How to Drain Your Lymph Nodes With a Massage


May 30, 2022


Derrick Allen

Did you know that certain types of massages can promote lymphatic drainage? Learn how to drain your lymph nodes in this guide.

Do you know that there are over 19 types of massage? You can choose from relaxation, Swedish massage, reflexology, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, and the list goes on.

The primary role of massage is relaxation, but massage can treat specific health conditions depending on what modality you pick.

Have you ever wondered how to drain your lymph nodes by using massage?

You are in luck! Lymphatic therapy may be what you are looking for. Keep reading to learn what lymphatic drainage massage is, what are the benefits of having one and if there are any potential risks.

What Is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Lymphatic drainage massage is a type of massage that focuses on your lymph system. As the name suggests, its aim is to drain your lymph nodes.

The lymph system, which is part of the immune system, helps with maintaining proper blood and other bodily fluid circulation and sustaining immune functions.

It runs throughout the body, while the biggest nodes are in the neck, groin, and armpits. The primary role of the lymphatic system is to remove any waste from your body.

If your lymphatic system doesn’t function properly, waste can accumulate in your nodes, causing them to swell. Lymphatic waste build-up can be a result if any of your nodes have been removed surgically. It is most prominent in patients who had breast cancer surgery.

Abnormal swelling can be caused by a condition called Lymphedema. It usually affects the legs and arms, and it can be relived through lymphatic drainage massage.

During a lymphatic drainage massage, your soft tissue is gently manipulated, so the lymph waste moves towards a working lymph node.

A licensed massage therapist will massage the affected area and its surroundings to ensure that there isn’t any blockage. It happens in two steps:

  1. Clearing
  2. Reabsorption

Clearing is performed to prepare the tissue to bring more fluids, which creates a flushing effect. The second stage, reabsorption, moves the released lymphatic fluid to your lymph nodes.

Benefits of Draining Lymph Nodes

Blocked lymph nodes, and especially lymphedema, can cause pain, swelling in your extremities, soreness, weakness, and skin discomfort such as discoloration or hardening of the skin.

Because one of the main functions of the lymph system is sustaining the immune system, if your lymph nodes don’t drain, you are more prone to infections. Overall, a lymphatic drainage massage can help to reduce the symptoms of lymphedema.

Other benefits of draining lymph nodes are:

Boost Immunity

Your immune system is your body’s defense against viruses, bacteria, and infections. When it doesn’t function optimally, your health is at risk. A healthy immune system is even more important for people who battle other health conditions, such as cancer.

Lymphatic drainage massage can help to improve your blood circulation. This means that fresh, full of oxygen and nutrients, blood can be delivered to your tissues and organs.

When your immune system is strong, you are less likely to get sick.

Improves Digestion

Lymphatic drainage massage can improve your digestion by removing fluid build-up. It can also assist your digestive system with fluid movement. This can be especially beneficial if you are bloated.

To fully benefit from lymphatic drainage massage, it is recommended to invest in a healthy diet and physical activity.

Helps to Relieve Other Medical Conditions

Outside of lymphedema, lymphatic drainage massage can relieve symptoms of other medical conditions:


Fibromyalgia is described as ‘aches and pian’ in the body. It causes chronic muscle pain and inflammation in the joints. Lymphatic drainage massage may help with reducing stiffness, tissue swelling, and skin discoloration.

But above all, massage promotes relaxation, which will help to improve the quality of life of anyone who suffers from fibromyalgia.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis causes stiffness in your joints as well as swelling. Due to the pain in your joints, your joint mobility is restricted. Lymphatic drainage massage may relieve the symptoms and reduce the pain, especially in the later stages of this progressive disease.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) occurs when your leg veins don’t work effectively, causing the blood not to flow back from your legs to your heart.

Lymphatic drainage massage may help with improving the blood circulation and possibly speed up the blood flow. Once the pathways are cleared, the femoral artery can perform better, helping to manage CVI.


Lipedema causes excess fat to accumulate in the lower part of the body. The excess fat blocks the lymph nodes and their pathways, so efficient lymph node drainage can’t occur.

Lymphatic drainage massage may reduce the symptoms of lipedema and improve the performance of the lymph system.

Risk of Draining Lymph Nodes

Although draining lymph nodes through massage is safe, there are a few risks you need to be aware of. They are mostly directed to people who have certain conditions, such as:

  • Heart condition
  • Kidney failure
  • Blood clots
  • Infections
  • Liver problems
  • History of stroke

You may also experience headaches, nausea, or fatigue after the massage. However, those symptoms should ease off within 24-48 hours.

How to Drain Your Lymph Nodes

Now you know how to drain your lymph nodes using a lymphatic drainage massage. It is a gentle type of massage with not many risks.

Lymphatic drainage massage can help to relieve the symptoms of lymphedema, but it can also boost your immune system, improve digestion and reduce symptoms of other health conditions such as fibromyalgia.

If you are looking where to get a lymphatic drainage massage, make an appointment today.