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Boosting Aesthetics and Health With a Lymphatic Face Massage

28th December 2022

If we backtrack to the 1930s in Denmark, we’d find physical therapist Emil Vodder who developed the lymphatic drainage technique or lymphatic drainage massage. Fast-forward several decades later and today we have the development of the lymphatic face massage.

Using soft and slow pumping movements to create pressure directed at the lymph nodes, it’s a great way of eliminating toxins, fluids, and waste naturally. But what else do we know about this type of massage? Does it go beyond a facial and what can you expect? We take a closer look below.

What does a lymphatic face massage do?

A lymphatic face massage is beyond your typical facial massage. Why? Because it specifically deals with the lymphatic system, whose purpose is to drain away fluids in our body that can be harmful to our health, especially when they accumulate in one place. We have lymph nodes in several parts of our bodies (including the neck).

And if you’ve ever woken up with a puffy or swollen face, this could just be the best bet for you. The reason for this is that this particular massage type follows the natural flow of the lymphatic system. As such, it’s possible to help drain fluids from your face that much more efficiently.

How does it work? Essentially, the technique seeks to drain a build-up of lymphatic fluid in the face. It uses circulation to deliver oxygen around the skin while also pushing waste and accumulated toxins out of the lymph nodes.

The lymph (liquid) is firstly moved from the face working in a top-down manner, down and into the lymph nodes on the neck. After this, it’s drained into the thoracic area. But it’s not just lymph that we’re talking about here. The lymphatic system is also responsible for draining excess water, proteins, fats, and toxins to the lymph nodes.

Is a lymphatic massage good for the face?

Because the lymphatic face massage is specifically aimed at the face, it does have benefits for the face in particular and is good for it.

But there are numerous other lymphatic facial massage benefits – both physical and aesthetic – that you should be aware of. Here are just some of them:

  • Reduces swelling, inflammation, bloating, and puffiness
  • Improves circulation, blood flow, and brings more oxygen to your skin
  • Lessens water retention (e.g. during menstrual cycles or as a result of higher consumption of junk food)
  • Helps speed up the metabolism, optimizing the way your body stores and deals with fat cells
  • Clears skin and blemishes and can result in healthier pores
  • Improves skin texture and firmness, addressing sagginess
  • Leads to better stress relief and relaxation, decreasing tension and clenched jaws
  • Boosts energy levels, rejuvenating you and giving you your bounce back
  • Strengthens the immune system, protecting you from toxins, bacteria, and viruses
  • Releases toxins and waste from your skin and delivers oxygen around the skin, helping improve the lymphatic system’s functioning
  • Manages breakouts and reduces acne and eczema, including symptoms of oily skin
  • Promotes an overall glow and radiance
  • Can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as reduce dark circles under your eyes
  • Improves the overall quality of the skin and the appearance of scars
  • Improves blood flow and strengthens the face’s 42 muscles
  • Promotes a more uniform skin tone and cell renewal
  • Helps with the circulation of nutrients
  • Slow down your skin’s aging process
  • Massages the sinuses

Hence, skin conditions such as puffiness, acne, dryness, dullness, and even skin sensitivity can all be improved significantly with this technique.

How do you release lymphatic drainage from your face?

If all the above sounds good, then it’s definitely time for your lymphatic face massage. But first things first. You also need to know how it works so that you know what to expect. This specific type of massage technique applies gentle pressure on the face, it uses upward pushing motions and applies light, feathery stroking and tapping of the skin.

In more depth thought, whether you are trying to do this massage yourself or you’re attending a beauty salon to have it done, you will notice that the process begins with the aesthetician using their index, middle, and ring fingers to apply a short, clockwise motion to open the lymph nodes above the collarbone.

These three fingers then follow the neckline and traverse just above the clavicle. They move in a clockwise motion with pauses between each motion in a repeated fashion. The process then moves to the neck and is repeated. This is followed by the base of the jaw up until the skin, behind the ears, cheekbone, the corners of your eyes, and then? Simply repeat in gentle strokes! And the golden rule? Use upward and outward motions when massaging.

But should you massage with add-ons such as creams? The experts suggest that you shouldn’t. The reason for this is that you want to oxygenate your skin and not stuff your pores with oils. This should consequently be a “dry” massage. However, some facial cosmetics are literally perfect for this technique. Cleansing your face beforehand, for example, is a great way of starting this routine.

How often should you do a lymphatic facial massage?

Another important thing you should know about lymphatic face massages is how frequently you should have them done. There are several factors to consider here. Firstly, you need to consider your current health condition and consult your healthcare provider if you suffer from congestive heart failure, or have a history of blood clots, kidney infections, or circulation problems.

Another important consideration is the lymphatic face massage side effects. It is reported by some, although it is not conclusive as yet, that some people may experience symptoms that include: headaches and migraines; dizziness and fatigue; flu and cold-like symptoms; diarrhea and increased urination; nausea and vomiting; swelling and muscle aches; and skin breakouts.

Now that we’ve covered the important parts and you’re aware of what you could experience as a side effect, and you’re also ready to proceed to have your lymphatic face massage, you can incorporate it as part of your daily beauty regime for five to 10 minutes a day (maximum 20 minutes). You are also at full liberty to choose whether you’d like to incorporate it into your morning (to reduce puffiness) or evening (to help you sleep better) routine.

But if you opt for professional treatments, your aesthetician will design a specific treatment plan according to your needs. It’s important that on the professional scale, these treatments last between 30 and 45 minutes.

Concluding thoughts

It’s undeniable that a lymphatic face massage presents multiple benefits for your skin, face, and overall immune and lymphatic systems. This is a great way of taking care of your external appearance and your internal state of health. Of course, it’s not for everyone and you should first check with your healthcare provider whether it’s okay to go ahead with such a massage. But if you get the go-ahead, you’ll never look back.


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