It is uncomfortable to always have a feeling of swelling and liquid retention.
More than an aesthetic discomfort, having your legs, feet, arms, face and belly constantly swollen is a sign that your body is not taking care of eliminating the liquids properly.
People who suffer from this problem, however, can count on lymphatic drainage, to – literally – take a hand to the lymphatic system.
This is, through a manually or mechanically done massage, this technique helps drain the liquid that accumulates between cells and that, for some reason, the body is not able to return it to the circulatory system to be eliminated.
In the following text we will explain how this procedure can bring aesthetic and health benefits.
In this article you will find the following information:
- What is lymphatic drainage?
- How does the lymphatic system work?
- Facial lymphatic drainage
- What is it for?
- Benefits of lymphatic drainage
- Lymphatic drainage in the postoperative
- How is lymphatic drainage done?
- How many sessions are necessary?
- Can pregnant women do?
- Lymphatic drainage loss?
- How to improve the results of lymphatic drainage?
- Price: How much does a lymphatic drainage session cost?
- Is lymphatic drainage massage?
- Common questions
What is lymphatic drainage?
Lymphatic drainage is a compression technique made manually or with the aid of appliances to help the lymphatic system drain standing water between the tissues.
It is usually necessary when this compression is not spontaneous or happens insufficiently.
It is like a massage, made with light and soft movements, with no use of strength or excessive speed, capable of decreasing fluid retention, eliminating toxins, improving circulation, reducing muscle pain, helping to treat cellulite and other benefits.
It is also a very suitable procedure for patients in pre and postoperative period of plastic surgery because it helps with recovery and healing. For pregnant women, lymphatic drainage is useful because it helps reduce swelling, pain and stress that can occur during this period.
It is performed by professionals such as the massage therapist, physiotherapist and beautician and can generate benefits to legs, arms, belly and face.
How does the lymphatic system work?
Our circulation system is composed of arterial blood (goes from heart to body) and venous (from body back to heart).
Venous circulation, which has thinner (capillaries) walls, leaves a small amount of liquid to “escape” and accumulate between tissues.
This liquid, called lymph, is composed mostly by water, but also by proteins, lipids, oxygen, glucose and white blood cells.
In general, the body returns to substance to circulation. This is where the lymphatic system comes in, because it is the one who helps drain this water that is between the tissues and needs to return to circulation so that it can be filtered.
It has the function of directing this lymph to the “filters” of our body, so say, known as lymph nodes or lymph nodes, located in the armpits, groin, clavicle and neck. Through them, liquids and toxins should be eliminated.
But for the lymph to reach the lymph nodes, the lymphatic system needs adjunct pressure, which is also done by muscle action in the body.
However, sometimes this process can be slow by several factors, such as muscle weakness (atony), physical inactivity and spend most of the day sitting and heat.
In addition to these factors, hormonal changes, pregnancy, menstruation, excess sodium in food, heart, renal and liver failure can also impair the functioning of the lymphatic system. The consequence of all this is liquid retention by the body.
Lymphatic drainage can be done in two ways: manually, such as a massage, or with the use of devices (mechanical form). When choosing between the techniques, a doubt may arise about which will bring better results:
Manual lymphatic drainage is done through a massage without the use of any object or device. In it, the physiotherapist performs gentle movements in the treated region, without applying too much strength or pressure to the skin.
These movements “carry” excess fluids stopped between the tissues to the body drainage centers, the ganglia located in the armpits, collarbone, neck and groin.
Because it is made with the hands, the professional responsible for the drainage can have even greater accuracy about the swollen regions and possible nodules.
It is also the most suitable type for people in a postoperative period, as it is better in the treatment and elimination of possible waste, such as nodules and fats. In addition, it can help in collagen production by accelerating healing time.
Mechanical drainage has the same action as manual drainage as it also reduces fluid retention and eliminates toxins. However, it is different from manual drainage because it has a deeper action on tissues, as its effect reaches the muscles, the adipose layer and the skin.
It is a better option for those seeking muscle relaxation, better cellulite reduction and decreased measurements.
In addition, because there are personalized drainage equipment according to the type of treatment, the results sought can be treated with a greater focus.
In this type of drainage, the main contraindication is that it is not done in patients in postoperative period, as at this stage the skin is more sensitive and the devices may end up damaging or slowing recovery.
Facial lymphatic drainage
It is common to associate lymphatic drainage only with the body, as it is quite common to be done in the belly and legs, for example. But this technique can also be applied to the face.
Facial lymphatic drainage also provides many benefits, acting as a therapeutic, aesthetic and preventive procedure.
The procedure can help prevent tissue aging and tone the skin (as it stimulates collagen). It also helps eliminate bags and expression marks near the eye region and can be done in postoperative patients.
Because it is an even more sensitive region, lymphatic drainage on the face needs to be done with even softer touches, always with a properly trained professional.
Initially, the procedure opens the ganglia located in the neck, armpits and lap. In sequence, the massage to direct the circulation of the lymph is done, stimulating the elimination of these liquids and toxins by the ganglia.
What is it for?
Lymphatic drainage is made to reduce swelling, toxins and fluid retention in the body. It is therefore able to promote health and aesthetics benefits as it helps improve circulation, immune system, skin appearance and help reduce cellulite.
It is a procedure that can generally also be indicated for women in gestation or after delivery, to help reduce swelling, bring greater muscle relaxation, reduce anxiety and stress.
But it is important to always talk to the obstetrician to check the time indicated to perform the procedure.
It can also be done to help improve the results of the gym or pre-postoperatively of plastic surgery, such as liposuction and abdominoplasty.
It should always be done by a qualified professional to avoid injury to patients. People who have undergone some surgery, pregnant women or who have some clinical condition should always consult a doctor before performing lymphatic drainage.
Benefits of lymphatic drainage
In addition to helping to reduce swelling and fluid retention, improving the operation of the lymphatic system, this technique provides several other benefits, such as:
Detoxicate the body
There are several factors that worsen or cause body intoxication, increasing the amount of toxins present in the body, such as a diet full of processed foods, rich in sugar and fat, and the absence of physical activity, for example.
This poisoning when added to fluid retention becomes an even greater problem, due to the malaise and negative impacts caused to health.
Lymphatic drainage, therefore, promotes detoxification by eliminating toxins that are “stuck” to the body due to fluid retention.
Read more: detox juice: weight loss, to lose belly, how to do, recipe
Greater muscle relaxation and stress reduction
Because it is a form of massage, lymphatic drainage provides relief in muscle tension, especially when caused by extreme stress. It can thus bring greater mental and physical well-being.
Lymphatic drainage is also fundamental to help in the healing of patients in the post-surgery period, and may reduce the recovery time by up to 50%, because by reducing swelling the body has a better healing.
In people who have plastic surgery, usually procedures that interfere with the functioning of the lymphatic system, drainage is critical.
It can also be indicated for people who underwent orthopedic, vascular and cesarean section surgery.
Reduces swelling caused by menopause
During menopause, when women undergo more intense hormonal variations, it is common to retain fluids.
Lymphatic drainage, in these cases, can be done to help women treat problems related to the lymphatic system and, also because it is relaxing, can promote well-being improvements.
Read more: how to live with menopause and deal with symptoms
Enhances the results of the gym
Although this is not the focus, lymphatic drainage can also be done to accelerate the results of the gym, as it helps to reduce measurements due to discharge, and improve circulation during activities and reduce cellulite.
Relieves bruises and swelling after surgery
After a surgical procedure is more common for people to retain liquid and that the lymphatic system becomes slower for this drainage.
Typically, lymphatic drainage is indicated in recovery phases to help eliminate this retention, but it also contributes to the reduction of bruises, pain relief, improved circulation and healing process and recovery.
In liposuction and abdominoplasty, for example, the technique is critical, as it is possible that cells and fibroses (internal scars) stand still or form in the belly region after surgery.
It can also be done in patients who have surgery to increase or reduce breasts (mammoplasty or mastectomy) and rhinoplasty (nose plastic surgery).
Assists in the treatment of cellulite
Cellulite, a condition in which the skin looks granulated, is also one of the can be softened by performing lymphatic drainage, as the procedure reduces fluid retention.
It is noteworthy that there are better results when the client also performs exercise and maintains a healthy diet.
Lymphatic drainage in the postoperative
After a surgical procedure it is normal to occur greater fluid retention and, consequently, swelling.
This more care after surgery is critical, as surgery usually leaves injuries to the body, such as nerve and vessel damage, greater fluid dispersion in cells, bruises, pain and skin sensitivity.
Lymphatic drainage in these cases is a very important procedure as it can help reduce healing time by accelerating patient recovery.
It is also a way to improve the results of surgical procedures, especially plastic surgery. In the case of abdominoplasty and liposuction, the technique also helps to avoid fibrosis, a condition in which a kind of internal scar forms, as if they were plates.
Therefore, in addition to rest, use of medicines prescribed by the doctor, food care, lymphatic drainage may also be among care after surgery.
How is lymphatic drainage done?
Lymphatic drainage is a procedure that can be done by professionals such as physiotherapists, beauticians and massage therapists. It is usually done in sessions that last an average of 1 hour, but may vary according to the patient.
Massage can only be done with the use of the hands or with specific appliances, and in both forms the effect provided is the same: elimination of toxins and liquids in the body.
Thus, whether a manual or mechanical drainage, professionals perform soft, rhythmic movements and without much pressure on the treated region, “pushing” the liquid to the lymph nodes, located in the armpits, collarbone, neck and groin.
At first, the professional performs small successive pressures with his fingers on the lymph nodes (lymph nodes), then “pushing” the liquids retained toward them.
These movements should always be made lightly, as lymph nodes, as well as the lymphatic system, are in the superficial layer of the skin (dermis) and therefore no strength is required to promote this drainage.
Nor is it necessary to use creams or oils to slide your hands on the client’s skin, as this makes contact more slippery and may affect the accuracy of the movements.
Each region of the body requires a different movement of drainage, being done as follows:
- Legs: movements made ascending in the sense of the popliteal fossa, region behind the knees;
- Thighs: movements made towards the groin region;
- Belly: movements performed towards the groin;
- Arms: movements made towards armpits;
- Face: Movements made towards the ganglia of the collarbone and neck.
How many sessions are necessary?
The number of sessions for each patient depends a lot on the results and the type of treatment performed. Therefore, it is difficult to stipulate an ideal average.
The frequency depends on each goal. Small daily daily sessions (for example, after surgeries) or weekly (to reduce swelling) may be recommended.
On average, you can see results from 4 sessions.
The important thing is to talk to the professional to understand how many sessions will be needed and not interrupt treatment as this can cause fluid retention to return.
Can pregnant women do?
Overall, yes, when released by the obstetrician. In general, lymphatic drainage is safe and even recommended for pregnant women by helping to reduce swelling during this period.
However, in the case of women who have some disease linked to the lymphatic system, such as untt controlled hypertension, deep vein thrombosis and renal failure, for example, lymphatic drainage is not indicated.
With the exception of these cases, the procedure can bring many advantages to months of gestation, as problems with swelling are more frequent.
In addition to helping to reduce liquid retention, lymphatic drainage is also interesting because it provides a greater sense of well-being as it helps pregnant women relieve tension, muscle pain and anxiety.
Read more: know the benefits of pilates in pregnancy
It can be a procedure done also after delivery, even in women who performed cesarean section. However, it is important to talk to the doctor and wait for concrete healing, which may vary in each case.
Lymphatic drainage loss?
Not . Lymphatic drainage is a massage made to increase lymph flow, liquid stopped between tissues, and thus improve the functioning of the lymphatic system. Thus, it decreases swelling and fluid retention, which may, consequently, cause a reduction in measurements.
However, this procedure does not interfere with the person’s fat percentage, as in the case of physical and diet activities. That is why lymphatic drainage does not lose weight.
However, even for those who want to lose weight, this can be an interesting procedure for helping to reduce swelling and cellulite remembering that alone has no effect on the scale.
The ideal is to lead a balanced life, with physical activities and healthy eating, and lymphatic drainage is a complement.
How to improve the results of lymphatic drainage?
Lymphatic drainage is a procedure that provides good aesthetic results, but alone it is not miraculous.
Read more: tips for changing habits and losing weight with health
But there are some tips that people can follow in everyday life to help improve the effects of the technique, and provide other health benefits:
Some of the factors that contribute to fluid retention is the exaggerated consumption of sodium -rich foods.
Therefore, the ideal is to avoid foods with high content of the substance, such as soda, stuffed cookies, sweets, powder juices or any ultra -processed product.
In return, it is best to add healthier foods to the diet, such as vegetables, fruits and proteins, for example.
Read more: Why eat vegetables and vegetables?
Several factors can induce fluid retention by the body, such as hormonal disorders, increased toxins in the body, problems in cardiovascular or cellular health. But among the causes is also dehydration.
When we consume few liquids we cannot meet the water’s water needs. In response, the body begins to retain water, as this is the way to compensate for fluid deficiency.
To resolve this retention requires greater fluid intake, to return the proper hydration that the body needs, preventing the kidneys from retaining the water that needs to be eliminated.
Thus, consuming plenty of water or diuretic teas, for example, helps to avoid retention of fluids by ensuring good hydration and greater urine production, eliminating the body’s toxins.
Also, for those who want to lose weight, just performing lymphatic drainage is not enough. Exercise helps accelerate this process of eliminating toxins and fat, as well as improving the circulatory system.
After lymphatic drainage, even 30 minutes per day walks already help to enhance the effects of the procedure.
Lymphatic drainage, despite being a very safe procedure, has some contraindications. Should not be done under the following conditions:
- Acute infections;
- Phlebitis (inflammation of the vein wall);
- Thrombophlebitis (superficial venous thrombosis);
- Patients in treatment of some type of cancer;
- Cardiac insufficiency;
- Unsual hyperthyroidism;
- Severe bronchial asthma;
- Renal insufficiency.
Price: How much does a lymphatic drainage session cost?
The price of a lymphatic drainage session can vary greatly according to the clinic, the locality and the professional. On average, each session costs around $ 40 to $ 100, and may be even more expensive.
Is lymphatic drainage massage?
Lymphatic drainage is one of the various types of massage that exists. Each technique is done with a specific objective, being the drainage of the elimination of lymphatic fluids from the body.
It is not always called massage, as the main objective of the procedure is not to bring relaxation – although it is also one of the additional benefits.
Does lymphatic drainage treat stretch marks?
Unfortunately not . Lymphatic drainage has action in the lymphatic system and is therefore not indicated for the treatment of stretch marks, which are marks caused by the break of the skin’s elastic fibers.
It is important to talk to a dermatologist to find out what the best aesthetic procedure to do. Some possible options include chemical peel and laser treatments, which act in the deepest layers of the skin and help soften these brands.
Read more: stretch marks: what causes, how to avoid and treatments
Does drainage help reduce swelling after delivery?
Yea ! Lymphatic drainage is an aesthetic treatment that can accompany the woman before, during and after pregnancy, always with the knowledge of the doctor and the choice of properly qualified professionals.
After delivery, it is necessary to confirm with the obstetrician how long should be expected to perform the procedure. In women who had cesarean sections, it is necessary to wait for the total healing of the surgery.
It may be recommended that women who have made cesarean section of about three months to start lymphatic drainage sessions so that the body can fully recover from delivery.
Can I associate lymphatic drainage with other aesthetic procedures?
Yes, lymphatic drainage can be done in conjunction with other aesthetic treatments, such as aesthetic ultrasound, endeormherapy and Russian current, for example.
However, it is always important to consult a qualified specialist to confirm the possibility of doing other procedures at the same time and what the implications.
What is the difference between lymphatic drainage and modeling massage?
Modeling massage and lymphatic drainage are done with different goals and techniques. Modeling massage is performed with faster, intense and repetitive movements on the skin, such as a modeling of the treated region.
Therefore, it is more sought after by those who want to lose weight and have the body’s corners. Lymphatic drainage is done with softer movements, with the main objective of eliminating the swollen reduction lymph.
Does lymphatic drainage hurt?
Not . Lymphatic drainage should not cause pain, nor cause bruising and discomfort, as it is made with lighter and milder movements, without putting too much pressure on the client’s skin.
It can be painful under special conditions, as in the postoperative period of plastic surgery, as it is an inflammatory condition of the tissue itself and unrelated to the massage itself.
To help reduce swelling and fluid retention, lymphatic drainage is one of the most suitable procedures. In addition, it helps to relax and decrease cellulite, a great option for those who want to take a break from stress and still have several benefits.
If you have already done, feel free to share the results obtained in our comments space. Thank you for reading!
- Lymphatic drainage, Brazilian Society of Dermatology;
- Lymphatic drainage massage and weight loss: demystifying information, Brazilian Journal of Prescription and Exercise Physiology.