What is Lymphatic Massage?

You may already know that Euro-spa massage can be good for your health.  Sure it can help to relax tense muscles and reduce inflammation, and perhaps even to rest easier.  But some types of massage are more about therapy than simply “feeling better.” Lymphatic massage, for example, can help alleviate complications in the lymph system.

The lymph system is an intricate and complex network of glands in the human body. These nodes assist in circulation of the blood and, accordingly, nutrient s and oxygen.  They also help transport waste away from cells for disposal.

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It is an important system to say the least, but it once we learned how to monitor it, the lymphatic system became an important tool in diagnostic medicine.  Basically, the lymphatic system will become inflamed during infection or injury.  Doctors, then, can detect this inflammation to help determine illness.

Soft nodes, for example, can mean a simple infection while multiple “buckshot” size nodes could be an indication of viral infection.  Rock hard nodes, though, may be a sign of some types of metastatic cancer.  Of course, firm—but rubbery—lymph nodes could be a sign of lymphoma.

But while our understanding of the lymphatic system helps medical professionals to more effectively diagnose and treat disease, this understanding is also the basis of a modality of massage called, fittingly, lymphatic massage.

The lymph nodes are located all over the body. Yes, there are some in the throat but u can also find them under the armpit, behind the knees, in the elbow, and hidden within other soft tissue. The common names for the lymph nodes are:

  • axillary—nodes in the armpit
  • cervical—nodes in the neck
  • femoral—nodes in the upper inner thigh
  • inguinal—nodes in the groin
  • mediastinal—nodes behind the sternum and between the pleural (lung) sacs
  • mesentery—nodes in the groin
  • superclavicular—nodes along the collar bone

Lymphatic massage follows the philosophy that certain conditions in the human body can simply be the result of obstructions between the lymph nodes, or with the nodes themselves.  For example, while your throat may no longer be swollen because your respiratory infection has cleared, your corresponding lymph nodes may retain the fluid that built up during the infection.  Lymphatic massage, then, is designed to specifically help drain this fluid and resort stasis to the lymphatic system.

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