Lymphatic massage is a type of massage that is very helpful for aiding the body’s elimination of wastes and toxins. It also has many benefits for the body, including weight loss and reducing the amount of cellulite.
What is Lymphatic Massage?
Because the lymphatic system has no pump, its functions are dependent upon muscle contractions, diaphragmatic breathing, and body movement. It is common to develop a sluggish lymphatic flow. Some causes of this include inactivity, consuming the wrong foods and drinks, and not drinking enough water.
Lymphatic Drainage is a massage technique that is designed to stimulate the lymph’s circulation in order to speed up the removal of waste from the body. The technique involves the use of gentle, rhythmic strokes and pumping movements towards the direction of the lymph nodes on the body.
Lymphatic massage is helpful for scars, stress, cellulite, stretch marks, detoxification, chronic fatigue, weight problems, arthritis, neurological disorders, pregnancy, pain, and overall well-being.
Benefits of Lymphatic Massage
• Improving circulation
• Helping with weight loss
• Reducing fluid retention
• Eliminating toxins
• Reducing cellulite fat in the body
• Improving immunity
• Helping with sinus congestion and allergies
• Hormonal imbalances
What to Expect During a Lymphatic Massage Session
Lymphatic massage treatments generally last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. It is performed on a table, and the client undresses to an extent that they are comfortable with. Sheets and blankets are used to protect modesty. The strokes used in the massage are light and rhythmic, and the massage should not be painful. Massage oil is generally used. Once the massage is over, the practitioner will leave the room to allow the client to redress. The practitioner will also give you some tips on exercises that will continue to assist in lymphatic drainage.
Treatment consists of physical therapy, manipulation and stretching. A firm digital pressure is applied by the practitioner, who is able to locate the specific points causing pain and restricted movement and these may often be located in places different to where the client actually feels the pain.
Trigger Point Therapy is sometimes incorporated with Sports Massage and the client is usually unclothed for the treatment, which may not include the use of oil. Other factors such as nutrition, stress and chronic illness are also considered, as potential contributors towards the problem. Conditions that will benefit from this modality include:
- Sports Injuries Chronic
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Neck and Jaw Pain
- Stress and Fatigue
What is dry needling?
Dry needling utilises a solid, filament needle, as is used in the practice of acupuncture, and relies on the stimulation of specific reactions in the target tissue for its therapeutic effect. The term dry needling is also used to differentiate the use of needling in a western physiological paradigm from the use of needling in an oriental paradigm which is referred to as acupuncture.
The needling of myofascial trigger points using acupuncture needles to deactivate and help resolve trigger points.
There are many limitations to this approach however and practitioners using such an approach are unlikely to achieve reliable results with the majority of the clients they see. This partly due to the limited variety in needle technique used and the reliance on the presence of trigger points. Consequently many practioners, after an initial burst of enthusiasm post studying dry needling, apply it less and less in the clinic until it it is barely being used by them at all.
In the hands of a skilled practitioner, dry needling can be used in most cases the majority of the time and with less energy expenditure on behalf of the practitioner and equal or better effect than other manual techniques currently being used. If practiced well there is also a remarkable absence of the “post treatment tissue soreness” often experienced by the subject following other manual therapy interventions.
Origins of AromatherapyWhile the term 'aromatherapy' is of recent origin and it has only become popular in the West since about the 1970s, the history of aromatherapy dates back thousands of years. Ancient cave paintings found in France suggest that aromatic plants were burned and inhaled for medicinal purposes in Europe over 10,000 years ago. In China and India, the use of aromatic plants in healing can be traced back over 6000 years and the ancient Egyptians are said to have been the first to invent a distiller for the extraction of essential oils.
Early in the 20th century, René-Maurice Gattefossé, a French chemist, burnt his hand and impulsively immersed it in the first liquid he saw. This just happened to be lavender essential oil. After noticing how quickly he healed and that no scar tissue developed, Gattefossé became passionately devoted to the study of the medicinal benefits of essential oils and coined the term "aromatherapy".
How Is Aromatherapy Practised?An aromatherapist will use essential oils in a variety of ways. The three most common application modes include environmental (such as incense), topical and through direct inhalation. The aromatherapist may use them in conjunction with a massage treatment, reflexology or another form of bodywork. She may also use them in a facial treatment or as part of a counselling session. The practitioner blends the oils for specific purposes and often clients will take a blend home with them for further self-treatment.
Aromatherapy is practised as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with other treatments. Some common conditions aromatherapists treat include colds, influenza, nausea, headaches, migraines and insomnia, to name just a few. While aromatherapists have successfully treated a wide variety of disorders, they do not claim to have cures for diseases. For serious conditions especially, it is always wise to consult your doctor or other qualified health professional first.
For thousands of years, people have sought to change the flow of energy through the body’s meridians, the energy channels that carry life-giving chi around the body. Any number of well-respected Eastern philosophies teach that when chi is slow, stagnant, or out of balance, it leads to less than perfect health, and eventually disease.
Acupressure, while an umbrella term for many of the treatments, is also a modality in its own right. It’s like the DIY version of acupuncture, and in that light, is an extremely effective and simple method of self-treatment. Everyone can use it, and mostly it doesn’t require any training or equipment. All you have to know is where the common points are and what they’re for. Then, just add a couple of fingers.
How is Acupressure Performed?Instead of inserting needles into the body, pressure is applied to particular areas. The commonest method is to use the fingertips, but sometimes, elbows, fists, feet or special tools may be used, depending on the source of the teaching. These however are usually only employed by professional therapists. For the lay person, fingers work well.
The pressure varies, depending on the part of the body being treated; it may be light, firm, or applied with accompanying vibration or tapping.
You don’t have to be in any special position to use the technique – sometimes you can even use it as you go about your daily life.
What are the Meridians?There are 6 matched meridians on each side of the body, and two single ones, centrally, back and front. You can find the accupoints at intervals along each of these meridians, and they are often tender to touch. When they are, you need to use gentle pressure.
The location of the ‘accupoints’ rarely has any relation to the condition being treated, and people often find this difficult to deal with. When you have a headache, you press a spot on your wrist, and that doesn’t make sense to a logical mind. But, because of its’ eastern origins, it’s better not to analyze the treatment using western logic.
What is Acupressure Good For?
Some of the conditions it is used for are -
- Improve skin tone: Some acupressure does use points close to the problem area. Points such as the aptly named heavenly appearance and others around the face can improve skin tone, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and freshen the complexion.
- Muscle relaxation: May be used before massage or chiropractic treatments to enhance the effects of those treatments. Can be used alone just to relax tight muscles.
- Pain relief: Pressure on some points will stimulate the release of endorphins; this will reduce pain and also relieve anxiety.
- Labour and child-birth: It’s used for pain relief and for progressing the labour.
During pregnancy women often forget to take the time to nurture, relax and have some me time. Prenatal massage, just like a normal massage, helps to make you feel amazing and is very beneficial and good for you.
Prenatal massage is very similar to a regular massage in the sense it helps you relax, releases tension of sore muscles, improves circulation and mobility. The difference is that prenatal is specifically tailored to pregnant women and the changes to their bodies. Therapists are fully trained in how to adjust their techniques to suit the different stages of pregnancy. With women carrying the extra weight in their belly it helps a lot to relieve their strained back and leg muscles.
Benefits of pre-natal massage
- Helps regulate relaxation and stress hormone levels which help to keep you relaxed and feeling good.
- Helps to ease back, neck & shoulder pains that could be caused by changes in the body due to the increased weight.
- Helps to reduce swelling of the hands and feet and increases circulation
- Reduces pain in the pelvic area
- Enhances the elasticity and health of your skin
- Reduces fatigue and helps have a better sleep
- Prepares the mother-to-be for an easier delivery
- It’s a natural and safe choice for pain relief and considering taking medications during pregnancy are limited it’s a great drug-free alternative.
- Promotes relaxation of the nervous system as it releases endorphins into a mother’s body.
Equipment used during a prenatal massage is a little different to standard equipment. A lot of pregnant women may wonder how they are able to get a massage as positioning becomes very limited. Prenatal massage is often performed with the expecting mother on her side, propped up with pillows or using specially designed maternity cushioning, which allows the expecting mother to lie on her stomach or in a semi-reclining position propped up by pillows. Body positioning during prenatal massage is important to ensure you maximise how effective the massage is.
Women should speak with their health care provider before receiving a massage if they have any of the following conditions:
- Previous pre-term labour
- Severe swelling or high blood pressure
- Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH)
- High risk pregnancy
- Recently gave birth
Expecting mothers can get a massage during their first, second or third trimester although many therapists will not recommend getting a massage within the first trimester because of the risk of miscarriage in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Seeing a qualified therapist will ensure you get the best and safest treatment for you and your baby during pregnancy.
Myofascial Release can benefit:
- Back strain and general chronic or acute back pain
- Lumbar and thoracic pain
- Chronic cervical pain
- Dizziness, vertigo
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Myofascial pain dysfunction
- Plantar fasciitis
- Post-polio symptoms
- TMJ dysfunction
- Chronic pain syndromes
Myofascial Release treatments usually take one hour and will include a physical evaluation before the treatment itself, for which the patient will be unclothed. A series of treatments may be necessary, although relief may be obtained in one session and it is generally suitable for people of all ages.
Reflexology Targets Specific PointsReflexology is based on the belief that specific areas or ‘reflex’ points on the feet, hands or ears correspond to specific parts of the body. Each foot, hand and ear have unique reflex points. Applying pressure to these reflex points promotes healing, alleviates pain and induces a sense of relaxation.
Reflexology Promotes HealingReflexology works on the belief that illness manifests itself when vital energy (qi or prana) in the body is blocked, stagnant or low. Applying pressure to particular points on the feet stimulates the meridians (invisible pathways along which vital energy flows) and helps the vital energy to circulate in the body more freely.
Another way of thinking about how reflexology works is that it stimulates nerve endings that send signals to the body’s glands or organs to release chemicals such as endorphins to help balance the nervous system and promote healing and relaxation.
Reflexology can benefit:
- Stress and stress-related conditions
- Tension headaches
- Digestive disorders
- Hormonal imbalances
- Sports injuries
- Menstrual disorders, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Digestive problems, such as constipation
- Back pain
Reflexology Brings Relief for Chronic Pain
Reflexology is a gentle, non-invasive therapy that stimulates points on the feet, hands or ears to promote healing, reduce pain and symptoms and bring about a sense of relaxation and well-being.