Your lymph system is a network of vessels and nodes that transports lymphatic fluid (called lymph) around the body. The system has a range of functions including transport of: fats from the digestive system, white blood cells that help fight infections, and waste and toxins from cells. It is a little bit like your cardiovascular system but unlike the cardiovascular system lymph is not pumped; there is no heart for the lymphatic system. Keeping the lymphatic system functioning effectively is essential to maintain overall health
Massage has long been a popular way of helping the flow of lymph around the network. This can be everything from amateur “at home” massage techniques, through to specialist medical lymphatic massage. At Thai Kosai we do not provide specialist lymphatic drainage massage, but any kind of massage strokes along the direction of lymph flow can help alleviate symptoms of problems with the lymphatic system
Lymphoedema is a diagnosed condition that results from a malfunctioning lymphatic system. The usual symptoms include swelling in the arms or legs, and an aching heavy feeling
More generally though, if your daily routine involves being sedentary for long periods, or does not include plenty of exercise or movement, then it is possible for lymph fluid to pool in certain areas causing swelling or discomfort
So, what is the benefit? Massage is often prescribed to treat lymphoedema and this can be anything from monthly to weekly. As for trying to treat symptoms, we often see massage being effective in helping with swelling and fluid retention, especially in arms and legs. Other popular claims by lymphatic massage specialists include improvements to metabolic rate, improvements to blood circulation, cleaner skin pores, accelerated scar healing and reduction of cellulite, although we have not seen evidence to back up these claims!
Only gentle massage pressure is required – it does not require deep tissue techniques. If you are having a massage to help with swelling/aching symptoms you should also make sure to drink plenty of water after your massage. If you do come to visit Thai Kosai for a massage to help with any of these symptoms, make sure to discuss the problem areas with your therapist