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The Beauty Beat

Lymphatic Drainage Massage 101: What to Know

Lymphatic drainage massages redistribute fluid within the lymphatic system to help flush toxins from the body. These light massages aren’t directed toward muscles as with a regular massage. Instead, the lymphatic system itself remains the target. Many patients choose to get a lymphatic drainage massage to alleviate swelling, diminish the effects of stress, or even reduce skin conditions. 

What Is a Lymphatic Massage?

Many people use lymphatic massages to redirect fluid. Used most often with patients who suffer from lymphedema, or swelling of the lymphatic system, this type of massage stimulates the immune system. Removing waste from the lymphatic system can help a patient’s overall health, in addition to addressing chronic conditions such as swelling, certain skin conditions, and digestive problems. 

How Does a Lymphatic Massage Work?

The lymphatic system naturally screens toxins from our blood but sometimes it needs a boost. This is where lymphatic drainage massage comes in. A lymphatic massage does not require a heavy hand. Instead, use light movements to direct fluid towards the heart, where toxins can reenter the bloodstream. 

Our lymphatic system covers our entire body. Lymphatic massage can be localized to one specific area or performed on the body as a whole. Swelling in an area can indicate high levels of lymphatic fluid, which may require careful stimulation to reduce and redistribute the fluid so that the body can properly dispose of it. This continuous flow is necessary for healthy bodies and a strong immune system. 

Who Can Benefit from a Lymphatic Massage?

Most people benefit from a lymphatic massage, especially if they have lymphedema. There are no treatments or procedures to recover from, just toxins to process as your body naturally does. 

However, those with certain health conditions may want to refrain from getting a lymphatic massage. These include individuals with certain heart conditions, blood clots, high blood pressure, and other serious illnesses. Consult with your physician before obtaining a lymphatic massage if you have any concerns. 

Where to Get a Lymphatic Massage

Lymphatic drainage massages and deep tissue massages are not the same. If you’re looking to get a lymphatic massage, consult with a physician. They can potentially provide you with the name of a reputable lymphatic masseuse. However, if you have any other massage needs, SkinSpa New York can help in our local office. 

Tips Before Getting a Lymphatic Massage

It’s important to drink a lot of water and stay relaxed before getting a lymphatic massage. Once you’re comfortable, keep your movements slow, gently applying pressure with the flat of your palms. Direct your movements toward areas that are not swollen to give the fluid somewhere to go. It’s important to focus more on the movements and how your body responds than completing so many repetitions of the same movement. 


Lymphatic drainage massage may potentially alleviate certain health issues. With just a few strategic massage movements a day, many patients find relief from conditions they may have considered unmanageable. This type of massage can also be done at home or in an office, making it a versatile solution to turn to.  

At SkinSpa, we work year-round to provide amazing skincare to our clients. If you’re looking to learn more about how we can help your loved one on their skincare journey, find a Skin Spa location near you today and speak with one of our experts.

Meet the author

Katie Werbowski
Director of Brand Strategy & Development at Skin Spa New York

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