Lymphatic Massage

What is a lymphatic drainage massage used for?

Lymphatic drainage massage, also known as manual lymphatic drainage, is a gentle form of massage used to relieve painful swelling in your arms and legs caused by lymphedema. Lymphedema often affects people recovering from breast cancer surgery.

Lymphedema happens when your tissues retain fluid left behind after your cardiovascular system sends blood to your tissues and organs.

The remaining fluid is called lymph. Normally, your lymphatic system collects your lymph and returns it to your heart via a network of lymph vessels and lymph nodes. When something disrupts your lymphatic system’s process, lymph collects in your arms and legs, making them swell.

A massage therapist uses lymphatic drainage massage techniques to move lymph from your tissues to your lymph nodes, which eases the swelling in your tissues.

Do lymphatic drainage massages work?

Healthcare providers are still studying whether lymphatic drainage massages make a difference. Some studies show people age 60 and below benefitted by having lymphatic drainage massages.