Self Lymphatic Drainage Massage for face and neck
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (or MLD) is not just for people who develop Lymphoedema after cancer treatment. It has so many applications, as it’s essentially a ‘whole-body’ technique. The light, but very specific movements on the skin, performed by a specifically trained therapist, gently open the valves in the lymphatic vessels running through your body, encouraging the movement of lymphatic fluid through those valves, and thereby creating the ‘drainage’ effect that gives this therapy it’s name. The body achieves this drainage function or detoxification function by itself, but sometimes it needs a little extra help.
A client of mine recently started a PodCast, which is available on Spotify, where she discusses some chronic health problems she’s had over the last couple of years and her journey to getting a diagnosis and, of course, to healing her body. MLD was part of that journey.
In this episode she discusses Bell’s Palsey, which is an ‘inflammation or swelling in the nerve’ in the face, which causes a paralysis of the muscles that are serviced by that nerve. Imagine having that post-injection-at-the-dentist feeling all over one side of your face, all day, every day!
The lymphatic system is responsible for removing toxins and waste products from the tissues throughout the body, gathering them all up and bringing them through the intricate network of vessels towards the lymph nodes, which filter the fluid and identify any threats contained in the fluid. If there’s a foreign invader in there (a nasty bacteria or virus, for example) the lymph nodes signal the body to create the appropriate response to fight off that invader. So, you can see just how important the role of the lymphatic system is. I often refer to it as the engine of the immune system.
In addition to this, simply preventing stagnation and keeping ‘fresh’ lymphatic fluid flowing around your body protects your body against disease and issues such as inflammation. Cleansing daily keeps inflammation at bay, but when you have a blockage, a bottle-neck, an overwhelm of the lymphatic system, which slows down this cleansing function, you can end up with what is essentially stagnant, unhealthy fluid sitting in the tissues of your body. Imagine a vase of cut flowers and the stagnant water in it after a few days. Many problems can arise from this.
Meave, like many, found me almost by accident. She was looking for solutions and wanted to try MLD as she intuitively felt that ridding her body of toxins would be beneficial to her recovery. However, what she didn’t realise was just how much of an impact the condition of your lymphatic system has on your overall health, and just how much lymphatic drainage can help. I love that she’s come to the realisation that we really need to listen to our bodies, as this is something I tell my clients consistently and practice with my yoga students in every single yoga class. Listen when your body whispers and you won’t have to listen to it screaming!
I’ve made a video to show you how to perform simple lymphatic drainage on the face and neck. I teach these techniques to all my clients as I want to empower them. There’s nothing quite like the real thing, a hands-on treatment with a registered therapist, but in between sessions with a therapist you really should be using these techniques to maintain the benefits. And in these times of lockdown and restrictions, you need to know these techniques to take care of your own lymphatic system at home when you can’t find a therapist for a hands-on treatment.
You can view the video here, please subscribe to my YouTube channel to get a notification when new videos are posted. And I’d love to hear your feedback and your own stories of your own journey to optimal health.