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Lymphatic Drainage Massage Therapy FAQs

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Lymphatic fluid is important to the human body. However, after an injury or even due to some illnesses, lymphatic fluid may collect in certain parts of the body like the legs and arms. A lymphatic drainage massage is a form of gentle massage therapy that involves encouraging the lymphatic fluid to flow out of certain areas so it is reabsorbed by the body. This may help you feel better, move more freely, and possibly even see reduce swelling. Take a look at a few of the most common questions patients usually have about lymphatic drainage massage.  

Does a lymphatic drainage massage really work?

Lymphatic drainage massages are considered effective for improving discomfort levels and possibly flexibility. The level of fluid may not necessarily be reduced, but the change in proximal lymphatic flow may encourage quicker recovery after an injury. While lymphatic drainage massage may be effective for acute instances of swelling, this level of therapy is usually not considered for people who have chronic issues with lymphedema. 

How long will it take to see results after the massage?

Some people see an immediate improvement in the swelling or collection of lymphatic fluids after a lymphatic drainage massage. However, you may not always see a major improvement right away; the fluid or swelling may subside gradually over the course of several days. Some people need several sessions to see the most substantial improvements. Therefore, individual outcomes do vary depending on the severity of the swelling, your body composition, and more. 

Who should consider getting a lymphatic drainage massage?

Lymphatic drainage massage therapy is common among athletes after they have sustained a sports-related injury. Lymphatic massages to encourage drainage of lymphatic fluid may also be helpful for people with certain medical conditions. For example, individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis and have a lot of issues with joint stiffness and swelling may be good candidates for lymphatic massage therapy. A doctor may also recommend lymphatic massage after certain types of surgery. 

Is lymphatic massage safe?

Lymphatic massage is considered to be safe for most people. However, some individuals may have certain medical conditions that may mean they should not seek this type of therapeutic massage. For example, individuals that have issues with blood clots or that are dealing with an infection may not be good candidates for lymphatic drainage massage therapy. The added pressure on the affected areas of the body could cause problems.