Do lymphatic drainage massages actually work?


Lymphatic drainage massages are having a moment. From clearer skin to a reduction in cellulite, stimulating the lymphatic system can work wonders for those ongoing beauty and health dilemmas that nothing else seems to fix. But are lymphatic drainage massages really worth the splurge?

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We spoke to Director and trainer at Venustus Beauty & Body Lab, Jeannie Bourke, to find out how (and why) lymphatic drainage massages actually work.

What is the lymphatic system?

Let’s start with the basics. “The lymphatic system is so important because the tissues of our body and organs excrete waste products which need to be removed as quickly as possible or the tissues will suffer damage – this cleansing process is called lymphatic circulation,” explains Jeannie. The lymphatic system drains excess fluid from our cells and tissues, helps to provide immune defences, and carries fat-soluble vitamins and minerals to cells and tissues in the body. It “acts as a modern sewage plant, because when this system fails to function properly excessive fluid and toxins build up in the body causing pain, loss of energy, infection and various diseases,” she says.

What happens when our lymphatic system isn’t working to its full potential?

According to Jeannie, when our lymphatic system isn’t working to its full potential, it gets congested. And a congested lymphatic system is not good for our health. “The lymphatic system acts as a modern sewage plant because when this system fails to function properly excessive fluid and toxins build up in the body causing pain, loss of energy, infection and various diseases.”

What causes our lymphatic system to breakdown?

The usual suspects: Stress, aging, pollution, flying, insufficient water intake and lack of stimulation can all compromise the lymphatic system. “Blockages over time encourage the accumulation of extra fat cells, which prevents nutrients and blood from rejuvenating cells causing cellulite, sagging skin, swelling & deposits that are resistant to diet & exercise,” says Jeannie.

How do lymphatic massages work to help our lymphatic system?

Venustus recently launched its High Definition Bodywork treatment (it has a reputation for giving you abs in just 75-minutes), which is grounded in lymphatic massage techniques. Jeannie says that the treatment was designed for immediate results, but long term benefits. You’ll leave with a sculpted abdomen, but “long term benefits include activating and stimulating the lymphatic system, facilitating the elimination of toxins, reducing Inflammation and cellulite, increasing the metabolism, and increasing blood circulation.”

My experience

With the promise of abs without a gym visit, I had to try the Venustus High Definition Bodywork treatment. And the 75-minute was exactly what I needed! Having recently returned from an overseas trip, and truth be told I was still quite jetlagged, the treatment felt like it shifted stale energy and invigorated my body. After starting with some dry body brushing, the treatment moved through various massage techniques to stimulate the lymph nodes. The majority of the treatment was incredibly relaxing, however, there were a few moments of minor discomfort (no pain, no gain right?). While the two therapists vigorously massaged, kneaded and rolled my skin to assist in removing toxins, I sensed a shift as my body started to feel lighter. After the massage, I couldn’t wait to head home and have a look at my stomach. My final verdict: It works.

Image via @venustus_australia

What are some other things we can do at home to support our lymphatic system?

At $285, the High Definition Bodywork treatment is a splurge. Personally, I would definitely indulge in this treatment after long periods of travel or during a particularly stressful time. In the meantime, Jeannie has shared a few ways to help support your lymph nodes at-home:

  • Dry brushing daily morning and night
  • Improve your diet (remove chemicals, toxins, alcohol, coffee, highly processed/refined foods) as this makes more work for the lymphatic system
  • Exercise regularly (whatever you like)
  • Reduce stress through meditation, visits to the beach or park, do more of whatever makes you feel calm
  • Perspire daily
  • Hydrate – water, water, water 2-3 litres
  • Pre & post flight lymphatic massage
  • Use cold jade rollers in the lymphatic direction

To find out more about Venustus Beauty & Body Lab or to book a High Definition Bodywork treatment, click here.

Would you try a lymphatic drainage massage?

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