What is Lymphatic Drainage or Massage
Lymphatic Drainage Massage is a gentle, connective tissue massage technique that accelerates the movement of the lymphatic fluid that bathes the tissues, through the lymphatic system and into the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is responsible for keeping the connective tissue surrounding cells free from excess water, proteins, bacteria, viruses, inorganic materials, destroyed cells resulting from surgery or trauma, red blood cells, and other dead cells.
The therapist uses precise, rhythmic strokes. The pumping action of the massage causes small capillaries to open and close, enhancing reabsorption of lymph from the tissues back into the lymphatic vessels. This technique helps remove toxins, reduces edema or tissue fluid retention, and decongests all lymphatic pathways. The repetitive and soothing movements also stimulate pain-inhibitory reflexes. Lymphatic drainage massage enhances immune function, increases tissue metabolism, improves nutrition to the tissues, promotes eliminative functions, establishes fluid balance, reduces pain, and induces deep relaxation.
There are a number of different lymphatic techniques including the Classical and the Emmett Technique. Classical lymphatic drainage or massage can be performed by therapists trained to provide oncology support. The Emmett Technique is a safe and simple muscle release therapy developed by Remedial Therapist Ross Emmett. It is used to address pain and discomfort, improve body movement and can restore a positive emotional state. The therapy addresses tissues that may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, or other connective tissue (fascia), as well as lymphatic vessels, or organs of the gastrointestinal system.