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Various Ways To Use Lymphatic Drainage For Skin And Health 

Written by: Ida Fanelli, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Ida Fanelli

The Lymphatic system is a crucial part of our immune system, delivering vital nutrients to the body. Lymphatic capillaries are thin vessels that absorb the excess fluid from the body's organs and return it to the bloodstream. Lymphatic fluid is a clear liquid consisting of unwanted cellular waste or microorganisms in the body's tissues. In a healthy body, the organs drain lymphatic fluid toward the thoracic duct, which drains upward into the left subclavian vein and empties in the heart to recirculate through the body. Lymphatic drainage guides the lymph fluid to be filtered through the lymph nodes and carries the waste products, cancer cells, and destroyed microorganisms into the bloodstream. The liver and or kidneys then remove these from the blood. The body then passes them out via bowel or bladder movements. 

A woman receiving a belly massage

Approximately nine hundred lymph nodes exist in the body. The lymphatic system does not have a pump. It depends on skeletal muscle action, respiratory movement, and smooth muscle contraction in vessel walls for movement. It piggybacks along the blood vessels and relies on external manipulation such as gravity, exercise, massage, acupressure, acupuncture and reflexology to function correctly.  


Effects of sun and aging on the lymphatic system

When the lymphatic system ages, it increases susceptibility to infections, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. The body doesn't stimulate adequate antibodies to vaccines. The number of lymph nodes decreases with age. Sun damage, specifically from UV radiation, reduces the quantity and function of lymphatic vessels and can cause the lymphatic vessels to become dilated. In studies, mice exposed to UVB radiation exhibited leukocyte (a type of WBC) penetration of the skin, which can cause thickening of the top layer of the skin, redness and swelling caused by lymphatic vessel leakiness.


Lymphatic drainage benefits the skin and health

The neck contains two hundred lymph nodes. The face and neck massage starts on the neck and shoulders and moves up to the face. It helps promote glowing, healthy skin by reducing swelling by increasing lymphatic drainage in the armpit lymph nodes. The face massage helps reduce muscle pain, stiffness, stress, anxiety, tension, and headaches. Stimulating lymphatic drainage prioritizes the removal of the skin's excess fluid and foreign microorganisms and toxins. It helps treat many different skin conditions. Our lymph nodes are the body's detoxification plant. 


Lymphatic drainage benefits for sinus infections, colds and allergies

As a holistic aesthetician and reflexologist, I explore natural ways to address health issues.

One way is through lymphatic massage, which is known to help relieve sinus infections, colds and allergies. This massage technique targets congestion in the face, neck, and décolleté. Lymphatic massages can effectively reduce the size of swollen lymph glands, which usually occur due to infection from bacteria or viruses. Lymph nodes, or lymph glands, play a vital role in your body's ability to fight off infections. It's essential to mention swollen lymph nodes rarely indicate cancer.

During the winter months, respiratory infections are on the rise. Lymphatic massage can be useful when medication isn't readily available or to work along with your treatment choice. As long the internet is accessible, you can utilize this method. After a while, you will have it memorized, and it will come naturally to you.

Watch the helpful videos below. A lymphedema physiotherapist demonstrates gentle lymphatic massage techniques such as light pressure, tapping, stroking, rubbing, and pushing. These techniques gently stretch your skin toward the lymphatic flow, encouraging drainage to an area with working lymph vessels. Repetition is critical to achieving results, and it's something that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. I perform a facial lymphatic drainage massage every morning, which has helped me avoid and minimize the severity and duration of colds.



It's essential to be aware of the lymphatic pathways' location. 

Larger lymph nodes are located under the armpits, collar bone, belly button, groin and the space under your ear and behind your jaw. Damaged, blocked or surgically removed parts of the lymphatic system will cause fluid retention, swelling pain and an increased risk of infection. 


Other techniques available to perform Lymphatic Drainage

Gua Sha or Rollers allows you to gently scrape a sculptured crystal stone (amethyst, jade and rose quartz exist) along your neck, face and décolleté. 

Gua Sha or crystal rollers have the added benefit of allowing the skin to absorb nutrients and spiritual benefits. Research how to use it correctly. Drinking lots of water is essential to help with lymphatic drainage. Here are videos demonstrating these products in use.




I am an Amazon Affiliate for all the products I've mentioned:

Here are Various types of Gua Sha and Rollers.





Body scraping for the whole body

Metal grastons and crystal-shaped tools allow a firmer scraping action to loosen stiff muscles and limbs. Chiropractors reduce scars with them. Here is an example below.



Dry brushing for the whole body

Soft brushes exfoliate, detoxify, increase circulation, improve digestion, and reduce cellulite. Don't dry brush over moles, warts, raised bumps, infection, redness or general irritation, inflammation, cellulitis or skin cancer. Here is an example below.



Lymphedema pumps are available for more significant body parts

An electronic, pneumatic pump controls a mechanical sleeve around select body parts. This electronic device pulsates and helps the lymph drain from swollen tissues to your lymph nodes. Prices vary depending on its quality. Here are some examples below.





Certified professionals are at the Lymphology Association of North America or the National Lymphedema Network. Lymphedema, a condition marked by chronic swelling, can occur after lymph node removal, obstruction or damage. Some massage therapist specializes in Lymphatic drainage.



High risk of blood clots, congestive heart failure, an active lymphatic infection, swelling with no known cause, or cancer. For example, if someone has a localized infection. The increased lymph flow decreases antibiotic efficiency and spreads the infection to other body areas. *Sinus infections and colds are exemptions to this rule. Research shows lymphatic drainage massages benefit participants 60 years old and younger.



Regular maintenance of the lymphatic system helps with skin and health issues. Stagnant lifestyles result in poor circulation and sickness. Adding a simple lymphatic massage to your day can help maintain common respiratory problems. However, older people and those with sun-damaged skin will not get the same benefits as people with fully functioning lymphatic systems.

Talk to a lymphatic massage specialist for more serious concerns.


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Ida Fanelli Brainz Magazine

Ida Fanelli, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Ida is a certified aesthetician (graduate of Marvel School of Beauty), offering home-based services since 1994. Ida provides various holistic services; she graduated from Zanqara’s Holistica Skin Care’s Dermatician course in 1994, which required her to understand homeopathic remedies. Ida has been a certified reflexologist since 1993 (graduate of D’Arcy Lane Institute). She has also been practicing Healing Energy since 1998 and has added the Ion Cleanse Foot Detox to her therapies. In 2012, Ida became a certified Sharplight Laser (IPL) Technician. She enjoys learning new techniques which can benefit her clients. In 2019, she received certification from the Center for Pain and Stress Research (CPSR.) She can now speed up the healing of scars and help with pain caused by surgical scars to her list of specialties.


For more information about maintaining the lymphatic system please read the following article:




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