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What is a lymphatic massage?
The lymphatic system operates through a network of hundreds of lymph nodes and is a crucial part of your immune system. The fluid it drains gets transported back into your bloodstream. Additionally, it removes bodily waste and carries white blood cells that help prevent infection. Described as a non-surgical facelift, many beauty lovers have started incorporating facial lymphatic drainage into their beauty regimens. This is due to benefits such as reducing puffiness, skin irritation and improving overall complexion. In this post, I will share how you can try one at home.
What is a Lymphatic Massage
A lymphatic massage is a treatment that encourages the lymph to circulate, and the light massage stimulates waste and toxins to be pushed out via the lymph nodes. The emphasis on light is essential as the pressure should almost be the same as moving a pen across a table. The massage can be completed across the body. However, I will be focussing on the facial massage throughout the remainder of this post.
As I mentioned, the benefits of this massage include improved circulation by delivering oxygen around the skin. The process also assists in the reduction of puffiness and inflammation, and these provide skin with an overall ‘glow’.
DIY lymphatic drainage facial
- Breathing: Deep breathing aids in calming the body and mind. Particularly useful if you wake with a to-do list or find you can not switch off before bed. This can either be guided of you can rest your palms on your stomach to help you focus your breath.
- Cleansed skin: Try and cleanse the skin using something not abrasive as you will be touching it and do not want it to be irritated.
- Work upwards: When performing lymphatic drainage, you have to open up the lowest nodes first (since lymph follows gravity). This is to ensure you can properly drain the lymph nodes above. So when it comes to the face & neck, you must begin along the neck and collarbone before the facial nodes can be adequately drained.
- Eye area: Remember to switch to your ring finger and use a rolling movement when disturbing the under-eye area.
- Repetition: Repeat the process around five times in each area.
If you can’t quite get the hang of the technique, then you can always ask a trained professional to demonstrate how to do it. Some people like to do a lymphatic facial massage daily; however, this can be completed just once or twice a week.
If you prefer to avoid using your hands on your face, then several lymphatic drainage tools are on the market. Other tools support in ease of travelling across the skin, such as a facial serum. A good serum will also provide additional skin benefits and help those with skin that easily marks. Although, the pressure should be light enough that this does not happen.
With a better understanding of how the lymphatic massages work, some further tips on draining it to maximise its detoxifying effect and improve your skin’s beauty:
Use circular movements toward lymph nodes.
The secret to an excellent lymphatic drainage massage is to use gentle, continuous movements. Always work upward and from the middle of the face toward the lymph nodes around the neck and ears. As the lymph vessels are just beneath the skin, using very light pressure stimulates tissue.
Although I mentioned a serum for those who easily mark, this should ideally be a dry massage to optimise drainage. If you want to begin incorporating this into your skincare routine, this would be best placed immediately after cleaning the face. This would be before applying any skincare products and after you have dried the skin.
Up and out
The most essential rule of lymphatic massage is to always work upward and outward, and this includes where on the facial area you begin. Start with the neck, then proceed to the jawline, chin, mouth, nose, eyes, and glabella before finishing with the forehead.
The great thing is that it doesn’t really matter if you are an AM or PM person, as this can be done in either routine.
Things to consider when deciding is what you hope to gain. For example, if you want to help reduce puffiness in the face after waking up, AM would be ideal. However, should you do this before applying your nighttime skincare products, the benefits would include relieving any tensions and should aid asleep.
Often lymphatic drainage massages are described as a workout for the face. However, it is essential to note that although they can help reduce puffiness, claims that they can also reduce fine lines and wrinkles are unfounded. It is also important to note that the results can vary from person to person. Despite this, the massage does improve facial characteristics and is a great way to increase some self-care.
Will you be trying a lymphatic facial massage?