Lymphatic drainage means gently manipulating tissues to work lymph vessels, improve lymph flow, and eliminate lymph stagnation. Let’s look at the numerous health and cosmetic benefits of this procedure, the main contraindications and safety tips, and try a simple facial self-massage technique that you can do at home.
What are the benefits of lymphatic drainage?
Lymphatic drainage means gently manipulating facial (and the rest of the body) tissues to work lymph vessels, improve lymph flow, and eliminate lymph stagnation. When done correctly, drainage techniques help to activate metabolism, strengthen blood vessels, remove puffiness, improve skin tone, smooth skin relief, and decrease cellulite.
Such massage techniques encourage natural lymph drainage, which is beneficial for our health. The lymphatic system is part of our immune system. Its function is to help defend the body against infections and clear it of toxins.
The lymphatic system also helps to keep body fluid levels in balance. Stagnation of lymphatic fluids leads to face puffiness and swelling that deformates face contours and increases face volume, making skin heavier and causing stretching and sagging.
When done regularly and properly, lymphatic drainage massages help to achieve more defined facial features and, generally, a more well-rested and healthy look and a better skin condition.
What are the possible contraindications for doing lymphatic drainage?
The main contraindications include infectious and inflammatory diseases, skin diseases, post-surgery recovery period, kidney and liver pathologies, thrombosis and neuralgia, pregnancy, and oncology.
Too much pressure when performing the moves will not make massage more effective but, on the contrary, may cause discomfort, traumatize nodes, lead to skin stretching, and even more swelling. It is better to entrust an experienced professional to perform lymphatic drainage techniques for safety.
How can you do facial lymphatic drainage at home?
A simple facial lymphatic drainage self-massage can be done at home using the fingertips.
The preparation step includes not eating for around two hours before the procedure and drinking a few glasses of water to fill in the lymph flow. Apply some face cream or oil before you begin so your fingers will glide gently over the skin surface.
The next step is to activate lymph nodes. Do eight-ten light circular massage movements in the area of each of the lymph nodes located on your face or close to it – preauricular, parotid, tonsillar, submental, and supraclavicular. Our body is a wholesome structure, so even when targeting the facial part, it also makes sense to work out other large lymph nodes – axillary, popliteal, and inguinal ones – to activate all major lymphatic vessels throughout the body.
The following step is a facial massage itself. With light sliding touches, move your fingertips along the massage lines of your face going from the central line (your nose and lips) towards your ears. Your fingers will move in slightly curved trajectories. At some point, your fingertips will reach each of your facial lymph nodes as you move from the top to the bottom of your face. Remember to work the trajectory under your chin, too.
Consider checking out the scheme of facial massage lines and lymph nodes before you start, for better understanding.
After the procedure, have at least ten minutes of quiet rest. Also, water intake should be limited for a couple of hours after the session.