You may have heard of lymphatic drainage massages before, but what exactly is this type of massage? How does it work? What does it treat? This type of massage therapy can prove to be very beneficial to you if you have certain conditions and symptoms.

What is Lymphatic Drainage?

Lymphatic massage, also called lymphatic drainage, is a specialized therapy used for the treatment of lymphedema. This is a condition which is an accumulation of fluid that can occur after lymph nodes are removed during surgery, usually after a breast cancer procedure. Up to 25 percent of breast cancer patients whose surgery includes removal of lymph nodes in the area of the armpit eventually develop lymphedema. 


This condition can also occur in the arms, legs or other parts of the body if lymph nodes are removed or are damaged by radiation treatment, infection or trauma. Lymphedema can occur immediately after radiation therapy or surgery, or weeks, months, and even years later.


Therefore, lymphatic drainage is a manual technique used to stimulate the flow of lymph relieve swelling and improve health. Among its many functions, lymph helps isolate disease-causing pathogens and returns captured fats and protein back into the bloodstream.


Because the lymphatic system plays a central role in the body’s immune system, proponents of lymphatic drainage suggest that this form of therapeutic massage can help treat a variety of health conditions. Lymphedema can come in a range of symptoms, including tissue swelling, skin discoloration, and pain, weakness, and heaviness in a leg or arm.


If you struggle with any of these symptoms, you may benefit from a lymphatic drainage massage in Miami. Lymphatic drainage is a technique thought to treat a wide variety of health conditions characterized by tissue swelling, including:


  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Menopause
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-mastectomy lymphedema
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic sclerosis

Is Lymphatic Drainage Right for Me?

Lymphatic drainage is completely non-invasive and overall a safe experience. Because it is focused on soft to moderate stretching of the skin, it doesn’t cause the discomfort associated with more intense therapies like the deep tissue massage.  


However, women who undergo lymphatic drainage to treat post-mastectomy lymphedema are more likely to experience short-term swelling and redness in the early stages of treatment. As a rule, know that you should never experience pain when receiving a lymphatic drainage massage. 


If there is pain, it may be a sign of an underlying condition, such as local infection or deep vein thrombosis, which massages should not treat. If you have any concerns or aren’t sure that this massage therapy is right for you, talk to your doctor or express to our massage therapists your questions.


Although lymphatic drainage massages are not for everyone, they can be extremely helpful for those who experience chronic pain and swelling. According to VerywellHealth, There are four types of lymphatic drainage used by doctors, physical therapists, and massage therapists, named after the people who developed them:


  • Leduc A technique in which hand motions are said to collect lymph before directing its reabsorption into the larger lymphatic system.
  • Vodder A foundational technique using a variety of sweeping hand motions, depending on the part of the body being treated.
  • Casley-Smith A technique that also involves circular hand motions, albeit with the sides and palms of the hands.
  • Földi An extension of the Vodder technique in which circular hand motions are interspersed with moments of relaxation.


Each of the techniques are based on the same principles, namely the use of gentle movements to stretch the skin in the direction of the lymphatic flow, starting at the part of the limb closest to the torso and moving outward.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage in Miami | Evolv Wellness Center


Remember, if you think you have symptoms of lymphedema, speak with your healthcare provider to determine the cause of the swelling and pain. While you may believe that lymphedema is the cause, only the appropriate lab and imaging tests can confirm the condition.


At Evolv Wellness, we strive on a daily basis to provide the best services such as lymphatic drainage massage and other therapies, to support the health and well-being of our patients. With utmost care, compassion, and respect, we devote our skills and time to ensure this culture of wellness and caring is passed on to our patients.


Our knowledgeable staff  is ready to help you and answer your questions! Give our Miami office a call today!