by Arlene White
The lymphatic system plays a vital supporting role to the cardiovascular, immune system and of course the integumentary system health.
It runs parallel to the circulatory system and is made up of nodes, vessels, ducts and glands. The body is exposed to over 85,000 different toxins each week, not to mention the natural waste our cells produce daily. The lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating these toxins and waste from our cells.
Our 600-700 lymph nodes are basically check points that monitor and cleanse the lymph as it filters bacteria and viruses, while sending white blood cells that destroy and prevent infection. Think of it like a tissue cleansing river.
Your lymph system recovers three liters of blood fluid each-and-every day, which is more than half of your total blood volume! Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump. It relies on manual movement and manipulation to circulate, like breathing, exercise, or massage. Blockages or inactivity in the nodes affect the filtration process, which results in an increase in the amount of toxins in the blood and lymph system.
So, what does the Lymphatic System have to do with facial and body treatments?
Well, there are a large number of lymph nodes located in the face, under the chin and behind the ears, making them prime areas for fluid build-up. The lymph nodes in the face help protect against pathogens that enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth.
As we just learned, lymph doesn’t always drain properly on its own. When lymph nodes become congested or swollen, the flow of lymph becomes sluggish and stagnant. On the face and neck specifically, it can lead to clogged pores, acne, pore congestion, dull dehydrated skin, Dark circles and puffiness around the eyes and face.
Lymphatic massage can help revitalize the skin and boost immune health on a completely different level than topical treatments can reach. The skincare technician becomes the lymphatic “pump”, moving inactive lymph, eliminating toxins, relieve congestion from sinus colds or allergies, reduce fluid retention in the face and neck, and even shorten the length of a cold.
Lymphatic drainage massage is a specialized massage technique that requires specific training but the benefits are numerous for your client and an easy addition in your treatment. As a practitioner, the massage techniques are light and easy on your hands, using very little pressure because the lymphatic system is shallow and very close to the surface of the skin.
When performing any kind of lymphatic drainage, you have to open up nodes lower down (since lymph follows gravity) before you can properly drain lymph above. When it comes to the face & neck, you must open up the lymph nodes along the neck and collarbone first before the lymph in the face can properly drain. I personally begin every single facial treatment by performing lymphatic drainage movements during my first cleanse. It’s something easy and quick but makes a HUGE impact to your clients and their treatments.
In addition to the benefits we have already listed, benefits of lymphatic drainage massage also include:
Improves cellular turnover and elasticity, improves overall glow and radiance, speeds healing time for acne and eczema, improves allergy symptoms that present on the face and neck like; congestion, puffy/watery/itchy eyes, and improves and even prevents acne!
A healthy, active lymphatic system is vital to overall health. Please educate yourself before performing drainage on your clients. It’s possible to do more harm than good without proper training.
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