Updated: Mar 18, 2022
This time of year, Spring, is especially beneficial for lymphatic massages. Winter usually brings on more stagnancy, cold, and slowness in your day to day. This is a natural part of the yearly cycle - all aspects of life hibernate to some degree during the Winter months. Then, as the year transitions into Spring, things start to ‘wake up’ and naturally exert a bit more energy.
Massage, in general, is a great way to help with movement within the body. Lymphatic massage is a more gentle, yet still targeted, form of massage.
The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory and immune system. Lymph fluid helps maintain balance in your body by collecting excess fluids, particulate matter and toxins from tissues and depositing them in the blood stream to be expelled by one of the detox systems in your body. In short, it is a support system for healthy detoxifying.
This system does not have a tradition pump of its own, like the heart is for the circulatory system.
One way to encourage healthy Lymphatic flow is through gentle, surface level massage. Your lymph nodes run through the entirety of your body. A full body massage is not necessary every time you want to do/get a lymphatic massage. The ‘main hubs’ are located on either side of your neck and jaw, your arms pits, and either side of your groin/lower abdomen. Gently massage in a downward motion, starting at your neck/jaw, then armpits, and finally your lower abdomen/groin. This type of massage encourages healthy movement of lymph fluids around the body. For a more intensive support massage, you can apply the same gentle, downward movement starting from your neck/jaw, then travel down your shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. Return to your chest/armpit area and gentle massage down your torso, abdomen, legs, feet, and toes. Make sure to massage down and away from the center of your body.
Another way to encourage and support healthy lymph flow is flexing your calves in some way. one of my teachers, Paul Bergner, once told our class that the calf is the lymphatic system’s unofficial pump. When you run up the stairs, jump on a trampoline, or even dance, you are inadvertently supporting your lymphatic system!
And, of course, incorporating herbs that have an affinity for the lymphatic system is always a great idea for extra support. Some of our favorite lymphatic herbs include calendula, cleavers, violet, chickweed, and red root. All of these can be taken internally or used externally. In fact, our seasonal Lymphatic Massage Oil is full of these herbs and is safe for all ages. To use the oil, just add one pump to each of the main hubs and continue with the gentle massage as stated above.
*People should not have a lymphatic massage if they have congestive heart failure, blood clots, kidney problems, infections, or circulation problems. If a person has any medical conditions, they should talk to a doctor before trying a lymphatic massage.