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Lymphatic Drainage

Lymphatic drainage massage

Lymphatic drainage is a technique used to help the lymphatic flow up the lymphatic vessels, to help the metabolic waste, lactic acid filled fluid drain from the distal extremities, and dump back into the blood stream, where it can be cleared out by our cleansing organs, like the liver and kidney.


We talk more about the lymphatic system, CLICK HERE.

To drain the lymphatic fluid out of your feet and lower legs, you start at the most distal tissues: your toes.  Wrap your hands around all of your toes and squeeze to the point you feel good pressure, but not pain.  

lymph drainage out of lower extremity

Figure 20‑1: Squeezing lymph fluid out of the distal aspect of the foot 

Then move your hands up towards the middle of your foot and squeeze again. 

lymph drainage out of lower extremity

Figure 20‑2: Milking the lymph further out of your foot

Then move your hands to your heel and squeeze.  Then squeeze your ankle.

lymph drainage out of lower extremity

Figure 20‑3: Squeezing the lymph out of the ankle

Then work up your calf muscles squeezing as you go.  Pay special attention to the inside of your knees, as often lymph fluid gets trapped here.  

lymph drainage out of lower extremity

Figure 20‑4: Squeezing lymph out of the calf region. 

Squeezing the medial aspect of the meaty parts of the knees helps facilitate the lymphatic drainage of the lower extremities.  Repetitively squeezing this region literally milks the excess lymph along the one-way valved vessels.

lymph drainage out of lower extremity

Figure 20‑5: Squeezing lymph out of the knee.

I like to use a rolling pin to milk the lymph out of my thighs.  Thigh muscles are thicker and take more pressure to work out the tightness.  I place the rolling pin just above the inside of my knee, press into my inner thigh as I roll the pin up to my groin, and repeat several times. 

 

lymph drainage out of lower extremity

lymph drainage out of lower extremity

lymph drainage out of lower extremity





Figure 20‑6: Using a rolling pin to milk out lymph out of the medial thigh.

I then move the rolling pin to the top of my thigh just above my knee and roll it up the top of my thigh to my hip.  I repeat this stroking action several times.  Then I roll the rolling pin on the outside of my thigh, knee to hip, several times.

lymph drainage out of lower extremity

lymph drainage out of lower extremity

lymph drainage out of lower extremity





Figure 20‑8: Draining the lymph from the lateral thigh. 

A great way to help drain the excess fluid out of your lower extremities throughout the day while sitting, simply use your big toe like it is a pen, and draw the alphabet in capital letters in the air from A to Z. Figured below. Repeat this with your other foot. 

lymph draining

This will cause the ankle to go through the motions of inversion, eversion, plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, and circumduction without having to remember a complicated routine. The motion will cause the lower leg muscles to contract and relax, pumping excess fluid out of the lower extremities back up toward the torso. Circulating those fluids back into the bloodstream means the kidneys will eventually be able to filter out all of the toxic metabolic waste.

Better yet, lay down with your legs up a wall (figured below). Let gravity work to drain the lymph for you:

lymph draining

You can also draw the ABCs with your feet like in the previous seated lymphatic drainage exercise to actively milk the lymph out of the most distal tissues of your feet.

legs up for lymph drainage

For a demonstration on how to do lymphatic drainage, check out the videos below:

lymph

Demonstrating self massage for lymphatic drainage out of the lower extremities.  CLICK HERE


Click here to learn how to drain your breast and armpits, which helps your upper extremities drain.

breast lymph massage

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Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 336-2423

 

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