If you've been getting frequent colds and headaches or are just feeling a general malaise, your lymphatic system may not be up to snuff. Take a look at what the lymphatic system does and how a massage that targets that system helps:
What is the Lymphatic System?
The lymphatic system includes organs and tissues, like the spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow, and it creates and stores white blood cells that fight infection in your body. These cells are carried by lymph, a fluid that surrounds tissues and drains from the lymphatic system into the bloodstream.
Along the lymphatic system are small bean-like structures called lymph nodes. Lymph nodes filter lymph and also form white blood cells. If you've ever been very sick, lymph nodes in your armpits, groin, or neck may have swollen since the body is making more immune cells to fight off infection.
However, sometimes these lymph nodes are worked to their limit and are unable to completely filter away toxins. For instance, the following can push your lymphatic system to its limit:
- Chronic stress
- A hormone imbalance
- An injury
- Poor diet and exercise
Even dehydration can affect this system and slow down lymph flow. Sometimes infection builds up in these nodes and becomes blocked. If your lymphatic system isn't working to its full capacity, you may have lingering systems and may not seem to get better quickly after an illness.
How Can Lymphatic Massage Help?
The purpose of lymphatic massage is to increase lymph flow, which increases immune function. By having areas of the lymphatic system massaged, the lymph nodes will be flushed of harmful substances. Target areas for massage may be under the collarbone, on the neck and jawline, inside the elbows, on the upper thighs, and inside the armpit.
The massage therapist will apply pressure to these areas to encourage lymph flow. While a lymphatic massage can feel good, it's not for relaxation purposes like other massage techniques. Some people opt to have a full-body massage to relieve stress along with their lymphatic massage.
If you are chronically stressed and always in a fight-or-flight mode, your body may be more at risk for illnesses. However, studies show that lymphatic massage can reduce stress and get you out of the fight-or-flight mode. If you physically feel better, you'll be better able to handle the emotional and mental tolls of stress. Also, studies have even shown that this kind of massage can improve immune function.
Contact a massage therapy business like MassageWorks Of Sarasota Inc for more information on this treatment.