How To Do Manual Lymphatic Drainage

We know how easy it is to get wrapped up in everything going on right now in the world. While staying informed is important, there’s certainly a line between obsessing over your social media feeds and stepping back for a little self-care. One of the best things you could be doing for your body right now is strengthening your immune system. And yes, there a million things you could be taking to strengthen your immune system (vitamin C, vitamin D), but we want to share with you what we do to boost our immunity!

Our all-time favorite thing to do is manual lymphatic drainage. Now, what is this you ask? Well, it’s probably the most relaxing and easiest thing you could be doing right now, and on top of that it will give you a beautiful healthy glow, reduce stress, and strengthen your immunity. Wow, what more could you want!

Okay,  so what exactly is manual lymphatic drainage? Manual lymphatic drainage is a light, skin stretching massage that helps promote the movement of lymphatic fluid out of the affected area (this could be puffiness, congestion, swelling). Don’t confuse this with your traditional massage that you would receive from one of our talented massage therapists (btw, you should totally call to book your L+H massage ASAP). Manual lymphatic drainage is specifically focused on the lymph vessels to help the flow of lymphatic fluid. It is done to the unaffected areas first, to open the lymphatic pathways, making it possible for the fluid to move out of the affected area.

Deep breathing techniques are usually done at the beginning and end of a session. This will stimulate the lymphatic system and prepare the lymph nodes to bring in more fluid before a lymphatic massage. It’s not only super relaxing, but it helps increase movement of fluid toward the heart. 

We know some of you might be visual learners, so our amazing esty, Monica, created a step-by-step tutorial on how to do manual lymphatic drainage at home. Check it out below!

While it is not required, we highly recommend to use an oil during the lymph drainage. Our top picks are the Naturopathica Carrot Seed Soothing Facial OilEminence Organics Rosehip Triple C+E Firming OilEminence Organics Facial Recovery Oil, and Eminence Organics Wildflower Ultralight Oil.

  1. Using two fingers, start right above the collar bone and use gentle, light pressure. Slightly pump 50-100 times. Swallowing may occur during this time (this is normal).
  2. Move up to the sides of the neck and using the surface of your fingers pump down 50-100 times (both sides).
  3. Move to the back of the neck, slightly cupping your fingers and place them on the back of the neck. Again, pump 50-100 times.
  4. Cup your ears, one hand on each. With your palm forward and the thumb extended, while the fingers are parted between the middle and ring finger, pump down 50-100 times.
  5. Repeat step 3
  6. Repeat step 2
  7. Repeat step 1

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