Lymphatic Drainage Massage – is it worth it?
Let me begin by saying that if you landed on this page by searching for a shortcut to losing those extra water weight lbs… you are PERFECT and BEAUTIFUL and don’t need to change for noooooobody. It’s okay to LOVE YOURSELF!
With that very important PSA out of the way, it is also okay to want to improve your overall vitality and promote healthy digestion and detoxification. That, I am here for. Appearing slimmer is a nice consequence though.
If you sift through the pages of this blog you’ll find I’m always trying some new health trend or beauty regiment. You’ll also find that I’m a yoga instructor and meditation leader who is obsessed with Eastern Medicine. This is a little of both.
A lymphatic drainage massage is intended to move around lymph fluids in an effort to detox your body by removing waste and toxin buildup. While the massage technique was actually developed by a Western doctor in the 1930s, the technique seems harmoniously Ayurvedic to me as it’s a natural cleansing process meant to restore balance in the body.
The Lymphatic Drainage Experience
For my first lymphatic drainage experience I visited the IMD Beauty spa in Beverly Hills. It’s posh and chic, and COVID careful.
When I arrived, I was whisked into a massage room and told to change into a paper thong and bra. The therapist covered my body in magnesium to help draw out toxins and then tightly wrapped me in black thin plastic. I felt kind of like a sushi roll, and kind of like I was caught in a trash bag.
I was escorted to the infrared saunas, where I blissfully enjoyed 15 minutes of melting. There’s a long list of benefits from infrared saunas, but some of my favorites are detoxification, improved circulation, clearer skin, sore muscle relief, and better sleep.
Post sauna, I returned to the massage room where I was unwrapped and wiped down. I was instructed to lie face up on the cozy bed and the therapist started applying pressure technique to my lymph nodes. Starting with my neck, moving down to my chest, my armpits, my stomach and inner thighs.
With a balm of menthol, arnica and Brazilian anti-inflammatory herbs, she worked into my feet. The menthol left a tingling sensation wherever she touched. The technique isn’t a massage, per se, it’s more of an applied pressure of vigorous strokes. Each movement was calculated to move fluid from my extremities towards my heart so the toxins could finally be released. She did this same action on my arms and then created what I can only describe as a whirlpool on my stomach. None of it hurt, but it also wasn’t a traditional relaxing massage either. After some time, I was flipped over onto my stomach and she repeated these vigorous strokes on my backside.
When the treatment ended, an hour and 10 minutes later, I had to pee again. And then I peed three more times within the next two hours. I felt immediately lighter and was far less bloated walking out as I was walking in. I also was exhausted as if I had just run a marathon.
I upped my intake of water that night and the following morning as instructed. But I did have a drink the night of my massage – and let me tell you – I felt tipsy after 1/4 of a hard kombucha. I slept a blissful nine hours that night and woke up feeling rejuvenated, yet calm. My muscles felt slightly sore for the next two days.
Would I do this again? You bet. Especially if I booked a show or movie where I had to be in a bikini. IMD beauty will be my first call! Do I think it necessarily made me look ‘thinner’ for my upcoming trip to Tulum? Not exactly. I did feel less bloated, and appeared more toned, but I imagine the first salted rim margaritas and order of guacamole and chips will negate that.
I honestly find that this treatment is most beneficial for overall wellbeing and vitality. As a way to improve digestion and elimination, and promote stress relief. I’m tempted to start adding this to my regular self-care protocol as a way to keep my body humming and my mind at ease 🙂
I am not a doctor, just a wellness and beauty obsessed blogger who is sharing her experience. AS always consult your doctor before starting any new treatments.