Archive for the 'Lymphatic drainage massage' Category

Mar 17 2013

A good therapist will do this

The first thing about a great massage and knowing when it is applied. This is when you have a massage therapist that knows what to work on your body rather than going on auto pilot and doing a full body based on a pattern they have learnt at school. its when your massage therapist knows that when there is tension in your body its best to work on that area for sometime until that area has become soft to the touch then its time to move on to the next. Too often a massage therapist gets suck in a pattern and thinks i have to move on to get more of the body done, the problem with this is that it leaves the client with the feeling that it was not good enough or it was ok but still there needs to be more. by doing the mentioned above the client is left with “that was fantastic and possibly its the best massage they have had”. because the massage therapist has spent time on the most problematic area for the client.

Contact Ross at corporate massages, workplace massages, office massage, chair massages across australia

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Dec 08 2009

Massage Therapy Aids Recovery After Plastic Surgery

More than 17 million cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2007, and the figures continue to rise even in the face of economic downturns. Discover how massage speeds the healing and eases the swelling, pain and stiffness caused by these procedures.

by Linda Fehrs, LMT

Whether plastic surgery is utilized for health purposes or cosmetic reasons, the aftereffects are the same for everyone – pain, swelling, scarring, heightened anxiety and, at times, depression. In some cases, medication may be prescribed for the pain and anxiety. But there are also other options – options that can help reduce the dosage or length of time of drugs are used, as well as aid in the healing process.

An increasing number of plastic surgeons are looking at the feasibility of using massage therapy in both pre and postoperative situations, and either hiring a massage therapist as part of the staff or partnering with trained massage therapists in private practice. Some surgeons are even promoting massage therapy services as a part of an overall offering.

Reducing Anxiety and Stress
Prior to getting plastic surgery, the client often has anxiety or stress about the procedure. One of the primary benefits of massage is a reduction of stress. A plastic surgeon recommending or providing massage before surgery may market it as a luxurious bonus in a spa type setting or simply refer a client to a licensed massage therapist. Numerous studies over the years have shown that massage therapy increases the levels of endorphins and serotonin in the body, thus reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. Massage also reduces certain hormone levels such as cortisol, which is responsible for increased stress.

Postoperative Benefits of Massage
· Eases Pain – The anticipated pain after plastic surgery may cause anxiety in people having the procedure. For the most part, the doctor will prescribe anti-pain medication for the days immediately following the procedure. Started a few weeks after surgery, massage has been shown to interfere with the pain receptor signals to the brain. Also, the use of contrast therapy (using alternating cold and warm packs) can ease the pain caused by swelling and the muscle tightness caused by the surgery.

· Reduces Swelling – The benefits of lymphatic drainage massage (LDM) techniques have long been known to reduce the edema caused by the aftereffects of mastectomies, which often require the removal of adjacent lymph nodes and cause a reduction in the flow of lymph fluids. LDM mimics the pulse and flow within the lymph system. It helps to move stagnant fluids out of interstitial body tissue and into lymphatic vessels, thus both reducing the edema and stimulating the immune system.

· Softens Skin and Reduces Scarring – Part of the body’s own healing process is to protect an injured site from further harm. The physiological process involved does not recognize that the injury or intrusion is from a surgeon’s scalpel or a mugger’s knife. Though the mind understands the difference between cosmetic enhancement and assault, the body only feels pain and an interruption of its normal processes, and seeks to recover. This results in an increased production of collagen fibers which, if over produced, form highly visible hypertrophic or keloid scars. Massage therapy done locally on newly healed scar tissue can reduce and soften this buildup of tough fibrous tissue. Collagen will soften using warmth resulting from touch therapies such as Swedish massage or localized cross friction techniques.

· Speeds Up Healing – Massage speeds up the overall healing process by helping to eliminate the buildup of toxins that occur after plastic surgery and increasing the circulation of blood to the area that brings nutrients to both the skin and its underlying layers of tissue. The body, in an attempt to protect itself against further injury from intrusion will, after surgery, withdraw blood from the area, retaining the life sustaining fluid for internal organs. This can lead to a deterioration of the affected tissue and a temporary deadening of nerve endings. By encouraging a healthier blood flow, massage can help to return nourishment and flexibility to the affected area. Massage therapy also helps build up the immune system, thus helping to speed up the overall healing process.

· Lifts Spirits – Between the postoperative pain, swelling and high expectations people have of plastic surgery, it is likely they will experience some depression. Massage therapy has, time and time again, shown itself to be beneficial in making people feel better about themselves.

Working With a Plastic Surgeon
If you are interested in working in conjunction with a plastic surgeon, make sure you brush up on your anatomy, physiology and pathology. You should also know the effects of drugs used before and after surgery, and how they may be affected by massage. Be familiar with medical terms and procedures and be aware of what can go wrong after surgery. Furthermore, it is important to keep an open and professional three-way communication with the surgeon, the client and yourself, including maintaining accurate intake and SOAP notes.

Massage should not be part of postoperative treatment until the client gets clearance from the surgeon or primary care physician. Depending on the procedure done, massage may begin as early as a few days after surgery, or may have to wait until 3 to 4 weeks later. If there are stitches, massage will have to wait until they are removed.

Reconstructive surgery is sometimes performed after surgery to remove cancerous tumors or in mastectomies. Massage, which historically has been advised against in these circumstances, is beginning to gain recognition as a viable adjunct therapy. However, it is still advised not to use massage on active tumors, recent incisions or on patients undergoing radiation.

Whether a person has undergone plastic surgery for personal image enhancement or because of medical necessity, the integration of massage therapy to pre and postoperative care offers both psychological and physical benefits. For some, this may be the first time they are experiencing massage in a therapeutic setting. And who knows, they may become long-term clients!

Recommended Study:
Advanced Anatomy and Pathology
Advanced Anatomy and Physiology
Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Medical Errors
Pharmacology for Massage
Swedish Massage


Eppley, Barry, MD. “Massage and Plastic Surgery at Ology Sp.” 06 January 2008. Explore Plastic Surgery. 5 Mar 2009

French, Ramona Moody. Milady’s Guide to Lymph Drainage Massage. Clifton Park, New York: Milady Publishing, 2004

Press Release, “Plastic Surgery Procedures Maintain Steady Growth in 2007.” 25 March 2008. American Society of Plastic Surgeoss. 5 Mar 2009 Surgery_Procedures_Maintain_Steady_Growth_in_2007.html.

Pruitt, Elana. “Treating Your Health to a Massage.” 5 Mar 2009

Staff Writers, “Massage After Cosmetic Surgery – Are You a Good Candiate?.” 23 August 2008. 5 Mar 2009

Stevens, Grant, MD. “Hypertrophic Scars and Keloids.” 08 October 2002. Breast Health Online. 5 Mar 2009

Posted by Editors at 12:32 PM
© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute.

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Jun 26 2009

Lymphatic Massage

25th March 2008Author: Brandon Thomas

Lymphatic massage is a type of massage geared towards people with lymphatic problems. It is also known as “lymphatic drainage”. This gentle massage is stimulating to the lymph system and promotes the removal of toxins in the body. It influences the removal of waste in the system and promotes a healthy immune system. Lymph nodes, which can be felt throughout the body, become swollen once white blood cells being fighting infection. These swollen nodes are some of the first signs that the immune system is under attack.

A “lymph massage”, as they are called, can also be a great pre-emptive attack on the flu and cold season. One or two lymph massages can charge up your immune system, preferably at the beginning of cold season.

Due to outside stressors the lymph system can become compromised. Surgery, malnutrition, stress and illness can also compromise your immune system causing you to be more susceptible to the common cold or flu. A great way to combat these compromises on your system is on-site massage. Mostly, an upper body massage, the lymphatic massage focuses on the arms, neck, face and chest. The idea is to get lymphatic fluid flowing in your body.

Another huge benefit of chair massage is that a 15-minute chair massage can boost alertness dramatically. Some people say that a 15-minute massage gave them a runner’s high. Some tests have also shown that brain activity stimulated by massage leads to improved attention.

Another important part of the lymphatic massage is drinking water post-massage. Depending on the toxicity level of your body, you may feel worse after your lymph massage. This is because the massage has worked the toxins out of your body and flushed them into the system to get processed all at once. Although this can be a little uncomfortable, drinking plenty of water should take care of this symptom. And of course your body is less toxic afterwards.
Lymph massages are not the only type of massage that can break up toxins. Regular chair massage therapy sessions also flush your body of compromising toxins and leave you with a cleaner system.

Tags: first signs, alertness, common cold, white blood cells, stressors, toxins in the body, healthy immune system, gentle massage, brain activity, lymph nodes, lymph system, cold season, chair massage, body massage
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Mar 28 2009

Strengthen Immunity this Autumn

Preparation for this seasonal change can maintain health and balance during the chilly months that lay ahead. This comprehensive approach to wellness includes six detailed methods (from acupressure to food choices) that will keep us in alignment with the cycle of nature.

The fall equinox, September 22, 2005, announces the first day of autumn, when day and night are of equal length. The cooler temperatures and shortened daylight hours following the fall equinox signal the growing predominance of yin. This time of year, both animals and plants become more yin, turning inward to build up the stores of nutrients they will need to get them through the long winter. Trees store nutrients as sap, which descends down the tree, and animals store nutrients as fat, converting everything they eat into that which will protect them from the cold and be converted into energy when food sources are scarce.

Autumn brings on a time when our vital energy also becomes more yin, moving downward and inward, to be replenished, nourished and refined. As in nature, we also must prepare for the oncoming winter months by strengthening our immune system, the body’s defense against colds and flu, which are often brought on by the change in seasons.

The Metal Element

According to Chinese Five Element theory, each season is represented by an element in nature. The metal element is associated with autumn and represents the mineral ores and salts in the earth. Metal is formed and contained deep inside the earth, where high temperatures and pressures cause molecules in molten magma to separate into homogenous layers. Some layers cool quickly into volcanic basalts, while others condense gradually into minerals and ores. Others stack themselves in precise lattice-like structures to form crystals. This process of separation pushes away impurities and molecules of dissimilar composition, forming metals that are pure and distinct.

In the body, metal manifests as the organs and meridians of the lung (yin) and large intestine (yang). The lungs and large intestine, when healthy and in balance, absorb and transform food and oxygen, utilize the food and oxygen’s essence and release what is not needed. An internal weakness in the metal element can result in problems associated with these organs, such as breathing or elimination difficulties. According to Chinese medical theory, the lung and large intestine perform the following functions:

The Lungs

• The lungs purify the air that we breathe. During inhalation, the lungs extract the purest essences from the air and distribute them throughout the body while eliminating impurities through exhalation. Impaired function of this aspect of the lungs can result in breathing difficulties like asthma and general fatigue.

• The lungs defend the body from pathogenic invasion by distributing protective or defensive energy to the body’s surface. This is primarily accomplished through the opening and closing pores to maintain thermal regulation of the body. Dysfunction of this aspect of the lungs can lower immunity, resulting in colds and flu.

• The lungs keep the body dry by dispersing fluids. Fluids that accumulate in the body are dispersed through the skin’s pores as perspiration and through the bladder as urine. When the lungs fail to disperse excess fluids, dampness can accumulate, causing the mucus and phlegm associated with colds and flu.

• The energy of the lungs can be evaluated in the quality of the skin and body hair, be they moist or dry, elastic or limp, shining or dull, soft or rough.

The Large Intestine

• The large intestine separates solid wastes and impure essences and eliminates them in the form of feces.

• Dysfunctions in the large intestine can result in constipation, diarrhea or an inability to “let go” of situations or attitudes. Poor intestinal elimination may affect the skin, another area of the body governed by the metal element.


Tonify and strengthen the metal element through the lungs and large intestine by performing acupressure on Lung 1 and Large Intestine 4. View the previous article Ten Highly Effective Acupressure Points for application and location information.

Emotions and Autumn

As the energy descends during autumn, the lungs and large intestine can be affected on an emotional level. Grief, sadness and depression are possible manifestations of this energetic shift. Just as high temperatures and pressure within the earth transform molten magma into gold and other minerals, the sadness and grief within our lives must be transformed into learning experiences from which we grow our courage and wisdom.

In the action of letting go we face our grief and mourn our losses. Through our losses and honoring our grief we derive strength and the courage to persevere. Although emotionally painful, this process can bring many gifts, crystallizing the essence of what is most important to us. Grief reminds us of how much love we can feel, and there is no greater strength than this deeply humanizing experience. Transforming grief by releasing it keeps our metal element in a healthy state of balance.

Resolve, the gift that comes after grief, is the recognition of what we still have; it is the pure gold that is transformed from the ashes, the distilled essence of what we have and what we can never lose.

Keeping ourselves emotionally healthy can positively impact our physical health. Understanding the connection between physical and emotional health can help us seek courage, strength and clarity to embrace the natural process contained in the energies of autumn.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

As the daylight hours decrease and the weather becomes cooler, people generally spend more time indoors and at home, participating in more relaxed leisure activities. The lessening of physical activity has a profound effect on the lymphatic system and our immunity to colds and flu. Through inactivity, the immune system becomes sluggish and fails to adequately move stagnant fluid out of the tissues and into the lymphatic vessels and nodes where it can be purified by lymphocytes.

Lymphatic drainage massage (LDM) is an excellent means of assisting in this process. A massage therapist performing LDM moves his/her client’s skin in different directions: lengthwise, horizontally and diagonally. These movements, which stretch the microfilaments just below the skin that control the openings to the initial lymphatics, allow interstitial fluid to enter the lymphatic system while stimulating the lymph vessels to contract. Fluids are propelled forward through the lymph vessels and away from tissue areas where fluid has pooled from inactivity. LDM stimulates the lymphatic vessels to contract more frequently.

As the lymphatic fluid flow is enhanced, the body is put into a parasympathetic state, which slows the heart rate and breathing, relaxes muscles and allows organs to resume normal functioning. A deeper, more relaxed rhythm of breathing occurs during this massage and the therapist can work simultaneously with the client to perform specific breathing techniques that rejuvenate the lungs and increase the body’s defensive vital energy via the lungs.

Breathing Techniques

Inhalation nourishes every cell in our body, while the exhale eliminates byproducts and waste that no longer serve us. Every breath offers the opportunity to cleanse and purify the body. The two breathing techniques below can be done separately or combined to ensure maximum expansion of the lungs.

• Abdominal Breathing: Massage therapists can assist their clients with this exercise. Begin by breathing normally. Slowly direct the focus of breathing to the abdomen. Place your hand lightly on the client’s abdomen and ask them to inhale and expand the belly to push your hand upward. At this time, the diaphragm sinks downward, allowing the lungs to expand more fully. When exhaling, the shoulders drop, the chest sinks inward, the diaphragm rises and the belly should contract gently and easily. This action pushes the stale air out through the lungs. Do this exercise for at least three minutes.

• Yin/Yang Breathing: Make a loose fist with the index and middle fingers of the right hand, leaving the thumb and last two fingers extended. Using the ring and pinky fingers, gently close off the left nostril and breathe deeply in through the right. At the top of the inhalation, release the left nostril and close off the right one with your thumb. Exhale slowly and smoothly. At the inhalation, breathe in deeply through the uncovered left nostril. When complete, open the right nostril and close the left one again with the last two fingers, exhaling deeply and slowly through the right nostril. Do this exercise for two to four minutes.

Autumn Diet

Autumn offers an array of fruits and vegetables that can support the lungs and large intestine as well as our overall health. A week of juice cleansing in early autumn will provide a boost of energy and may eliminate any potential illnesses by flushing out excess toxins. Fresh fruit juices in the morning and vegetable juices in the afternoon or evening are ideal.

Since it is autumn, grapes are harvested and prove to be a fine cleanser, harmonizer and tonic for both the lungs and large intestine. Juice the dark grapes in a juicer with organic apples and pears or oranges, or eat them as a snack during the day. Balance the sweetness of the grapes by drinking a glass of lemon water.

Pungent foods penetrate the lung and large intestine, where they can be used in combination with other foods to affect various disorders in those organs. Eating warming pungent foods in moderate amounts such as garlic and onions, chili peppers, horseradish, fennel, anise, dill, mustard greens, cinnamon, nutmeg, basil, rosemary, scallions, cloves, ginger, black pepper and cayenne can disperse excess dampness in the lungs and large intestine. Cooling pungent foods like radishes, cabbage, marjoram, white pepper, parsnips and turnip roots can help balance excess heat in the lungs and large intestine.

Eating root vegetables in season can strengthen deficiencies and support the lungs and large intestine. Sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, radishes, ginger, garlic and onions are plentiful in the autumn and help to consolidate the lower body energy so that it doesn’t become too dispersed. Baking and/or roasting foods like squash, pumpkin and meats help draw heat energy into the foods to keep our bodies warmer in the winter months.

Those foods that congest the large intestine are sweets (cookies, cakes, etc.), cheese, noodles and breads. To keep the large intestine healthy and balanced, eat ample foods that lubricate this organ such as nuts (pecans, brazil, walnuts), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin) and oils made from seeds (sunflower, sesame, olive). To support the large intestine, include soups that are made from the pungent food groups, roots and squash, which are also plentiful in the autumn.

Exercise and Meditation

Because the energies of nature are turning inward and becoming more yin, it is important to concentrate more on staying relaxed and loose. Stretching, calisthenics, yoga, tai chi and qigong all keep the body flexible and the energy moving during this season and can be done indoors during the cold months. Meditation is also valuable during the autumn to quiet the mind and regulate our breathing. Setting aside 15 to 30 minutes each morning to focus on abdominal and yin/yang breathing can contribute to strengthening of the body’s vital energy.

Change is a recurring process in nature and in our lives. Adapt to this change in season by taking advantage of lymphatic massage, acupressure, eating seasonal foods, exercising and meditating. These proactive lifestyle suggestions can support the immune system, the lungs and the large intestine helping to maintain our health and vitality during the autumn months.

Posted by Nicole at 05:48 PM |
© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute.

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