There are many forms of massage, but they are all designed to help relieve pain and discomfort. One type of massage that is often overlooked is lymphatic drainage massage. If you would like to know more about lymphatic drainage massage to determine if it's right for you, keep reading.
What Is Your Lymphatic System?
The lymph nodes are part of your lymphatic system, which helps your immune system by creating white blood cells to fight infections and cancer cells. These nodes are located throughout your body, including the neck, armpit, groin, and many others.
This system is great at clearing out toxins and managing your body's fluid levels. Along with lymph nodes, the lymphatic system includes the spleen and thymus. Occasionally, if you get sick, the lymph nodes (mostly in your neck and chin area) may swell as your body fights the infection.
What Is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is swelling, and it occurs when too much protein-rich fluid starts to build in a certain area. It's common in the lower extremities because of a combination of gravity and the position of the heart above the legs. However, it is also common in the arms/fingers, and it can happen anywhere.
You can often spot lymphedema as the area swells. The area may also feel heavy or tight, and many patients lose some range of motion. The leading causes of lymphedema are cancer and cancer-related treatments like radiation treatment.
What Is a Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Lymphatic drainage massage is a type of gentle massage that helps treat lymphedema. The process involves clearing the excess fluid and then helping the body's lymph nodes to reabsorb the fluid to process. You may not see immediate results, and you may need multiple treatments.
Lymphatic drainage massage is often used to treat the side effects of breast cancer surgery, but other conditions that may benefit from lymphatic drainage massage include rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic venous insufficiency, and lipedema.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
You're a good candidate for lymphatic drainage massage if you have lymphedema, especially if it is associated with cancer or one of the other above-mentioned conditions. It is a gentle massage: not deep tissue, making it great for people who may have weakness from surgery or other treatments.
You are not a great candidate if you have a heart condition, kidney failure, blood clots, or an infection. The massage could trigger some potential risks, such as sending a blood clot to the heart/brain.
If you suffer from lymphedema, it may be time to consider a lymphatic drainage massage. It can help relieve pain and other symptoms. If you would like to know more, contact a provider in your area today.
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