Lymph drainage massages are not as popular as other types of massage in the United States, yet they provide numerous health benefits. The International Alliance of Healthcare Educators explains that lymph drainage massages are done in a specific rhythm and direction to increase the flow of the lymphatic system in the body. People with medical needs and those who are healthy can both benefit from this type of massage.
Healing After Surgery
According to MassageTherapy.com, lymph drainage massages can help with healing after surgery. This type of massage regenerates tissues to reduce scarring at surgical incision sites. Lymph drainage massages also reduce swelling and detoxify the body, according to the International Alliance of Healthcare Educators. The alliance's website states that lymph drainage massages help speed regeneration of tissues and cells. The massages shouldn't be done right after surgery; instead, a person should wait at least 6 weeks before getting one, or until a doctor clears the patient for massage.
Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed a baby, as breast milk is full of nutrients and antibodies. Yet some women experience complications while breastfeeding that are usually due to the baby improperly latching. These complications can include plugged ducts, sore nipples and engorgement, and they can be painful and discouraging. While the effects can get better and completely resolve in time, some women choose to quit breastfeeding because of them. Dr. Bruno Chikly, author of "Silent Waves, Theory and Practice of Lymph Drainage Therapy," states on MassageTherapy.com that lymph drainage massage can help to reduce the swelling of engorgement and ameliorate plugged ducts. Fixing these two problems can reduce soreness in the breasts and nipples, ultimately leading to better breastfeeding.
Improved Immune System
The immune system is tied to the lymphatic system. In fact, if flow of lymphatic materials slows, the immune system weakens. MassageTherapy.com states that lymph drainage massages can improve the function of the immune system and increase the production of antibodies that fight off infections. Lymph drainage massages can also reduce inflammation in the body that causes diseases such as arthritis.
Most massages are relaxing because they are quiet and involve the personal touch of a licensed specialist. Lymph drainage massages can be especially relaxing because they can reduce pain levels in the body. The International Alliance of Healthcare Educators states that the rhythm, pressure and motion of lymph drainage massages work together to reduce pain and stress and to promote general vitality and well-being.