it works with your body, instead of pushing your body. It assists your body's natural detoxification process.

Sickness, stress, lack of exercise, etc. cause our bodies to tense up. As the muscles get tighter the lymphatic system is basically choked. Doing the massage relaxes the muscles and opens up the flow of the lymph, which is a fluid that moves the toxins out of your body.

The really amazing thing about lymphatic massage is that as you continue to do it, your lymphatic system will actually pull toxins out of the places where they are stored (in organs, tissues, glands, etc. So you don't have to do chelation or take a bunch of supplements to dig out the toxins buried deep in your body. Your body will do it naturally if you keep the lymphatic system moving well.

Basic lymphatic massage is pretty simple. Just start with gentle stroking or gentle pressure, whichever feels good. When I first started, my mom could barely touch me because I was so toxic that even my skin hurt. Gradually as the toxins came out she was able to rub a little harder, use a little more pressure, etc. Just remember that it's supposed to be a relaxing massage, not painful like a deep-tissue massage. And always massage toward the heart/torso.

My naturopath recommends using oil on the skin for the massage since it cuts down on the friction. I'm sensitive to any kind of oil, so that didn't work for me. I think it works ok without the oil. If you do use oil, try to find something natural like organic coconut oil or something that will not harm your body since it will be absorbed into your body through the skin.

When my mom feels a tense place or a kind of 'lump' under my skin she'll often just place her hand on top of it for several seconds and let that heat sort of "melt" the lump. Then she can gently rub it out. This happens most often in my feet. For some reason they always have lumps in different places.

The following website has some brief video clips that show how to do different parts of the massage as well as where the major lymph nodes are, and more more.

Just remember, go slow. When I first started I could only handle about 10 minutes of massage. After that I'd feel nauseated and weak. As my body got rid of more toxins I could handle longer massages. If you do too much massage or too often, your body will be dumping a bunch of toxins at once and you'll deinitely feel worse because of it. Always pay attention to your body and listen to what it's telling you. A little at a time is better than a whole lot at once. =) And don't forget to drink LOTS of water after a massage, to help move the toxins out quickly.

There's plenty of information about lymphatic massage online if you want to learn more. These websites have information about what it does and why it's helpful.

Here's a sample paragraph from the second website -

"The lymphatic system has no central pump and depends on muscle contraction through deep breathing, exercise and manual manipulation to move fluid.
Lymphatic massage utilizes a very light pressure combined with soft pumping movements in the direction of the lymph nodes. Immune system function can be significantly increased, improving metabolism and helping the body to eliminate waste and toxins."

I think my naturpath would say that lymphatic massage is good for everyone. However, the above websites do list a caution for people with certain health issues.

"For the most part lymphatic massage is safe. However as with all massage therapies there are some contra indications. For lymphatic massage specifically, these include acute inflammation, malignant tumors, thrombosis and major heart problems."

"Lymph massage is a type of massage which is designed to promote the healthy flow of lymph, the clear fluid which supports immune system function by flowing through the body and sequestering foreign material like viruses. Practitioners of lymph massage believe that the massage eliminates blockages in the lymphatic system, while also helping to pull out toxins. This type of massage is generally very gentle, but there are some serious contraindications, because massage work around the lymphatic system can make some medical conditions worse. Therefore, it is important to talk to a doctor before booking an appointment for lymph massage.
You may hear this type of massage called lymphatic massage, lymphatic drainage, or manual lymphatic drainage. People with inflammations and current infections should not get lymph massage, because the massage can encourage the spread of the infection. Lymph massage is also contraindicated for people with tumors and undiagnosed lumps, as well as people with clotting issues and heart problems. Lymph massage can make all of these conditions worse."

My best advice (as long as you don't have any of the above conditions) is just give it a try and see how it feels. It's made a huge difference for me! My naturopath discovered this when he was struggling to recover from chronic fatigue. He's very healthy now and still has a massage once a week.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Anyone can post comments on this blog now, so feel free! =)

1 comment:

  1. I'm enjoying reading about lymphatic messages and detoxing. Thanks!