Lymphatic Drainage is a technique has been around for a long time, having been developed in the 1930’s by 2 doctors from Denmark. By 1936, it was recognized in France as a legitimate way to address chronic illness. Today, lymphatic drainage massage is recognized worldwide as a valuable means of draining and cleansing the lymphatic system, thereby invigorating the health of the entire body.
The lymphatic system is a complex system of vessels that permeates most of the body’s tissues and returns fluids to the blood from the interstitial spaces (gaps between all cells in the body). The lymphatic system essentially follows the same path as the circulatory system, dumping its contents back into the blood just above the right side of the heart.
Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have an organ like the heart to pump fluid through its vessels. Movement of lymph (the fluid coursing through lymphatic vessels) depends on us. Without sufficient activity to keep the lymph moving, the system becomes sluggish, causing inflammation and greater potential for infection. Indications of a sluggish lymphatic system include: swelling, cysts and nodules, enlarged glands, sore throat, sinusitis, cellulite, inability to lose weight, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorders, bloating, sore breasts and general aches and pains.
Besides movement and dry skin brushing (click for an instructional video on dry skin brushing), lymphatic drainage massage is an awesome way to keep this system moving and treat or prevent any of the above listed symptoms and conditions.
I was recently blessed to receive a 2-hour Lymphatic Drainage Massage with Alanna. When I arrived for my treatment, she checked in on my general well-being, made sure I didn’t have any physical contraindications** for the service and ensured I was comfortable. She was very explanatory about what she would be doing so that there were no surprises. The treatment consisted of a series of rhythmic and light movements over all parts of the body, especially parts where the lymphatic system is more concentrated. It was very relaxing and when I wasn’t sleeping, I was aware of the movement happening in me. It felt like subtle shifts of fluids inside, as though the gentle flowing of a river. Beyond the physical work she did, Alanna set the stage for therapeutic benefit by her presence and the energy she shared. A very gentle soul, Alanna is clearly engaged and present to what she does, in love with and committed to her work. Her kindness radiates, leaving everyone around her feeling comfortable and acknowledged. This alone provides therapy.
I had arranged in advance to have the rest of my evening free post-treatment and expected to go home and be relaxed, tired and easy to sleep. I was surprised when the contrary was my reality! I had SO MUCH energy when I got home! I buzzed around the house more productive than I’d been in a while! That night, I slept very well and awoke refreshed. As the days progressed, the increased energy stayed with me and I noticed that my metabolism was affected – I felt my food moving through me and being used more efficiently.
Roberta Shepherd for Wellness on Whyte
**Contraindications are conditions that may make any treatment protocol unsafe. Due to the significant health impacts of this service, doctor approval is required for anyone living with chronic health issues such as chronic heart failure, cancer, acute bacterial or viral infections, recent thrombosis, kidney-related edema, lymphadema or parasitic obstruction of the lymphatic system.