Have you ever wondered what Lymphatic Facilitation Massage is all about?
First, let me give some background on the mechanics of the
While most people are familiar with our bodies circulatory system, not many people are aware that our bodies also contain a system of Lymph circulation. We have a network of lymph vessels, fluid, nodes, and organs (spleen and thymus) in this system.
The purpose of this system is to return the fluid and materials from the peripheral tissues to the blood and to distribute hormones, nutrients, and waste products from tissues back to general circulation. If there is damage to these vessels and Lymphatic drainage is impeded, Lymphedema, swelling of the injured bodily tissue, may occur. To reduce this swelling, and to stimulate lymphatic drainage, Lymphatic Facilitation Massage is used.
“Lymphatic Facilitation is a light and gentle massage technique used to facilitate the removal of excess fluid that collects in tissues after trauma and inflammation. Excess fluid accumulation can cause irritation to pain receptors, reduce range of motion in affected joints, reduce the delivery of nutrients to cells, and lead to restrictions in fascia. The application of LF facilitates transportation of fluids through interstitial spaces (spaces between cells and the tissues of the body) and the lymph system, and away from the affected area. This action results in pain relief, increased local circulation, and increased range of motion in affected joints.”
Lymphatic Facilitation may be performed in just one area of the body or on the whole body as needed. The strokes are patterned and applied to match the direction of the flow of Lymph through the body. The strokes are very long and light, so as not to constrict the lymph vessels further, rhythmic, as in a wave motion, and slow, to match the rate at which lymph flows. The skin will be lightly stretched and then released.
LF may be used as a stand alone massage session, integrated in as part of a full body massage, or used in a massage to treat a specific area.
I recommend researching for a qualified Licensed Massage Therapist with additional specific training in this area.
Jeannine T. Wheeler LMT
Quoted text from Tappan’s Handbook of Healing Massage Techniques
Fifth edition page 298
Illustration page 299