You may be familiar with lymphatic drainage via popular face tools such as jade rollers or a classic gua sha, but the benefits of stimulating and draining your lymphatic system can have incredible benefits not just for your skin, but for your whole body and even your mind. Often a manual technique, it is carried out to encourage the flow of the lymph, which helps to reduce puffiness (perfect for hangovers), encourages a strong immune system and due to the therapeutic nature of the practice, can instil a sense of calm to the brain, helping with anxious thoughts and overall stress.
Aesthetically, lymphatic drainage techniques have been admired for their appearance boosting benefits, such as toxin removal for brightening skin, de-puffing and reducing swelling or bloating in the face and body, and even helping to smooth out fatty deposits under the skin’s surface. By targeting certain trigger points on your face and body, your waste removal system is kicked into overdrive and works to get rid of any trapped toxins that can cause physical health issues such as heavy legs, a dull complexion or a bloated stomach. It can even boost your metabolism and digestive system due to the new nutrients it delivers to your cells. Not only this, but when the lymph fluid is moving though our lymphatic channels easily, the immune cells are more effective, which helps us fight off infections and inflammation in our body. Even a humble headache can be down to congestion and once tissues are decongested, blocked fluid is able to move freely, which reduces the pain and discomfort experienced.
There are different methods of stimulating your body’s lymphatic system, from tapping to crystal combs or even an old faithful body brush. Starting each morning post shower with a five-minute comb from the top of your scalp and down the base of your skull, followed by your neck, shoulders, chest and all of your limbs (making sure to include your stomach and gut) is a great way to alleviate water retention and can help to break up fatty deposits, leaving your skin soft, supple and refreshed. We love the Hay’ou Method Jade Body Comb, it is super effective (and very cute looking too)!
If you’re on a budget, a firm bristled body brush can do the trick. Just brush over your body with the same motions and you will notice how energised you look and feel, with improved blood flow and circulation. The round body brush from The Body Shop is one of our favourites, it fits perfectly in your hand and the bristles are firm enough to really get your blood pumping. Alternately, investing in a tapping tool, (we love the Hay’ou Bamboo Body Tapper), is a satisfying and quick way to get your blood pumping first thing in the morning. The best part is this method takes as little as five minutes, so it is perfect if you’re in a rush but want to feel the benefits of an energy boost and glowing skin. It also helps to move along stagnant energy for a clearer mind, so is a great tool to wind down with too. When used with some mindful breathing before bed, it can really promote serious relaxation for a restful night’s sleep.
When it comes to your face, you are most likely familiar with facial rollers and gua shas, which are tools often made of crystals such as rose quartz or jade that are specifically designed for the contours of our face and neck. These holistic facial tools are incredible for physically draining puffy skin, (ideal for sleepy eyes), brightening a dull complexion due to the increased blood flow and relaxing areas that tend to hold tension, such as the jaw and temple. The physical benefits of stimulating your lymphatic system are obvious, but there are also amazing advantages for your mental wellbeing too. Taking a mindful moment each day to give ourselves a lymphatic massage, be it with a tool or even just your hands, provides us with a moment of self-love and calm; the perfect tonic to a hectic daily routine. We love the Herbivore Rose Quartz Facial Roller and the Botanics gua sha for easy-to-use tools that will also brighten up your bathroom cabinet.
Because lymphatic drainage is such a gentle, soothing treatment, be it a massage done by a professional or an at home gua sha facial, the benefits of moving stagnant energy, removing water retention and boosting circulation is so impactful on the body, it really does help to renew the mind too. We know that our gut health is linked to our mental health, and a healthy lymphatic system can help to deliver the correct nutrients needed to keep the gut happy and healthy, which in turn could help us to feel more mentally strong. Incorporating lymphatic drainage in whichever way suits you best is an incredible act of self-care that will bring about boundless benefits to your health and wellbeing. Happy draining!