We are open for consultation from Mondays – Thursday 8h00 to 17h00, Friday till 16h00. Saturdays on appointments
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Joalize Claasens
Ethnomedicine Practitioner

081 404 0008


Lymph drainage massage

Lymphatic drainage massage is a form of deep tissue massage that encourages the movement of lymph fluid around the body. The fluid in the lymphatic system helps remove waste and toxins from body tissues.

Some health conditions can cause lymph fluid to build up. Lymphatic massage aims to improve the flow of lymph fluid, some health conditions can cause lymph fluid to build up.
Massaging an area without swelling will make space for fluid to flow to those parts from more congested areas.

What is the lymphatic system?
The lymph system is a network of organs, lymph nodes, lymph ducts, and lymph vessels that make and move lymph from tissues to the bloodstream. The lymph system is a major part of the body's immune system.
Lymph is a clear-to-white fluid made of:
White blood cells, especially lymphocytes, the cells that attack bacteria in the blood
Fluid from the intestines called chyle, which contains proteins and fats Lymph nodes are soft, small, round- or bean-shaped structures. They usually cannot be seen or easily felt. They are located in clusters in various parts of the body, such as the:
  • Neck
  • Armpit
  • Groin
  • Inside the centre of the chest and abdomen

What is the functions of the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system is our body’s ‘sewerage system’.
It maintains fluid levels in our body tissues by removing all fluids that leak out of our blood vessels. The lymphatic system is important for the optimal functioning of our general and specific immune responses.
The lymph nodes monitor the lymph flowing into them and produce cells and antibodies which protect our body from infection and disease.
The spleen and thymus are lymphatic organs that monitor the blood and detect and respond to pathogens and malignant cells.
The lymphatic system plays an important role in the absorption of fats from the intestine.
When the lymphatic system is not formed well or has been damaged by surgery, radiotherapy or tissue damage, a swelling of a part of the body may occur (most commonly the legs or arms). When this swelling lasts more than about three months it is called lymphoedema.
When it’s not functioning well the lymphatic system may have a role in obesity, Crohn’s disease and other disorders.
Lymphatic massage usually forms part of a treatment program.

What causes lymphatic system to get blocked?
  • Surgery for cancer
    Treatment for cancer can involve surgery to remove sections of the lymphatic system – lymph glands, this may cause swelling / edeama
    Some of the more common cancers where this happens are:
    breast cancer, skin cancer (melanoma), gynaecological cancers – such as cervical cancer and vulval cancer
    genitourinary cancers – such as prostate cancer or penile cancer
  • Radiotherapy
    Radiotherapy uses controlled doses of high energy (radiation) to destroy cancerous tissue, but it can also damage healthy tissue. If radiotherapy is needed to destroy cancerous cells in your lymphatic system, there's a risk that the lymphatic system could become permanently damaged and unable to drain fluid properly.
  • Infections
    An infection, such as cellulitis, can sometimes cause lymphoedema. Severe cellulitis can damage the tissue around the lymphatic system, causing it to become scarred.
    Filariasis can also cause lymphoedema. Lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by microscopic, thread-like worms.
  • Inflammation
    Medical conditions that cause tissue to become red and swollen can also permanently damage the lymphatic system.
    Conditions that can cause lymphoedema include: rheumatoid arthritis, eczema
  • Venous diseases
    Diseases that affect the flow of blood through the veins can cause lymphoedema in some people. The abnormal or damaged veins can cause fluid to overflow from the veins into the tissue spaces. This overwhelms and eventually exhausts the parts of the lymphatic system responsible for draining this fluid.
    Some venous diseases that can lead to lymphoedema include:
    DVT (deep vein thrombosis) – a blood clot in 1 of the deep veins in the body
    Varicose veins – where poor drainage of blood in the veins causes higher vein pressure and more fluid overflowing into the surrounding tissues
  • Obesity
    Obesity is another possible cause of secondary lymphoedema.
    People who are obese, particularly those who are severely obese, have an increased risk of developing swollen body parts.
  • Trauma and injury
    In a small number of cases, lymphoedema can be caused by an accidental injury to the lymphatic system.
    For example, it can sometimes occur after a road traffic accident where there's extensive bruising or soft tissue loss.
  • Immobility
    Movement and exercise help lymph drainage because muscle activity surrounding the lymphatic vessels massages fluid into and along them.
    Reduced movement can therefore lead to lymphoedema because the fluid in the lymphatic system does not get moved along.

Why do we have to clean the lymphatic system
This network of lymphatic vessels and nodes acts like a giant drainage and filtration system for the body. Just like the plumbing in your home, your lymphatic system needs to stay unclogged and flowing well for it to work properly. When the lymph flow becomes stagnant and congested, wastes and toxins begin to build up. This can lead to weak immunity and a wide variety of health issues.
Poor waste removal in the lymphatic system can affect almost any part of your body. When your lymph vessels become congested, you may experience:
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Water retention
  • Stiffness, especially in the morning
  • Brain fog
  • Itchy and dry skin
  • Cellulite
  • Stubborn weight gain
  • Chronic sinusitis, sore throats, colds, and ear issues
  • Breast swelling with the menstrual cycle
  • Swollen glands
  • Cold hands and feet

There are a variety of causes to lymphatic congestion. Although the body is naturally designed to cleanse itself of wastes and toxins, imbalances can throw off your ability to detoxify and allow wastes to build up. Stress and digestive imbalances are two major causes of lymphatic congestion that impair your ability to cleanse efficiently.
When the body is under stress, biochemical and hormonal changes occur. Over time, this stress chemistry contributes to inflammation that can injure cells and create waste. This clogs up the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is also directly stimulated by fibers of the sympathetic nervous system, which is activated as part of the stress response.
Decongesting your lymph system may hold the key to rejuvenation and rebalancing of your body. Opening up your lymphatic channels is crucial and recommended as part of our detox program.

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