Lymphatic Drainage Massage
The purpose of lymph drainage massage is to move fluid out of your tissues into lymph nodes where bacteria, viruses and other harmful microorganisms are destroyed. It reduces swelling and pain and stimulates your immune system, increasing the circulation of white blood cells.
There are lymph nodes in your face and neck. They protect you against pathogens that enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth. There is a chain of lymph nodes that reaches from the inner corners of your eyes to your nose. There is also a ring of nodes around the bottom of your head, the occipital nodes in back at the base of your skull, nodes under and behind your ears and nodes under your jaw line and chin. Lymph fluid moves from your head into these nodes then drains into two chains of nodes on your neck, leading down toward the collar bone. Once lymph has been processed in the lymph nodes, it empties into blood vessels near your heart, to circulate around the body again. The lymphatic system keeps 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 massage motion is a circle with slightly more pressure in the direction of the lymph nodes and lighter pressure as you finish the circle. This movement helps push fluid inside the lymph vessels into the nodes. The pumping action of the massage causes small capillaries to open and close, improving re-absorption of lymph from the tissues back into the lymphatic vessels.
Lymphatic Drainage massage 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 elimination functions, establishes fluid balance, reduces pain, and induces deep relaxation.
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