6 Times You Should Have Lymphatic Massage

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Think of lymphatic massage as the Marie Kondo for your body. Just like decluttering your personal space or organizing your closet, lymphatic massage helps clear out the buildup of toxins and waste in your body’s systems. It’s like hitting the reset button, and there are certain times you need it more than others. Here, we pinpoint the best times to undergo lymphatic massage and how this rejuvenating therapy can work wonders to restore your body’s natural balance, promote detoxification, and enhance your well-being.

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1. After a Workout 

Helen Cain, global director of spa at OTO, highlights the importance of lymphatic massage after exercise: “A post-workout lymphatic massage, like the OTO CBD Focus Rejuvenating massage, which is offered at The Spa at Baia Beach Club, Mondrian South Beach, can aid in muscle recovery, reduce inflammation, and promote circulation, allowing you to feel refreshed and revitalized.” CBD is an anti-inflammatory, so incorporating it into massages reduces inflammation, which aids in detoxifying the body. “Deep Petrissage movements also encourage lymphatic drainage, while a handcrafted bamboo roller delivers at least five times more impact than the hand,” says Cain.

Expert Tip: “Before and after a massage, avoid alcohol, as the muscles will be softer immediately afterward and may lead to overstretching and injury,” notes Cain, who also stresses the importance of the proper soundscape during the treatment. “Since our name OTO translates to sound in Japanese, we’re all about emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between sound and silence. Each one needs and responds to the other to create balance, meaning, and harmony, so dedicated soundscapes always accompany our treatments to affect the binaural rhythms.”

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2. Prepping for a Special Event 

Treat yourself to a lymphatic massage before a wedding, party, or important event to feel confident and rejuvenated. Dana Laven, massage therapist at Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa, suggests the Biologique Recherche Bespoke Body Massage for special occasions: “This completely customized massage based on the client’s needs includes Swedish massage techniques, effleurage repetition, and light shaking, providing relaxation while stimulating lymphatic drainage and improving circulation.” What’s also unique about this specific treatment is the emphasis on abdominal massage. This is a crucial part of the soothing, detoxifying, and slimming process says Laven. “We are targeting different body pressure points the whole time to help you achieve ultimate relaxation while stimulating lymphatic drainage and helping to improve circulation all over. It is both effective and a lovely sensorial experience that’s heightened by Biologique Recherche’s spectacular oils!”

Expert Tip: “If someone was very intent on slimming before an important event and seeing me to help combat cellulite, I would suggest incorporating Biologique Recherche’s Huile Sous-Ombilicale—this product is wonderful to aid in stimulation and draining.”

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3. Pre- and Post-Surgical Procedures 

Miami plastic surgeon Adam J. Rubinstein, MD recommends the Ballancer Pro lymphatic massage system for all of his post-procedure care: “This high-tech system offers a precise lymphatic massage using air cells that inflate and deflate according to specific algorithms, effectively reducing edema and promoting fluid drainage.” It can aid in the healing process after surgeries or medical procedures, helping to minimize swelling and promote faster recovery. Dr. Rubinstein says the state-of-the-art suit comes in two parts, a jacket and pants, and the treatment can be customized depending on the procedure that was performed.

Expert Tip: While the lymphatic massage protocol typically begins the day after surgery, Dr. Rubinstein recommends starting before the procedure. “We usually start a pre-procedure protocol so you can milk out the edema from the tissue before you have your surgery. Then afterwards, you can do the same thing to get rid of that post-inflammatory edema.”

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4. When Overwhelmed with Stress and Anxiety 

Aesthetician and educator Cecily Braden emphasizes the connection between lymphatic massage and stress relief: “Lymphatic massage activates our parasympathetic nervous system, relieving pain, calming anxiety, and reducing stress.” When stress and anxiety take a toll on your well-being, a lymphatic massage can be a wonderful self-care practice to restore inner balance and find a moment of tranquility. “Naturally, you can use your hands to manually manipulate the lymphatic vessels, but it takes a deeper understanding of the pathways and plenty of patience to consistently gauge and apply the correct pressure throughout your routine. Therefore, I designed The Lymphatic Brush ($78) as an easy and effective way to allow everyone to experience the benefits of lymphatic drainage no matter your skill level. It’s travel-friendly and extremely useful for people who have impaired lymphatic systems, such as those with lymphedema who must manage excess fluid on a daily basis,” says Baden.

Expert Tip: Braden says lymphatic massage can be performed daily with the best time being before you go to bed and after you shower. “However, the best time is whenever and wherever you’re able to fit it into your daily routine and professional treatment protocols,” she adds.

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5. For Weight Loss and Body Contouring

Cain highlights the benefits of consistent lymphatic massage for body contouring: “Massage combined with fists for deeper work aids lymphatic drainage and reduces inflammation. Laser therapy, combined with hands-on massage, is common for the ultimate body contouring result.” If you’re on a weight-loss journey or seeking to tone and shape your body, incorporating lymphatic massage into your routine can complement your efforts and enhance results.

Expert Tip: To maximize the benefits of lymphatic massage for weight loss and body contouring, consider incorporating dry brushing into your routine. Dry brushing before your lymphatic massage helps stimulate blood flow, exfoliate the skin, and enhance lymphatic drainage. Remember to moisturize skin afterwards to keep it hydrated and nourished.

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6. Rejuvenating Your Complexion 

According to Braden, lymphatic massage can contribute to healthier, clearer skin. “It reduces inflammation, the precursor to aging and the cause of most skin concerns. It provides a clean environment for cells to function and receive nutrients, resulting in a clear and glowing complexion.” Incorporating lymphatic massage into your skin-care routine can help address common skin concerns like rosacea, acne, congestion and hyperpigmentation. “The lymphatic system irrigates our tissue and filters and flushes excess fluid and cellular waste from the spaces between our cells. This provides a clean environment for them to function and receive the nutrients they need. For our face, that translates into a clear and glowing complexion.”

Expert Tip: “A few signs your lymphatic system needs a boost from head to toe: stress, insomnia, brain fog, dark circles, sinus congestion, acne, hyperpigmentation, sagging jowls, fluid retention under the chin, ringing in or tenderness around the ear, tension in your neck, wrinkles on the chest, breast tenderness, lack of flexibility, constipation, digestive issues, joint pain, shallow breathing, hip and back pain, heavy legs, swollen ankles and feet,” says Braden.

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