Lymphatic drainage massage is the new hype between celebs like Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber, but it’s a beauty treatment used by Brazilians for decades. Lymphatic drainage is a technique focused on helping the body get rid of toxins through stimulation of the lymphatic system.
The Brazilian lymphatic drainage massage has several health benefits such as:
- Reducing cellulite
- Improving the immune system
- Helping with bloating and water retention
- Improving digestion and weight loss
- Improving skin elasticity
And the list goes on. According to Flavia Morellato, a Brazil-born, UK-based lymphatic drainage specialist, weekly lymphatic drainage massages also impacts what happens on the outside too — for instance, if you have acne-prone skin, it helps the body to heal faster from the breakout. That’s because “a bad lymphatic system will cause acne and breakouts.” says Flavia.
The Brazilian Lymphatic massage is catching the wave of at-home treatments. With spas closed and in-person appointments on hold, it’s possible to try the technique by yourself.
Obviously, if you’re having a massage with a specialist, there’s no need to worry about preps. However, if this isn’t the case, you should learn a few things before jumping straight to the how-to part.
The Vogue’s writer, Jenna Rennert, decided to give the Brazilian lymphatic drainage a shot. “While Lanini [her masseuse] use firm pressure to deliver her transformative treatments, I quickly learned my hands were not as strong, so I tested out a set of body tools, like de la Heart’s wooden version, and Esker’s jade roller, to mimic the same results. Here, the pro walks through her recommendation for DIY’ing lymphatic drainage at home.”
In spas, the specialists generally use a custom blended cream. But at home, “any oil or cream you have can be used to self-drain,” explains the specialist. She recommends massaging the arms, legs, and stomach up to 3 to 4 times a week at home. “However, when done by a professional,” she explains, “1 or 2 times a week is enough, but each body is different.”
To begin the massage, Flavia Lanini recommends these steps:
- Stand in front of the mirror and press the armpit three times with your right hand and vice versa.
- Move the strokes in the direction of the lymph node, or upward.
- Continue moving over the arms with light pressure from the elbow to the shoulder. Then repeat on the other side.
- Then, go to the stomach area. Press your palms flat down onto the area in between your hip bones “With hands overlapping, make circular movements around the navel button 5 times” she says.
- And continue moving over the entire stomach area for about a minute or two.
- Now move to the groin and press three times. Then, using a closed fist, “slide your hands from the knee up 8 times.” Next, “squeeze the back of the knee 3 times and slide your hands from the foot back to the knee ten times.”
The after-care massage is simple. The pro suggests avoiding sugar, alcohol, gluten and sodium as much as possible and prioritize hydration for the next 48 hours.