Massage is the practice of touching and kneading parts of the body to relieve tension and pain. It’s better known for feeling really good. Most often times people treat themselves, or others, to the stress-relieving art on occasion.
But besides relaxing muscles and leaving you light-headed, massage can play an important part in your overall health.
Directly underneath the skin lay structures known as lymph vessels. A licensed and experienced massage or physical therapist is trained to observe and manipulate these vessels. Often times when certain parts of the body or organs are neglected or injured, the lymph within those structures becomes stagnant. The result can be a hardening or swelling of the area, infection, cysts, cellulite, and edema.
Photo Courtesy of Alberta Lymphedema Association
The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system. Roughly ten percent of blood plasma, waste, fat, toxins, and excess water in the body is filtered this way. Unlike the rest of the circulatory system lymph does not use the heart as its pump and instead it relies on physical manipulation, muscle contractions, and skeletal movements to flow throughout the body.
Why is lymphatic drainage necessary?
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Anxiety, muscle tension and soreness, hormonal break-outs, and general feeling of poor health can be related to lack of lymphatic circulation.
Besides massage how do you exercise your lymphatic system?
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Although there is nothing quite like a great massage, breathing exercises, jumping, dry brushing, and simple movements such as stretching throughout the day and even hugging can encourage your lymphatic system.