Side Effects of Lymphatic Drainage Massage.
The lymphatic system is a major player in the role of the body’s immune system. The fluid produces lymphocytes, which helps protect against infection. It’s a circulatory system, but unlike the blood circulatory system, there is no pump to push the fluid around the lymph vessels and nodes located throughout the body. For this reason, a sedentary lifestyle can often lead to more infections, sickness, and swelling, especially during and after illnesses or surgeries.
Lymphatic drainage massage is a gentle massage that helps get this fluid moving through the body; however, as with all types of therapy, there are a few possible side effects that could happen with this type of massage.
Possible Side Effects of Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Increased urination and/or bowel movements. The point of lymphatic massage is to get the fluid moving so as to remove toxins from the body. This in turn affects the urinary and gastrointestinal systems where the toxins will be excreted.
Headache and/or aching muscles. This is considered a natural result because this type of massage is releasing tension and toxins and moving it through the body systems, so it is essentially putting more pressure on other systems and constricting vessels.
Emotional sensitivity. This is completely normal and okay. You are rejuvenating the body and “waking up” the chemistry. The lymphatic drainage massage is a healing process and sometimes it can feel overwhelming.
Increased hunger and thirst. The lymphatic massage is very relaxing and cleansing. In a relaxed state where the fluids are flowing through your body at a healthier rate, your body will be more aware of the nutrients it needs.
Fatigue. The body that needs lymphatic massage is one that has been under a lot of stress and sometimes trauma. Everything is wired very tight, so when the body starts to relax through the gentle massage of the lymphatic vessels and nodes, it’s normal to feel extremely tired.
Skin breakout. This sometimes happens depending on the oils/lotions used during the massage, and because of the contact of the therapist’s own natural skin oils. A simple exfoliating scrub or detoxification bath will help with this side effect.
Overall, there really aren’t very many major side effects to a lymphatic massage. There are a few contraindications and situations in which treatment should be stopped, but that is covered in another article. For the most part, lymphatic massage is a great addition to rehabilitation or healing treatments.