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Lymphatic Drainage

We’re seeing it everywhere. Everyone’s talking about it. You’ve seen Melissa get massages (hi IMD!) You’ve seen models doing it…so what the heck is lymphatic drainage?

Let’s start with what our lymphatic systems are. It’s a system of tissues and organs that help the body eliminate toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials like cancerous cells, nitrogenous wastes, infectious viruses, and heavy metals. (info)

Its main job is to transport lymph throughout our body. What’s lymph? It’s fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells. (info) We have lymphatic vessels throughout our body which connect to lymph nodes. It kind of looks like our cardiovascular system. Picture all our veins and capillaries connecting to their pump: our hearts. But, unlike our cardiovascular system, our lymphatic system doesn’t have its own pump. That’s why things like massage, dry brushing, and putting our legs up the wall are so important to do. It’s through these techniques that the lymph keeps moving so that it doesn’t become stagnant. 

Lymphatic Drainage Massage:

IMD is Melis’ favorite place to go. According to them, lymphatic drainage massage is a combo of manual lymphatic drainage and “model massage techniques” to “maximize effects to help reduce swelling and water retention as well as decrease the appearance of cellulite.”

*Click HERE for a link to Melissa’s favorite at home lymphatic drainage paddle*

But what if you don’t live in NYC and want to draaaain? Dry brushing and putting your legs up the wall are great options that you can do yourself at home!

Dry Brushing:

Dry brushing is a great way to start the day because of its energizing benefits. We love dry brushing, hopping in the shower to wash away the dead skin, and then applying moisturizer! 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, it’s great for our lymphatic systems because it

  • unclogs pores through the exfoliation 
  • increases blood circulation
  • reduces inflammation
  • removes toxicity in the body

So how do you do it? 

Think of shaving. You go over each section about 3-5 times. Same with dry brushing. And, it’s important to remember to work in small circular and upward motions (until we get to the stomach). Here’s a link to our favorite dry brush.

  • Start at your ankle and work in an upwards circular motion to your knee
  • Then do the same for the knee to groin section
    • Tip: really get up in there with your thigh/hip area because it breaks up the fascia as well as fat pockets which can help reduce cellulite
  • Move on to arms going from: wrist to elbow
  • And then elbow to armpit
  • For your torso: brush down
    • You’re eliminating the extra fluid so picture flushing the waste down and out
  • Hop in the shower to rinse off all the dead skin
  • Apply your favorite moisturizer!

Legs up the wall

Where dry brushing is great for the morning, putting your legs up the wall is great to do at night. You’ve been go go going all day, so it’s a great way to drain out the excess fluid that our bodies have retained. We usually do about 15 minutes. When you wake up the next day, you won’t feel as puffy!

“For me, these techniques are really nothing about weight loss. It’s just about reducing toxicity in the body, increasing circulation, and reducing inflammation. And, it’s really helped my energy levels. I believe it really just helps you feel good in your own skin!”

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