Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Electra Health Floor provides manual lymphatic drainage at Vancouver clinic

Our downtown Vancouver clinic has over 20 RMT’s on staff, several of whom are professionally trained in manual lymphatic drainage. We recommend Irina Mackay who has Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy training at the Vodder School.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Vancouver Massage Therapy Clinic

Electra Health Floor – 970 Burrard Street, Vancouver BC
Open 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm
604-685-4325 (HEAL)

What Is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Lymphatic drainage massage, also known as manual lymphatic drainage or lymph massage is a simple form of massage therapy aimed at stimulating the flow of lymph in the body. This is done by applying gentle, rhythmic pressure on the skin to encourage lymph flow, and its recirculation back to the blood circulatory system.

Overview Of The Lymphatic System

manual-lymphatic-drainage-vancouverThe lymphatic system is the body’s secondary circulatory system. It is made up of lymph nodes; sites where filtration occurs, found in the neck, armpits, groin and the center of the chest and abdomen, lymphatic vessels, lymph (fluid like blood plasma carried within the lymphatic vessels), and white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Lymph nodes are small nodular structures, which produce protective cells that fight infection while filtering lymph fluid to remove foreign material. In the presence of threats, lymph nodes increase production of infection-fighting lymphocytes, causing the nodes to swell.

The lymphatic system has no “pump” to move lymph through the body. In the process of breathing and movement, lymph moves through lymphatic vessels and filters of the lymph nodes. Thus, sedentary people can overtax their lymphatic system – resulting in a body that is susceptible to infection and disease.

Who Needs Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

  • Patients suffering from lymphedema; localized fluid accumulation and tissue swelling due to obstruction of the lymphatic system. Such tissues are more prone to infection. Lymph massage is widely accepted as being effective for non-fibrotic lymphedema (before affected tissue becomes hard and unresponsive).
  • Patients who have undergone any form of surgery that resulted in removal of any lymph nodes, mastectomy due to breast cancer for instance.
  • Healthy people can also routinely self-massage or get it done by a professional periodically. It is especially good for detoxification.
  • Lymph massage is also advisable pre and post-plastic surgery, and post-liposuction. It is also helpful for treatment of skin blotchiness, or redness and acne, during cellulite treatments, and with scar tissue and telangiectasia, or spider veins.

Benefits Of Lymph Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage is largely a simple, non-invasive practice whose benefits include:

  • Drainage of swollen puffy tissues.
  • Better circulation of the lymph, which improves the body’s immune system.
  • Helps the body to repair itself faster, especially needful surgeries and invasive procedures.
  • Aids in the body’s natural process of waste removal and detoxification.
  • The hand movements characteristic of lymphatic massage have a calming effect on the body; heavy touch will cause release of histamine, which over-stimulates, rather than calms.

To enhance this effect, after a lymph massage, it is advisable to take lots of water and avoid salt and alcohol to help flush out toxins.


  • Manual lymph drainage is contra-indicated in a number of cases including active cancer, active infection, undiagnosed tumours or lumps, bleeding, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, and blood clots.
  • Patients who have developed lymphedema after surgery experience a sudden, marked increase in localized swelling. Such patients should stop treatment and see their physicians for evaluation immediately.
  • Patients who have sudden onset of lymphangitis (an infection) should discontinue treatment until the infection is treated and completely clears up. Before being treated, testing is recommended for patients with known blood clotting disorders to rule out deep-venous thrombosis.
  • Congestive heart failure patients must be watched closely as the movement of a large volume of fluid at once may strain the heart. Remember, lymph only moves towards the heart.
  • For a patient in any kind of pain, it’s wise to discontinue therapy until the underlying cause is established, and the pain reduces.

If you are unsure whether manual lymph drainage is indicated for your condition please contact the clinic for more information. 

Lymphatic drainage massage is a must-have skill for any therapist. This direct manipulation of the lymphatic system significantly boosts immune system function within the body, which leads to happier, healthier lives.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Vancouver Massage Therapy Clinic

Electra Health Floor – 970 Burrard Street, Vancouver BC
Open 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm
604-685-4325 (HEAL)

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