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  Fitness & Weight Management

April 2011
Clearing the the body's internal passages
Subodh Samuel
 
Any fitness instructor will tell you the immense benefits of an invigorating massage. It improves blood circulation, relieves stiffness, perks up flexibility and provides a supremely relaxing experience.

A Special Massage
But not all massages are the same. There are some special massages that specifically boost the body’s internal systems and have a long lasting effect. Lymphatic body massage is one of them. As the name suggests, this is a special holistic rub that benefits the body’s lymphatic system and promotes the steady flow of lymph, the transparent fluid in the body which supports the immune system.

The lymphatic massage--also referred to as the Lymph Drainage Massage--helps drain out harmful toxins from the body tissues and also removes any blockages in the path of the lymph fluid. The rejuvenation of tissues gives the skin a healthy glow, alleviates body aches and pains, heals injuries, reduces any swellings in the body and banishes stresses and strains.

In fact some surgeons recommend a lymphatic massage before an important surgery so as to give a boost to the flow of the lymph fluid. Once the blockages are removed from the body, the lymph flow automatically makes the body go into a relax mode. It also aids the post-operative healing process.

Gentle Massage
This special massage is performed with gentle hands rubbing the body in circular movements. The practitioner must have knowledge of the lymphatic system in the body and the exact route taken by the lymph fluid. If done in the correct way, a lymphatic massage should increase the lymph drainage eight to ten times and help the immune system fight diseases and allergies better and improve the overall health of the body.

It is both rejuvenating and therapeutic and builds a strong foundation for healing the body and mind. Many paediatricians recommend a soft-touch lymphatic massage for babies. In fact some studies have shown infants who received such a massage developed strong immunity to ailments,gained weight and had an overall healthy growth as compared to children who did not have the benefit of such a massage.

A growing number of oncologists suggest lymphatic massage as a post operative therapy for women who have undergone mastectomy or breast surgery. After breast cancer surgery there are chances of developing lymphedema which is a swelling caused by a build-up of fluid, usually in the arm which is both painful and also emotionally draining. A massage can help the lymph fluid move uniformly in the body and reduce physical and mental pain.

Early Developments
Developed by Danish physiotherapist Dr. Emil Vodder, lymphatic body massage has grown over the years. Back in the thirties, Dr. Vodder along with his wife Dr. Estrid Vodder, noticed that a number of chronic cough and cold patients had blocked lymph nodes. They began giving them a gentle massage to remove swellings and blockages in the lymph fluid path.  The results were heartwarming as the patients started improving dramatically and over a few weeks were completely cured of their ailments.

Though research is still underway to determine the definitive curative powers of the lymphatic massage, the technique is being widely used in the West. In fact in countries like Germany, Denmark and Sweden, it is one of the most prescribed physical therapies which is covered under medical insurance.

In India too there is a growing awareness among fitness aficionados about the immense benefits of the lymphatic massage. Masseurs especially trained in this technique are available to give the body a gentle rub to boost the immune system and make it battle-ready to fight a number of diseases.

WHERE TO GO FOR A LYMPHATIC MASSAGE
 
Delhi: Tattva Spa, Saket
Mumbai: Sea Spa, Iscon Temple Juhu,Mukteshwar Delway Road,Juhu
Chennai: Influence Lifestyle Spa, P.H. Road, Egmore
Kolkata: Ayur Herbal Therapy Centre, Sonarpur
Bangalore: Sanskruti Therapy Centre, Vyalikaval HBCS, Nagawara
Hyderabad: Ratna Ayurvedic Body Massage,West Marredpally
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