Cleanse the Body: Lymph Drainage for Detoxification

Cathleen McCauley L.M.T.

By Cathleen McCauley, LMT

At Pulling Down the Moon, we often advise clients on ways to clear the body of toxicity. Detoxification helps eliminate harmful substances in your body, boosts your body's systems to function properly and optimally, and enhances your body's ability to handle the toxins of every day life.

Pulling Down the Moon's Cleanse the Body massage session is one way to assist you in detoxification. The session incorporates lymph drainage massage to stimulate the lymphatic system, purify the body and build immunity. It helps prepare your body before attempting pregnancy or beginning fertility treatments. And in between treatments or after a miscarriage, lymph massage helps to clear your body of old medications and hormones.

The Lymphatic System

I like to describe the lymphatic system as your body's garbage collector and filtration system. A network of organs, nodes, ducts, and vessels, the lymphatic system produces a substance called lymph and transports it from tissues to the bloodstream. As lymph circulates the body, it absorbs fluid, waste products, dead cells, bacteria, viruses, fats, and proteins and promotes the production of immune cells. Working closely with the circulatory system, it delivers nutrients, oxygen and hormones to the body's tissue.

When a client experiences poor health or stress, eats a poor diet, takes medications or is surrounded by chemicals, pollution or free radicals, the lymph system may become overtaxed, sluggish or stagnant. As toxic buildup occurs in your body, it may become difficult for your body to balance hormones, build immunity and create energy.

Lymphatic Drainage Technique

Unlike the circulatory system, which uses the heart to pump blood through the arteries and veins, the lymph system does not have a central pump. It does, however, have minor contractile ability with a "pulse" of one to 30 beats per minute.  Muscle contraction─ through movement like exercise-and diaphragmatic or belly breathing are the key methods for pushing lymph through the body; light massage techniques also acts as a pump to stimulate the lymphatic system.

During the Cleanse the Body massage session, a series of light, repetitive movements are used to encourage lymph fluid to flow through the system. The technique kick-starts the removal of waste and toxicity and delivers nutritive substances and hormones to your body. By promoting lymph flow to the nodes, filtration and purification occurs enhancing liver function, building the immune system and increasing fluid movement to and from organs and tissues.

The Client Experience

Often, clients say they feel very little happening when they receive a lymphatic drainage, especially those clients who typically receive deep massage treatments.  But shortly after the session begins, clients are lulled into a deep state of relaxation by the light and rhythmic nature of the work.

Each client's response to lymphatic drainage differs depending on the body's individual toxicity levels. Some clients feel a deep sense of relaxation; others experience a burst of energy; and a handful of clients may experience fatigue or mild flu-like symptoms. These are normal responses that may last up to two days. Drinking extra water can help to eliminate toxins and flush the system.

For more information about the Cleanse the Body massage session or the benefits of lymph drainage, please contact me at cathleen@pullingdownthemoon.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

References

Osborn, K. (2005). Lymph Massage, Armoring the Immune System. Retrieved May 30, 2011 from http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/937/Lymph-Massage

Rattray, F; Ludwig, L. (2000). Clinical Massage Therapy: Understanding, Assessing and Treating Over 70 Conditions. Toronto, Talus Incorporated.

Shier, D.; Butler, J; Lewis R. (2007). Hole's Human Anatomy and Physiology, 11th Ed. New York, McGraw-Hill.

West, Z. (2011). Massage, Manual Lymphatic Drainage. Retrieved May 30, 2011 from http://www.zitawest.com/area.php?section=14&item=88

Categories: Fertility