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 massaging of the nodes that are located throughout the body just under the skin which helps get the lymphatic fluid moving through the body. It can be greatly helpful as general treatment and after surgery (when done properly by a profession); however, as with all therapies, there are a few possible side effects that could occur. At this point, we should mention that there are other natural ways to engender lymphatic detox, such as the BodyPure detox foot patches.
Possible Disadvantages of Lymphatic 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. Someone who has just had surgery, may find this side effect too cumbersome and painful, so it’s not advisable to use lymphatic massage without first talking with a surgeon or treating physician.
- 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. The body is rejuvenating, and your natural chemistry will be flowing freely, including those released from the brain and are associated with emotion. Sometimes, that 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, such as cardiovascular or autoimmune conditions. For the most part, lymphatic massage is a great addition to rehabilitation or healing treatments, as well as a good way to keep a healthy immune system on a daily basis, as it can easily be done at home.