Lymphatic Drainage Massage: 10 Health Benefits & Indications

Updated in August 2023

A lymphatic drainage massage helps to combat swelling, speed-up recovery from injuries, reduce bruising, promote healing, boost circulation and promote toxin elimination. 

This type of massage consists of soft, slow movements to prevent lymphatic vessel rupture. These movements help to stimulate the flow of lymph fluid through the circulatory system. 

This procedure should be completed by a competent professional who is well-versed in the correct technique. Tissue manipulation may include circular movements and pressure applied with the fingers and thumbs, or a pumping movement all over the body or on just one area. 

Imagem ilustrativa número 2

Health benefits

The main health benefits of lymphatic drainage massage are: 

1. Reduce swelling

Lymphatic drainage massages help to reduce swelling and fluid retention. These massages help to promote fluid draining and elimination of toxins through the lymphatic glands.

2. Combating cellulite

Fluid retention can contribute to cellulite formation, which is why lymphatic drainage can help to reduce cellulite. However, multiple cosmetic techniques should be utilized to efficiently get rid of or reduce the appearance of cellulite. 

3. Helping to recover from injuries

A lymphatic drainage massage can help with muscle and joint injury recovery. This massage can also help to tone the muscles and promote tissue oxygenation. 

4. Promoting healing

A lymphatic drainage massage help to reduce swelling and promotes blood flow, which can also promote a faster recovery. 

5. Reducing bruises

Lymphatic drainage helps to reduce bruising, as it boosts circulation in certain areas and reduces edema. 

6. Improving blood flow

This massage technique stimulates microcirculation and reduces swelling, which can improve system blood flow and reduce the feeling of heavy legs as well as spider veins. 

7. Oxygenating tissues

Activating microcirculation and eliminating fluids through lymphatic drainage can contribute to more efficient oxygenation, as it allows oxygen to reach the cells much faster.

8. Eliminating toxins

The lymph system aids with toxin elimination from the body, and massaging can help to transport lymph fluid to the lymph glands to make this process more efficient. 

9. Boosting self-esteem

Reducing fluid retention can help to shape the body, leaving you more confident and comfortable in your body. 

10. Preventing scars after plastic surgery

Lymphatic drainage can help to promote tissue fiber organization and prevent scarring from incisions. 

When it's indicated

A lymphatic drainage massage can be recommended for the following situations: 

  • During pregnancy
  • After plastic surgery (ory)r any surge
  • After cancer treatment to prevent lymphedema 
  • Muscle, tendon and joint injuries 
  • During your period
  • In cases of cellulitis 

Lymphatic drainage massages is useful for eliminating swelling on the face or body that can emerge with many situations. When the technique is performed correctly, excess lymph fluid can be transported to the circulatory system, which is then filtered through the kidneys and eliminated through the urine. Lymphatic drainage can be performed using just your hands or with specific drainage equipment, which is found in some clinics. 

Although it has many benefits, lymphatic drainage is not recommended for severe grade 3 or 4 acne, as it can worsen acne lesions. It is also not recommended if open wounds are present, as it can increase the risk for infection. Following plastic surgery, this massage should only be done 24 to 48 hours after surgery. 

Can you have a lymphatic drainage massage with cancer? 

It is possible to undergo lymphatic drainage in cases of cancer, even after lymph nodes are removed. The lymphatic drainage massage does not spread cancer cells, but it should be done with the right technique, as the lymphatic system may be working differently if lymph nodes have been removed. Improper technique can cause damage and more discomfort to the patient. 

Although it is possible to have a lymphatic drainage massage with cancer, you are advised to select the right health care professional.