What are the benefits of Lymphatic Massage?

There are many benefits of lymphatic massage. This type of massage not only feels amazing, but it has many benefits that are necessary for your body. Because this massage technique targets the immune system, it essentially boosts immunity. 

The immune system works hard at removing toxins and maintaining a healthy, balanced body to prevent illness. Lymphatic massage stimulates the lymphatic system by facilitating it to work at a more productive rate, and therefore allows it to remove toxins more effectively. 

Woman enjoying the benefits of lymphatic massage

Lymphatic massage is essential to minimizing inflammation. Inflammation is inevitable. We experience it through things like bloating, acne, pain, allergies, etc. Inflammation can become stagnant if there is build up in the body. 

The lymphatic system can only work so hard on its own and because it is a slow moving system, lymphatic drainage massage speeds up the process and therefore can diminish swelling and promote healing at a faster rate. 

There are many inflammatory-inducing conditions such as autoimmune disease, chronic pain, arthritis, prenatal and postnatal swelling, hormonal imbalances, lymphedema, lymph node removal, etc. The benefits of Lymphatic massage do wonders for all of these conditions. Most people notice a difference even after one session. 

Lymphatic drainage is also amazing for any post operative procedures. Swelling is always going to be present after surgery and this massage technique quickly removes swelling post op. This technique is also beneficial pre-operatively as well as it flushes the system by removing toxins and minimizing the risk of infection and promoting faster healing times.

Lymphatic drainage massage is also essential to improving and balancing gut health, promoting health to your vision and bones. The lymphatic system feeds and heals the entire body. 

It helps elevate energy levels from the removal of toxins and can promote weight loss by boosting your metabolism and reducing excess water weight.

There are many benefits of lymphatic massage because it specifically targets the healing system as it circulates through your entire body.

Lymphatic Massage vs. “Regular” Massage

Chloe Fetrow Therapy with Lymphatic Massage

So what is the difference between lymphatic massage and regular massage? The biggest difference is that it is more specified to targeting the immune system, and the technique itself is different. 

Lymphatic massage is a gentle, light, rhythmic modality. Because the majority of the lymphatic vessels lie just under the first layer of skin, it requires very light pressure. If pressure is any deeper, then it is the muscular system that is being worked.

Regular massage promotes circulation but it is not in the same way that lymphatic massage works. There is a sequential order to lymphatic massage that opens the lymphatic pathways and the lymph nodes so it works at it’s highest level of function.

Lotions and oils are not used during this type of massage because the technique gently stretches and pumps the skin. Lotions and oils make it difficult to perform lymphatic drainage massage correctly. 

Physical Effects

There are many physical benefits of lymphatic massage. Inflammation diminishes fairly quickly, even after just one session. Lymph drainage massage nourishes and heals the skin, it stimulates the gut, which is why people with GI disorders tend to respond well to lymphatic massage.

Lymphatic massage helps clear sinus infections, headaches, and other pain-related and inflammatory symptoms. It has an extremely calming affect on the nervous system, which helps decrease stress and anxiety, improves mood, promotes better sleep, and reduces fatigue and brain fog.

Emotional Effects

Lymphatic drainage massage also has a number of emotional effects. Because this type of massage is calming and soothing, it facilitates the release of endorphins, which helps improve mood. And the removal of toxin buildup in the body promotes good energy throughout the body. 

Generally, people feel lighter and happier after a lymphatic massage. Most people live with some sort of pain, stress, hormonal imbalance, anxiety, toxin buildup, which leads to depression in a lot of cases. Lymphatic massage helps improve all of these things and it really does wonders for people’s emotional wellbeing.  Thus, nearly everyone can enjoy the benefits of lymphatic massage.

What To Expect

Lymphatic massage is still so new to health and wellness field, but is gaining popularity. Most people don’t know what it is or what to expect. 

Similarly to regular massage, your lymphatic drainage massage therapist will go over a thorough evaluation so they can customize areas of focus and also see if there are any cautions and/or contraindications.

After your session, how you feel all depends on how your body responds to this type of massage. There are many positive benefits of lymphatic massages, which include feeling lighter, more energized, or very relaxed. If swelling is present, most people will be able to tell that their skin feels softer and not as inflamed. 

Woman Enjoying A Lymphatic Massage


Because one of the benefits of lymphatic massage is to stimulate the detoxification process, occasionally, some people will experience grogginess or sluggishness for a day or two afterwards. This is all related to your body eliminating toxins that have been built up in the system. The best thing to do is to stay hydrated to help flush the toxins out of the system.

Another thing to be aware of, is some people will experience an increase in urination throughout the day or couple of days after lymphatic massage. This is your body eliminating fluid and toxins. Some people will also feel like they need to have a bowel movement after a lymphatic drainage session. This is a result of your gut moving things and your body needing to eliminate toxins and waste. 

In order to have optimal effects from this massage, caffeine and alcohol should be avoided before and after your session. These two substances can dehydrate and slow down the lymphatic system. Those with lymphedema should avoid both of these substances in general because they can exacerbate inflammation. 


There aren’t many contraindications for lymphatic massage, but there are some absolute contraindications. Contraindications include arterial vascular disease, untreated congestive heart failure, untreated renal failure, acute infection such as cellulitis, acute deep veins thrombosis (blood clot), and malignancy. 

If malignancy is present, your oncologist needs to give clearance for lymphatic massage. Lymphatic massage does not spread cancer, but because malignancy is the spreading of cancer, there are certain cautions to be taken into consideration and this type of massage may not be seen fit by your oncologist.