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Your lymphatic system is the keystone of your immune system.  In plain English, it cleans up the waste products in your body and produces the germ fighting cells needed to keep you healthy.  The majority of this system is located between your skin and muscles and links directly to your circulatory system and brain.  

Unlike your circulatory system, there is no central pump (heart) to keep the lymph system flowing.  Instead, it relies on your movement.  Moderate exercise, stretching, and even deep breathing are what usually keep it functioning.  However, there are times that the load becomes too much for it to function properly and additional help is needed.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage gently pushes this waste fluid through the lymph vessels into the lymph nodes where it's cleaned and returned to the circulatory system.  This gets it out of your sinuses, or arm or leg in the case of lymphedema, or away from your surgery site and helps your body to feel better, function better, and heal faster.

While you will feel some improvement immediately following your session, the real purpose of lymphatic drainage is to stimulate your immune system to help you HEAL better.  The full results of a treatment won't usually be felt until the body has had time to process the work that was done, about 24-48 hours after the actual massage.


Why It Works
(The Science)

According to Dr. Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, “Massage works because it changes your whole physiology."

By manually stimulating the lymphatic system you:
- Increase the carrying capacity of the lymph system, allowing it to process up to 10 times more fluid than normal.
- Increase the flow through the lymph nodes, filtering out waste products, dead cells,excess proteins and toxins from the tissues.
- Increase the production of lymphocytes, thereby increasing the body's ability to fight infections.
- Activate the parasympathetic response, which produces a body-wide relaxation effect.
(Laird, Massage Today, Aug. 2012 Vol. 12, Issue 08)

Other benefits of massage include the decrease of cortisol production(a hormone that suppresses the immune system) and increase in the levels of dopamine and serotonin (neurotransmitters that help keep you healthy and happy). (Nurs Midwifery Stud. 2013 Sep;2(3):10-15. Epub 2013 Sep 15.)

Field continues, "There’s not a single condition we’ve looked at—including cancer—that hasn’t responded positively to massage. Just adding massage makes such an incredible difference. In everything we’ve done, massage is significantly effective.”

Getting Started
(How to get the most from your sessions)

A Lymphatic Drainage Massage is slow, repetitive, and very light pressure.  Like all massage, it works by increasing circulation throughout the body.  It is very important that you are hydrated before, during, and after your sessions.  Dehydrated bodies don't respond well to massage, and they respond even less to Lymphatic Drainage.  For bodywork purposes you need to drink half your body weight in ounces each day for 2 days before your appointment:

                                            150 lb person =  75 ounces of water

Broth soups, herbal teas, and clear fruit juice all count toward your fluid intake, but purified water does the job best.  It is also highly recommended to avoid alcohol while receiving lymphatic treatments.

To help your lymphatic function at its best you can also: 
     -practice deep breathing
     -do some gentle stretching
     -conversational, "no-sweat" paced walking for 20 minutes twice a day (if 20 minuted is too much, do what you          can, some is better than none.)
     -avoid salty and fried foods
     -eat plenty of fresh pineapple (crushed), melons, and berries
     -try adding grated tumeric root to a salad or smoothie

Plan on taking it easy the rest of the day after your appointment.  Although you will be feeling better, your body needs to be able to focus on processing the work that was done.  Strenuous exercise, becomming overheated, stressed, or dehydrated will be counterproductive.

If you are in a treatment series, it is VERY important you stick to the schedule of treatment sessions.  They are intentionally spaced to get you the best results.  Being inconsistent in your treatments will delay your recovery and increase the number of sessions you will need.

If you have any questions or concerns, ask us!  We are happy you are here and we're excited to help in any way that we can!