Putting Focus on the Lymphatic System
I recently received a comment on one of my blog posts (the Lymphatic System’s Role in Healing) about the benefits of lymphatic drainage massage. Intrigued by this, I decided to book an appointment last weekend to try it out.
The lymphatic system is made of up anywhere from 600-800 lymph nodes spread out in the body. This lymph system picks up fluids and waste products from the spaces between the cells and filters and cleans them. Problem is, this system is easily clogged up from the many toxins and stress in our environment.
One theory on the spread of endometriosis is through the lymphatic system. Since the reproductive organs dump into the lymphatic system, if it is clogged then parts of the endometrium end up in places they don’t belong.
Additionally, a clogged up lymphatic system can cause a variety of symptoms common with endometriosis, including bloating, digestive distress, skin breakouts, headaches, sore breasts prior to menstruation, etc.
Having struggled with digestive issues the past week, I decided now was as good as any to try this new therapy out 🙂
What is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Lymphatic drainage massage increases flow of the lymphatic system. It removes waste at the cellular level and assists in bringing oxygen and nutrients to the cells. It can be very helpful when healing from surgery (recommended to wait at least six weeks after surgery to get one).
This was the first time I tried this type of massage and I was definitely intrigued by what the practitioner did. For one, it was unlike any massage I received in the past. Her touch was very, very light as her fingers worked rhythmically to manually clear out my lymph nodes. This very light touch is meant to influence blood vessels situated in the skin layers.
She started near my heart, worked down to my pelvis region then returned back to my heart. She explained that this way of cleansing was indicative of how the lymph naturally flows. This manual drainage works just under the skin level to influence lymphatic release.
Apparently the lymphatic system is closely tied to the circulatory and urinary systems. The final waste product is released out of the kidneys in the urine. Because of this, she warned me that I would likely have to pee when she was done 🙂
She also warned me that things could get wonky with my following period…. this is still pending, Lol.
On the Positive Side?
The light touch included in a lymphatic drainage massage is very calming. It is supposed to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Though my massage therapist mentioned that I was much more alert than most of her clients – think this is because I was so intrigued by what she was doing 🙂
She did some energy work over my pelvic region and for a brief period I noticed some cramping. I believe that this came from the shift in lymphatic flow in this area.
I left the session feeling calm and collected. The next day, however I was struck with pretty strong fatigue. I think this too was my body’s reaction to releasing toxins from my body. As with any cleansing mechanism, often times things get worse before they get better.
Have you tried Lymphatic Drainage Massage? I’d love to hear about your experience.