As with any cosmetic surgery, there are potential risks of side effects such as scarring, bruises, and swelling. To minimize these risks there is a massage technique used at Elements Therapeutic Massage for our clients to help recovery from cosmetic surgery called Lymphatic Drainage Massage (LDM.) The benefits of LDM are sure to enable clients to make a smoother transition towards a full recovery.

One of the eleven systems that make up our human anatomy consists of the Lymphatic System. This system is responsible for carrying excess fluid, proteins, bacteria, and waste materials from the tissues, thus cleansing the tissues of debris. Once fluid and particles enter the lymphatic system they are called lymph. The lymph is transported to lymph nodes where it is cleansed and filtered and then is returned to the blood stream. The lymphatic system plays an important role in the body’s defense against infection.

In the healing phase following surgery, waste products can build up in the local tissues. These waste products can increase and prolong inflammation, swelling, and pain during the healing phase. LDM improves lymph flow and accelerates the removal of these waste products, and thus can speed up healing.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage is a technique used to provide relief from edema, an accumulation of fluids in the tissues that causes swelling. It is a gentle, rhythmic style of massage that stimulates the immune system and improves the appearance of the skin. LDM is used before and after surgery, to help speed up healing and reduce edema/swelling. It increases blood flow and can reduce scar tissue. During LDM, muscles relax, heart and breathing rate decreases, and clients move into a state of relaxation that promotes healing and balance. Symptoms like fatigue, mild depression, and chronic soft-tissue pain call for the gentleness of lymph massage. It will stimulate the immune system and has an energizing effect on the body’s vital energy. Scar tissue becomes smaller, smoother, more flexible and stronger with LDM.

LDM is a series of very gentle, rhythmic massage strokes that increase the transportation of lymph flow through the tissues. Every stroke is very light, and not as heavy as the strokes of a Swedish massage. The goal of LDM is to reroute the lymph fluid around areas that are blocked and gently move it into areas with healthy lymph vessels where the lymph fluid can drain normally.

This is followed by a slow, controlled decrease in pressure into the resting phase. Each stroke is directed towards the regional lymph nodes to stimulate appropriate lymphatic flow. Strokes last a few seconds and are repeated five to ten times in each area. LDM can be started several days after surgery and a patient can undergo a couple to several treatment sessions.

Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage (LDM):

  • Decreases edema (swelling)
  • Enhances the action of the immune system
  • Reduces pain
  • Improves skin health
  • Promotes deep relaxation
  • Speeds up healing of injuries
  • Decreases scar tissue
  • Minimizes scar formation

When to have a Lymphatic Drainage Massage (LDM):

  • Lymph edema
  • Post-mastectomy edema
  • Pre and Post Surgery
  • Inflammatory conditions such as sprains, strains, and muscle tears