By: Emily Oberg
Lymphatic massage has become somewhat of a beauty craze and I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the before and after photos of people's stomachs on Instagram, but they’ve actually been around for a long time, mostly being performed on patients who had recently undergone surgery. All surgery causes swelling and the buildup of fluids in the body. Lymphatic massage is simply used to help keep the lymph flowing and eliminate toxins and waste from your body. We all have toxins that we need to eliminate, so just about everyone can benefit from this type treatment.
Lymphatic drainage massage isn’t like your traditional massage in the sense that it’s purpose isn’t to relax you or soothe your muscles. Though it shouldn’t hurt, don’t expect it to put you to sleep or ease tension and stress. Regardless of how it feels, just know that you are doing something incredible for your body and will notice a difference post treatment.
The way it works is your masseuse focuses on the lymph nodes throughout your body and massages the areas around them to gently force your lymph fluid out. Your body then expels the fluid in the form of either sweat or urine later on that day and during the days following your session. Everyone has their own lymphatic technique, some therapists lightly touch your skin using a pinching effect. While others like mine, use a lot of kneading which is done by hand, followed by a machine that feels like an intense suction cup across areas like your butt, thighs, stomach and waist.
I’ve been getting monthly lymphatic massages for just over a year now and I can confidently say the results are visible. I’ll usually go before and after a flight, or when I’m feeling bloated or swollen. Following the massage, I’ll notice the biggest difference in my stomach which looks flatter as well as my thighs and butt which are noticeably tighter and firmer.
Of course, lymphatic massage alone won’t get you these results and a clean diet, plenty of water and daily exercise are all crucial in getting the most out of your treatment. You also should drink at least 3-4 liters of water following the massage to increase your body's disposal of the lymph fluid and all the toxins it carries. I like to go for an infrared sauna session after my massage to further enhance its effects by sweating out as many toxins as I can, but this is optional.
A number of lymphatic massage boutiques have recently popped up in LA and I’ve tried a few of them, but I only trust Rebecca Faria who founded Detox Massage LA. Rebecca and her team are all from Brazil, where the massage has been popular a lot longer than it has in the US. She truly cares about her clients and she can read your body the second you lay down on the table. She knows whether or not you’ve been eating clean, have had enough water, are holding on to excess water, etc. The only downside is that she’s not easy to get an appointment with and always has a waiting list. But, I can assure you, she’s well worth the wait.
If you don’t get a chance to book in with Rebecca, anyone from her team is just as good.