By Kim Taylor
We all know that taking care of ourselves is important. Eating healthy, exercising, and getting proper sleep are key to keeping your immune system strong. One of the most enjoyable measures that you can take to boost your immune system is to get a massage. While all massage can be beneficial, there is a specific type of massage that will help to insure that your lymphatic system is working properly.
The Lymphatic System
If you’ve been pretty healthy your whole life (how fortunate!), it is likely you have not had to stop and consider how complex the inner workings of our body are. Most of us don’t know that there is a complex system of vessels working diligently throughout our bodies. Vessels that remove bacteria, viruses, excess fluid and cell waste from around the cells all the while filtering and cleaning them.
Similar to a system of tree roots, the vessels start small and grow larger and larger so they can carry the fluids back to the blood stream. This structure is the cornerstone of our immune system, working constantly to keep our body in healthy working order. Along the way the vessels have checkpoints known as lymph nodes that are responsible for destroying viruses, bacteria and abnormal cells.
This specialized form of massage therapy can greatly improve the immune system’s ability to fight off illness. A gentler form of bodywork, lymphatic massage and lymphatic drainage can help remove toxins and waste that our bodies build up over time, resulting in a compromised immune system. Most of our lymph vessels are just below the skin; gentle stimulation of these vessels make the lymphatic system work more effectively. This helps the body rid itself of waste and toxins. BIG BONUS: a reduction in swelling, bloating, and puffiness!
Should YOU Get It?
Nearly anybody can receive this type of massage and benefit from it. If you’re sluggish, tired, or feel like your body is trying to fight against something, lymphatic massage could be a good option for you. It is great for those dealing with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or injuries. Lymphatic drainage is also really great as a preventative treatment; regular lymphatic massage when you’re healthy greatly boosts your immune system. Imagine the possibility of having an uneventful cold and flu season. A combination of lymphatic massage, healthy eating and getting enough sleep could make this your reality this season!
Massage therapists that are properly trained in lymphatic drainage can identify the rhythm, direction and quality of the lymphatic flow and remap drainage pathways. Estheticians use a specific form of lymphatic massage to improve lymph flow throughout the face. When lymph is moving freely through the face, clearer, healthier skin is the result. The same is true for the body, when lymph is moving freely throughout the body the result is a stronger, healthier body.
Gigi Worley is a licensed massage therapist. She has practiced for over 10 years, doing well over 8,000 massages. Gigi is certified in lymphatic drainage massage, which is an advanced application that exceeds the scope of basic massage therapy. She offers several types of massage and customizes her services to meet the needs of her clients.