The Skinny Confidential talks Asia.

Alllll About Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Updated: March 1, 2017
by
LAURYN

The Skinny Confidential talks Asia.

Oh em gee, where do I evennnn start?!

You guys know I’ve been captivated ( SLASH OBSESSED ) with the way the lymph system works. & on top of that, dry brushing has become an everyday routine for me. The process is so stimulating & is super invigorating ( especially in the AM ).

Anyway, in the past year & a half I’ve been reading up on lymphatic drainage massage. Here’s my weird thing though: the thought of someone touching my lymph nodes really grosses me out.

I don’t know why.

( You know how you have strange, bizarre shit that you don’t like? For instance I HATE ( HATE HATE HATE HATE ) getting out of the shower if there’s stray hairs on the floor/mat. GOOSEBUMPS. Stepping on random hair(s) is the equivalent to walking across a moat with 23420 alligators and a million sharks with my eyes closed. It just gives me the hibbie jibbies ).

If you’re weirded out at my strangeness, don’t worry- I weird myself out on a regular basis.

So. Lymph nodes. To me, they’re sort of an unknown & super tender, so the thought of a stranger touching them…FREAKS ME THE F OUT.

But I’ve heard so many unbelievable reviews about lymph drainage massage, that I figured Asia was the perfect place to try it ( apparently they’re known for this specific massage ). When we arrived to Hong Kong I wasn’t feeling so hot. I’d been working non-stop around the clock, not sleeping well, & definitely had a sniffle or ten.

So I booked a lymphatic drainage massage.

AND HOLY MASSAGE.

Ok, I’ve had A LOT of massage because of constant neck pain. When I was nineteen I was involved in a horrible, horrible car accident where the other driver T-boned us HARD. I’ve been stuck with lateral whip lash ever since. Medical massage has been my best friend.

This massage though?

This massage was different.

This massage was weird.

This massage was amazing.

So here’s how the process works: you lay down, face down…per usual & the masseuse gently massages your lymph nodes. It’s not a deep tissue massage like I normally prefer but the after effects were so insane that it was worth every second.

Picture this: it was a couple’s massage. Michael’s next to me getting a head massage ( get that mind out of the gutter, he was getting his scalp massaged by a burly man ). After massaging my lymphs in my legs & arms, the masseuse flips me over & starts on my under eyes. At this point I’m so relaxed I fall asleep, fully snoring. With four people in the room. Michael tells me afterwards he couldn’t relax & it sounded like a wildebeest was next to him.

MMMmm, SEXY.

Back to the massage details: she massages under my eyes gently, by my eye sockets, & the sides of my eyes. I am dead asleep. ALL OF A SUDDEN I AM WOKEN UP by a flush. There’s a drainage detox throughout my body ( it was an orgasmic-like flush— kind of like endorphins running through the body ). My sinuses immediately drained. It also felt like fluid drained ( by the way guys, we’re going for authentic in this post, not hot & sexy ) from my eyes down in to my body. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT.

Afterwards I had a full-on cough attack on the massage table ( P.S. Michael is still in the room trying to have a relaxing head rub while I’m snoring, snorting, & coughing…#relatable ). The masseuse almost knew this would happen because she had a water bottle on hand. I drank the whole thing & then had to get up IMMEDIATELY to pee.

Like immediately, immediately.

When the lymph massage was done I asked her a billion questions:

Why did I cough?

Why did I have to pee?

What was draining? 

What are the effects?

How long does this last? 

AND OMG THAT WAS AMAZING!!! 

Basically she said the cough was a natural reaction after the lymph system drains. It’s totally normal & it’s the body releasing toxins. The immediate need to pee? Even more normal. When you get a lymph drainage massage it cleans the toxins out & they release through the kidneys. The draining was built up fluid. And the effects are clearing toxins out of the system while INSTANTLY de-puffing the under eyes. Instantly though, it’s crazy. The effects last for about a month. And how often can you get it done? She said once a month would be fine. The massage is known to relieve any pain levels.

Get this: afterwards I did not have ANY puffiness under my eyes. You know how in the morning your eyes are puffy? NONE, ZIP, ZERO. Plus I was SO relaxed in an energetic way ( if that makes sense ) & I felt detoxed.

So naturally the whole eye thing was mesmorizing because it was like a little balloon had been popped under my eyes. I went online & saw an article about Kate Middleton’s dark circles stating that lymph drainage would really help her under eyes. Weird right? If the princess needs lymph drainage massage, then I need freaking lymph drainage massage WAY more. LOL.

It also flushes toxins from the under arms, legs, pelvic area, & neck. AHHH, I LOVE DETOXING.

By the way, I’ve heard this massage is ideal for people who just got surgrey. You can read more here.

If you don’t have access to lymphatic drainage massage, follow this YouTube tutorial on how to do it at home & DRY BRUSH ( if you get one thing out of The Skinny Confidential, dry brush! ).

Did I mention I love Asia? It’s such a special place.

Sending love from Phuket! xx

FYI: if you guys know anything about lymph drainage massage, PLEASE give me more info. Obviously I am not super experienced with this kind of massage & I’m REAL interested in learning more. x

OH, ALSO:
 

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  1. Jen Anderson

    I too am grossed out by hair… Including my own especially in or out of the shower. Lol !! thanks for the laugh and interesting post!

    Reply
  2. Olivia

    I remember my first lymphatic massage I might as well have slept on the toilet the night of.. I was peeing alllllllll night long! I loved it!!!!

    Reply
  3. Yasmina

    I know a bit about lymphatic drainage and I’ve been researching it for years – one thing I will say is a caution to anyone who has cancer, or who has had cancer, because cancer spreads via the lymph system and so massaging you lymph nodes would be dangerous.
    Not to worry you or anything….I do reallyyy love lymphatic drainage myself, in fact I have a whole folder on my email account full of videos of this stuff

    Reply
    1. Summer

      Lymphatic drainage massage is actually very good for many cancer survivors that have had to have lymph nodes removed- for example,a breast cancer survivor may have to have axillary (ie armpit) lymph nodes removed, which can cause the arm on that side of the body to chronically swell. Lymphatic massage encourages the lymphatic fluid to reenter circulation, allowing the patient more comfort.

      My aunt is a lymphatic masseuse and I’m amazed on what she was able to do on both my mom (a breast cancer survivor) as well as myself when I had a sinus infection

  4. Linda

    Just a comment about concerns for anyone with a history of cancer getting a lymphatic drainage massage. One of the side effects of cancer surgery and radiation is damage to the lymphatic system which results in a chronic condition called Lymphedema. Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is the mainstay of treatment for those patients, to help them reduce their swelling and pain, reduce the chances of infection, and be able to maintain their limb at its optimum size along with the use of compression garments, exercise and good skin care.

    There has long been speculation and fear that getting professional lymphatic drainage might increase chances of cancer spreading. Currently there is no clinical research studies or data to support this. Even a patient with Lymphedema and active cancer can still get the necessary MLD but the known tumor site may be avoided for any manipulation. If a patient with active Lymphedema does not get proper MLD and compression garments their Lymphedema will progress and has the potential to cause serious health issues.

    The excerpt below is taken directly from the American Cancer Society website:

    http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/manualhealingandphysicaltouch/massage

    Last Medical Review: 01/10/2013
    Last Revised: 05/23/2013

    “A growing number of health care professionals recognize massage as a useful addition to conventional medical treatment. In a 1999 publication, the National Cancer Institute found that about half of their cancer centers offered massage as an adjunctive therapy to cancer treatment. Some studies of massage for cancer patients suggest that it can decrease stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and fatigue. These potential benefits hold great promise for people who have cancer, who often must deal with the stresses of a serious illness in addition to unpleasant side effects of conventional medical treatment. While some evidence from research studies with cancer patients supports the use of massage for short-term symptom relief, additional research is needed to find out if there are measurable, long-term physical or psychological benefits.

    Meanwhile, most patients do indeed seem to feel better after massage, which may result in substantial relief. A 2005 review of research reported that massage therapy has been shown to reduce pain and anxiety in randomized controlled trials. Large, well-controlled studies are still needed to determine the long-term health benefits of massage.

    A special type of massage called manual lymph drainage (MLD) is done as part of Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which is used to treat lymphedema after certain cancer surgeries. CDT also includes external compression garments, special exercises, and skin care. This treatment is usually done by lymphedema specialists rather than general-practice massage therapists. Studies suggest that outcomes of this 4-part treatment can be very good if started early enough.”

    Reply
  5. aldina

    Yes! I had one of these back in 2008 and OMG! it got all the toxins out of my back! I don’t think that i drank enough water after i had the massage because my throat was so inflamed and swollen over the next few days. But it was def worth it since my back muscles didn’t hurt as much. Glad you enjoyed it!

    http://www.themodernoptimist.com
    aldina recently posted..Baked By MelissaMy Profile

    Reply
  6. Erica

    For my monster undereye circles I do lymphatic massage on my eyes every night, sometimes with my finger in tiny gentle circles & then at the temple you press down towards the ear with some pressure to drain the pooling blood vessels to the lymph node. I also love love love my jade roller. I keep it in the fridge and use it all the time to refresh my eyes. Since you’re in Asia I am sure they have some great jade rollers :) Love you, have fun!

    http://www.fashionlush.com/jade-roller/

    Reply
  7. nancyabc

    I have had a bad left leg since I was a small child–I have lymphedema. In my world no one even seems to know they have a lymph system. Never heard of message or dry brush–I’m sure to look into this.

    Reply
    1. Kaci

      I was born with primary Lymphedema in my left leg as well. I’ve been doing compression garments and massage my whole life, although it is helpful, it is not nearly enough to keep the swelling down. I did recently get a “lypha-press” machine that I sit on all day while I am at work. It brings the fluid up by leg and really helps with the swelling. Here is the website: http://www.lympha-press.com

      It’s the only thing I have ever found relief with in terms of my lymphedema. Unfortunately, there is still no cure for it and it usually swells again after a few hours of running around. I was able to tak it with me on a trip to Italy and it was my saving grace with all the walking I was doing.

      Primary lymphedema is very rare so I wanted to say hello as well! I’ve run into many people who get secondary lymphedema as a result of chemo, but usually not someone who was born with it like me.

    2. nancyabc

      Kaci –I have a leg pump and I find the same results.
      It takes some of the fluid out but it all returns the next work day (I’m a teacher).
      Hoping some day they can give us some real relief.

  8. Robin

    For 3 years now, Ican’t smell fragrance or bad smells, either. I used to have frequent migraines. My right eye has a squint. My neck on my right side starts to hurt already and my collarbone, too. I thought that maybe it came from my bicycle accident where I hit my right shoulder on a phone pole in CA. Sometimes, I would spit something nasty out of my mouth that looks likea pellet of cottage cheese and it came from the right side, never the left side. I kept on asking my doctors for many years what I’m going through. *smh* So much for having faith in them.

    Anyway, coming upon this article just clicked something inside me, something that yells out, “Aha! That’s it!”

    I went straight to the tutorial and I saw many more videos on lymphatic drainage massage. I am hoping there’s a lymphatic drainage masseuse somewhere in my area.

    Now I have hope! :)

    Reply
  9. Joan

    I did the eye massage yesterday morning, and you couldn’t pay my nose to stop running the rest of the day. Feel pretty good today, though.

    Reply
  10. Andrea

    Love all the posts on Thailand! I’d love to know more about where you got the massages and all the amazing food! Hopefully you can share more when you are back, these posts are making me want to visit there someday!

    Reply
  11. Barbara

    It’s a very common massage in Brazil, I have it 3 time a week and get so annoying if I miss it. It treats water bloating, cellulite, and pains from bloating. It can slim down even 3 lbs in a session depending how bloated you are. It is not onlt detoxing as you said, it is actually the most efficient treatment for bloating. It is basically making your lymphatic sistem work a lot more. So instead of draining water as it wants, you are pushing it to work a lot faster and better. The drainage name comes from this, letting go of excess fluid (with will take toxins and detox yes)

    Reply
  12. Julie Deramo

    Thank you for the amazing review on this modality! I’m going for training and certification in Manual Lymphatic Drainage soon. For the US, to find a certified practitioner google LANA!

    Reply
  13. Liz

    Hey Lauren,

    Do you remember the name of the spa you went to for this? I am headed to HK next month and using your posts as a guide. I emailed the special Michelin sushi place you talked about already for a reso. Loving these recommendations.

    Reply
  14. Tammy

    Just had a lymphatic drainage massage and found this blog because I was googling about after effects. I had specifically to target cellulite on my thighs. Found it very relaxing and needed the toilet afterwards but didn’t cough. Next time I think I’ll ask her to focus on my face too as I do often get puffy eyes. Sounds like your experience was amazing. I LOVE the idea of not having puffy eyes for a month!
    Tammy recently posted..I join the green juice brigadeMy Profile

    Reply
  15. Aileen

    Did you get the massage while in Phuket? If so, can you tell me where you got the lymphatic massage at? I am traveling to Phuket and Bangkok in March and flying even with sleeves and a compression shirt still triggers my truncal lymphedema so I want to get a lymphatic massage when we arrive in Phuket. Thanks!!!

    Reply
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  17. Kim

    Actually, you DON’T DO lymphatic drainage when you are recovering from surgery. And you don’t do lymphatic drainage when you are sick. The reason is that it can move illness around your body. I get lymph drainage weekly- and I had my gallbladder removed and I had to wait 3 months until I could resume for that reason. Other than that, it’s a great massage. It’s also feather light. It’s a touch that is so light that it’s above the muscle between the skin and the fascia. It really moves the lymph fluid by gently pulling up on the skin, releasing the stagnant fluid.

    Reply
    1. Jess

      Lymphatic massages are appropriate and highly recommended by numerous surgeons after plastic surgery (tummy tucks, liposuction, Brazilian butt lift, etc.).

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  22. Melissa

    Great post lol! You are too funny! Lymphatic massage is good for releasing all those nasty toxins. If you get a lymphatic massage only on your face every week then you will start to look younger! Crazy but true! :)

    Reply
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  25. Lynsey

    this sounds like a dream come true!!!! eyes de puffed no swollenness and general detox and better feeling in the sinus and lymphatic system.
    where can I go to have this treatment?

    Reply
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  28. Melissa

    OMG! I swear you are too funny! I was tickled by your article! Lymphatic massage is a light marshmallow pressure massage. Yes it drains your lymphatic fluids and toxins through your lymphatic sysytem. I personally likey signature massage! I guarantee you will be over joyed with it! If you are ever in Nashville look me up ! :)
    Nashville Massage Co.

    Reply
  29. Shae

    Ummm most people do not have an experience like this with lymphatic massage. It is critical that you drink a TON of water 48 hours before.

    After my massage I had headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting etc. For 3 days and counting. That’s a much more common reaction than what you’ve described here!

    This massage is not about relaxation. It’s about removing toxins from your body. It is most definitely not all sunshine and rainbows!

    Reply
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