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Lymphatic Massage

UW-Eau Claire > Recreation > Activities > Massage Therapy > Lymphatic Massage 

Lymphatic massage was developed in the 1930's and is performed to stimulate the movement and assist in drainage of the lymphatic system and to increase ones immune functioning. It can be useful in cases of edema, sports injury, lack of energy, or if one has a sluggish immune system.

The lymphatic system is crucial for your body's ability to heal itself after injury, to combat diseases, and for maintenance of health. It is your filter against toxins and  bacteria.  Symptoms such as flu-like soreness, general aches and pains may be caused by a sluggish lymphatic system.

Lymphatic vessels are delicate and numerous throughout the body, both deep and superficial. These vessels carry lymph to the lymph nodes and glands for processing and digestion of debris. Nodes can be found throughout the body but most are congregated in the neck, armpit, and groin areas.

This massage assists in normal drainage of lymph and in reducing lymph back-up. The massage is performed with long, slow, methodical strokes in the direction towards the lymph glands for effective and complete drainage into the thoracic duct. Some find this massage to be very soothing and nurturing due to it's slow pace and the light, delicate pressure that is used.

Those who would most benefit from this massage are those who experience:

  • Frequent cold and flu infections
  • Headache and migraine
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint pain
  • Depression
  • Cellutitis
  • Acne
  • Post breast surgery where axillary nodes have been removed


One can expect improved lymphatic drainage leading to:

  • reduced edema
  • improved metabolism
  • enhanced quality of the skin tone and tissue regeneration processes
  • stimulation of lymph vessels around scarred tissues
  • building up of one's immune functioning


Contraindications are:

  • Acute inflammation
  • Malignant tumors
  • Thrombosis
  • Major heart or circulation problems
  • Immediate post surgery