The term “lymphatic drainage” is thrown around a lot these days in the wellness space. It sounds instantly legitimate because we think,“Ok lymph nodes,we know what those are! Sure, let’s work on those.” But wait, why do we need to drain them? First, we need to go back and find out precisely what the lymphatic system is (some of us did not pay attention in middle school science). According to the Cleveland Clinic, the lymphatic system is, “A network of tissues, vessels and organs that work together to move a colorless, watery fluid called lymph back into your circulatory system (your bloodstream).” It is also, according to Nemours Children’s Health Network, “An integral part of your immune system, playing a key role in the body’s immune defenses.” Ok, now let’s go back to why we need to “drain” this sophisticated system. The term “drainage” really refers to facilitating the flow of lymph from various areas of the body back into the bloodstream. We tend to get blockages in key areas that we want to recirculate and send to more productive areas or to ultimately be expelled by the body’s natural disposal systems.
Now that we have a better understanding of why we want our lymph to start moving, let’s explore a few ways to get it done!
Will Gillespie, a highly sought-after local massage therapist/fascia specialist has considerable knowledge ofnthe subject. He begins with the simple fact that it doesn’t need to be anything complicated. “You can get great lymphatic drainage with any quality massage.” For his clients, helikes to use cupping in tandem with massage to boost the effects. And of course, he emphasizes hydrating as an essential part of the entire process; particularly as it applies to aiding in lymphatic drainage. Gillespie also suggests swimming to supplement a weekly or monthly massage. He says, “Because your body is essentially weightless in the water there is very little impact, allowing your movements to flush out “cemented” and blocked areas of the body with less interference.” With swimming, you don’t have to contend with gravity (which it turns out is fairly tough on the body) and thus the entire drainage system functions more efficiently.
If you opt for a spa experience, there are several high-end locales in the New Orleans area. There are specialized, customizable offerings at the spa at The Four Seasons New Orleans. The deep tissue, lymphatic or Swedish massage will all fit the bill. The Windsor Court’s deep tissue massage or the The Ritz Carlton’s Cupping Therapy treatment are also great options.
Some fitness experts recommend fitness classes that incorporate mini trampolines like Bounce at Romney Studios. The idea is that you can achieve movements you wouldn’t otherwise be able to while bouncing, which increases circulation of lymph fluids. Plus, it’s low impact and thus easier on the joints. Yoga is another simple way to keep the drainage system flowing. Heated classes like Vinyasa flow at Spyre are especially beneficial.
During our research we found a fitness line called Elastique that claims to aid in lymphatic drainage as you move! According to the website, their clothing features patent-pending MicroPerle™ beads that are mapped to the body’s lymphatic vessels. Combined with compression, each one applies very gentle pressure to encourage proper lymphatic return. Sounds promising!
Lymphatic Drainage Device Therapy:
This Ballancer Pro is an FDA-cleared compression therapy device that claims to be 60 times more effective than manual lymphatic drainage. Referred to as the “Rolls Royce of lymphatic drainage,” the blanket/suit-like apparatus is adored by NFL and NBA athletes for injury recovery, and joint and muscle pain. And more notably to activate the lymphatic system to help effectively push out toxins and increase circulation. You can book a single session or by 6/12 pack at Vibrant Market.
Dr. Jarred Miat, a Miami-based general medicine and holistic physician says, “Foam rolling is important and should be practiced regularly, not just when you feel pain.” Rolling aids your natural drainage system and removes unwanted toxins, waste and excess water. He adds, “If the flow of lymph stops, your body’s defense function can become jeopardized.” He recommends spending around 5-15 minutes, at least 5 days every week. And don’t forget to breathe while you roll! There are plenty of foam rollers on the market, here is a list of a NY Times review of the latest and greatest!
An infrared sauna session is another a way to encourage the body’s natural lymphatic drainage. Whether using a personal sauna at home (sold locally through Romney Studios) or booking a session at places like Spyre Center, it’s easier than ever to get it done. Infrared heat technology is said to boost cardiovascular, lymphatic and immune functions by raising your core body temperature.
Wednesday, 3/28 – Saturday, 4/1: Igor Trunk Show at Ballin’s Dante Street
Women in Art Auction at Neal Auction – March 30
Thursday, 3/29 – Friday 3/30- Muse Jewelry Trunk Show at Pilot/Powell
Friday, 3/20 – Women in Art Auction at Neal Auction
Saturday, 4/1 (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – NOMA Easter Egg Hunt
Did you know?
Saks Fifth Avenue will recycle your used makeup/beauty containers. Read here for more details.
Gravity Blankets Deep Tissue Massager, Saks Fifth Avenue
Body Renewal Kit, De La Heart
Ballancer Lymphatic Drainage Treatment, Vibrant Market
Agave Cloth, Freedom Apothecary
Divine Tank and Leggings, Elastique