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Natural Solutions


`Manual Lymphatic Drainage


Lymph – What is it?


All organs and muscles in our body are surrounded in a fluid called lymph. It is colourless and consists of nutrients, hormones, proteins and water from the body cells.  It also contains cells which help fight infection.


Lymph nodes ( or glands) are situated throughout the body – their function is to neutralize the bacteria, cancer cells and other infectious organisms via the lymphocytes,  which are made there.


After passing through the lymph nodes, the lymph will enter the blood stream where it will be filtered along with the blood, by the kidneys, and any waste products will be removed.


The lymph system allows 2-3 litres of lymph to filter through the body per day. When one has swelling it is the protein that absorbs the water causing this. Manual lymph drainage can stimulate the lymph flow as much as 20 times.



What is Lymphatic Drainage?


The lymphatic network is primarily just below the skin surface and lymphatic drainage consists of a very light, rhythmical massage, which mechanically encourages the drainage of the lymph within the body, via the nodes, to where it enters the blood stream.

            Note:  There is no heart to pump the lymph fluid – normal circulation relies on muscle movements and breathing to move the blood, therefore, manual lymph drainage is an effective method to move the lymph.


How does it feel?


It feels great!  The stroking pressure is significantly less than the pressure of a typical Swedish massage.  Lymphatic massage is among the gentlest of all massages, yet has the most profound effect physiologically.  It can be performed without oil.  Most people report that they feel extremely relaxed afterward and, after some rest, feel greatly renewed.


When is Lymphatic Drainage indicated?


q  The lymphatic system is an important part of our immune system, therefore lymphatic drainage can strengthen our resistance to disease.

q  Regeneration of tissue: burns, scars, acne, wrinkles etc. 

q  It can reduce swelling, particularly post-surgical or related to muscle strain. Also Pre surgery

q  Digestive disorders: colitis, constipation, diverticulitis, etc

q  Pregnancy, post cesarians, obesity

q  Constipation

q  SprainsDetoxification of the body

q  Relief of chronic inflammations, sinusitis, and allergies

q  Deep relaxation effects to aid insomnia, stress and loss of vitality

q  Relief of chronic pain and headaches

q  Improvement in venous conditions

q  Reduction in symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia


When is Lymphatic Drainage contra-indicated?


q  When there is an active infection

q  Acute bronchitis

q  Asthma due to heart conditions

q  Hyperthyroidism unless under control with medications

q  Low blood pressure

q  DVT- deep vein thrombosis  ( blood clot)

q  Arteriosclerosis- hardening of the arteries

q  Malignant tumors

Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage


q   Nervous system: the parasympathetic or the “rest and repair” system is stimulated. It has an analgesic /anti-inflammatory effect. It relaxes the organs and muscles and softens the tissues



q  Immune system: It stimulates the immune system. Research done by Bruno Chikly has found the body produces 30% more immune competent cells post treatment


q  Fluid circulation and elimination: by activating the lymph function and circulation there is a reduction of fluid and a greater elimination of fluid from the interstitial tissues. This leads to greater tissue health and lymphatic flow.










Treatments to Enhance Lymphatic Massage


q  Skin Brushing, daily  WATCH ON YOUTUBE:



q  Deep breathing


q  Sauna


q  Steam cabinet


q  Rebounding like a trampoline- creates tension and the vibrations allows the lymph to move via the muscles.

q  Walking, yoga, qigong, be in nature

q  Decrease stress- mental, emotional, self -talk

q  Sleeping on left side 6-8 hours helps “drain the brain” called glymphatics

q  Vibration platforms

q  Watch the chemicals you eat, use on body


q  Castor oil packs

q  Inversion tables

q  Epsom salt baths

q  Visit salt rooms


   Celtic Sea Salts: 

It corrects high acidity, restores good digestion, normalizes blood pressure, reduces cholesterol buildup and improves the skin. Celtic salt has 84 trace elements that allow the lymph to work efficiently thus making it an important part of our immune system. Our bodies contain 3 salty internal oceans: blood, cellular fluid and lymph.  Unlike natural salt, harsh, refined sodium chloride ( white table salt and so called sea salt) does not allow liquids free access across body membranes and blood vessel walls.  These fluids accumulate and stagnate in joints, thus producing pain, achiness or tightness in the back where the kidneys are located.  This cell stagnation occurs as blood vessel walls are shut tightly by poor salt and become overloaded by excess liquid.




Celery:  It is a diuretic that is high in potassium and magnesium & sodium, minerals that help maintain the body’s cellular fluids.  Other good sources of potassium are; apples, broccoli, peaches, bananas and asparagus.



Cucumber:  Cucumber contains silica which is essential to our body’s connective tissue, the muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments and cartilage.


Kale:  Kale, dandelion leaves, parsley support the PH balance of the lymphatic fluid.


Cayenne Pepper:  It is a source of Vitamin A.  it has levels of beta-carotene. It helps to fight inflammation; it contains capsaicin, which makes it hot tasting, and this is a strong inhibitor of substance P, which is associated with inflammation.

The heat of the pepper helps to boost a sluggish lymph system and can reduce mucous congestion.


Chia Seeds: They are a source of EFA’s or essential fatty acids.  Diets low in EFA”s are often associated with chronic inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases.  They are essential for cellular function and ensure a smooth easy transmission of fluid between cells.

Chia seeds are small and can be sprinkled on salads, cereals or added to smoothies.

They don’t need refrigeration.  They contain natural anti-oxidants and are a good source of fibre.

Other sources of EFA’s are flaxseed oil, walnuts and wild cold water fish as salmon.


In general, most vegetables are alkaline and they should be consumed daily.


How to stimulate the immune system with diet: lower protein in diet; too much slows the lymphatic circulation and encourages lymphatic wastes.  Lower fat and increase fiber and fresh foods.


Can try to eliminate fatty foods like cheese, butter, cream and milk, red meats, vinegar, alcohol, sugar and fined carbohydrates and artificial preservatives, additives, colourings.  These changes rid the body of toxins, restore skin tone and revitalize the lymphatics.


Dairy food clogs the lymph and causes mucus build up.


Herbs: they neutralize acid conditions of the blood associated with high toxicity, lymph stagnation and promote production of lymphocytes (lymphoid tissue which responds to antigens or antibodies) and increases the body’s resistance to infection. Herbs such as cayenne, poke root, burdock, mullein, cleavers, golden seal and chaparral encourage lymphatic elimination. ( NOTE: some herbs have interactions with medications so be sure to check this with your pharmacist)










Signs & Symptoms to Watch for that Indicate a Possible Need for a Lymphatic Cleanse :

 (by Giselle Lily Lefebvre ND )

General aches and pains


Our Body’s immune system relies heavily on the lymphatic system to flush our foreign invaders.  Lymphatic fluid is how the body clears out toxins.  It works closely with the blood, and dumps the garbage within the cells into the bloodstream.  The liver then processes and filters it through the kidneys.


The main lymphatic organs are: spleen, tonsils, appendix and thymus gland.  These are all connected by a network of vessel and nodes.  When you get a sore throat, you can often feel the swollen gland under your jaw. This is your lymphatic system working, trying to clear out the infection.






Why we need Lymphatic Drainage: (by Valerie Kemp)

We are bombarded daily with environmental pollutants which enter our bodies through the air we breathe and chemical additives in the food we eat.


Free radicals ( off balance molecules from which oxygen has taken an electron) scavenge our system, contributing to tissue degeneration.


Many factors lead to a sluggish or stagnant lymph flow.  Lack of exercise, fatigue, stressful lifestyle and age.  Even emotional shock, physical shock like cold temperatures can cause swelling from slight to significant- an indication that the lymph is not moving properly.


Lymphatic Drainage:

The practitioner uses gently, light touch to stimulate the stagnant or sluggish flow of lymph within the body to up to 20 times its natural capacity; thereby aiding in the detoxification and rejuvenation of the tissues of the body.


Health benefits are reduced tissue swelling caused by soft tissue damage ( example, sprained or swollen ankles), sports injury, car accidents, like whiplash, reactions to medications, radiation and surgery.


For women it has been helpful for breast care; clearing stagnation, increasing lymph flow, reducing cysts and swelling caused by biopsy, node removal and mastectomy.


Lymphatic work can stimulate the immune system by increasing the production of antibodies, thereby increasing cellular and humoral immunity. Cellular immunity lasts from 30 minutes to 20 hours. Humoral immunity can last six to twenty years. This helps with a decreased sensitivity  to allergies, more rapid recovery and prevention of colds and the flu, sinusitis and ear and eye problems.


Because the autonomic nervous system is affected, lymphatic work has an anti-spasmotic effect on stressed musculature, reducing chronic pain and increasing range of motion. Constipation, insomnia, lethargy, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue symptoms can also be improved.

Cosmetically, lymphatic drainage helps alleviate scars, burns, stretch marks, wrinkles,cellulitis and adipose tissue.


Lymph is the colourless, liquid including 96 % water, proteins, digested fats, white blood cells, hormones and toxic waste products that surround every cell.

One lymphatic vessel, called lymphangion, contains spiral muscles innervated by the autonomic nervous system. The muscles contract to create a wave-like motion, which pushes the lymph forward to eventually join the circulation in a vein near the collar bone. The lymph, along with the blood, is pumped by the heart to the organs of purification like the liver to be cleansed.


As well as cleansing and detoxifying, the lymph system reclaims digested fats and proteins, the body’s source of energy and adds them to the body’s circulation.


There is no substitute for eating properly; avoid fried foods as they clog the lymph, hydrating the body by drinking plenty of pure water to help with cleansing, exercising to stimulate the lymph, breathe deeply to stimulate the deep lymphatic flow in the thoracic duct of the abdomen, jumping on a rebounder or doing some dry skin brushing in the direction of the lymph flow.