Whether you’re planning cosmetic surgery or surgery related to an illness, lymphatic massage is a great way to speed up the healing process. However, if you have not had surgery or a lymphatic massage, you might not know how to prepare for the massage or the pain after your surgery. With that in mind, I decided to share some helpful information regarding post-surgery massage and what to expect.

Surgery Causes Swelling—Lymphatic Massage Reduces It

Every surgery causes some sort of swelling. The buildup of fluids in your body and around the surgical incision area needs to be relieved and eliminated. To prevent that build up, doctors often recommend compression garments and lymphatic massage. As you receive the massage, toxin-carrying fluids are flushed from your body properly.

Lymphatic Massage is NOT a Traditional Massage

Contrary to what you might think, lymphatic massage is not a traditional massage like deep tissue, Swedish massage, or hot stone. It is a specific technique that is both specialized and advanced. Additionally, it should never hurt. I constantly have clients ask me if the massage will be painful—because the image of draining fluids from your lymphatic system doesn’t invoke scenes of serenity. However, it is actually quite pleasant and relaxing.

During the massage, I use gentle rotating, and pumping motions to gently move lymph fluid through your body. Sometimes I incorporate gentle vacu-therapy or massage cupping for additional post-surgical support when indicated. I never use heat with my massage technique, as that can increase edema in the surgical area. Also, never receive a deep tissue or therapeutic massage in place of a lymphatic massage—the results will not be the same.

The Number of Treatments You Require Depends on Your Surgery

Another common question is how many post-surgery massage treatments do I need? Typically, I recommend at least one or two treatments before your surgery. After surgery, that number changes based on the type of surgery you had. Some people benefit from 4-6 treatments, while others might require up to 12 depending on the number of surgical areas and how the body is recovering. In rare cases, I recommend more than 12 post-surgery sessions in consecutive order. However, general lymphatic massage is good practice whether you’ve had surgery or not.

Support Your Lymphatic Massage Post-Op with These Tips

-Drink plenty of fluids.

I can never stress this enough. Drink plenty of clean, mineral-rich water before and after your massage for the best results.

-Eat a healthy diet.

Nutrient-dense foods also support your body from the inside out. Grab fruits and vegetables (especially those on my top lymphatic friendly foods list) and chow down before your surgery.

-Don’t stay on the couch or in the bed.

After your surgery, and more importantly after your massage, it’s tempting to stay in bed or on the couch, but you actually need to move. Movement, such as walking, helps pump the lymph fluid and is supportive to your healing process. If you feel tired after your session, then honor your body by resting, but remember to incorporate some type of movement that is comfortable for you at the different stages of your healing process.  And, of course, always follow your Doctor’s direction.

Above all, remember that other types of massage can hinder your healing process. It’s critical that you hire a certified lymphatic therapist to administer your lymphatic massage. Check their certifications and reviews, or you can just choose to book an appointment with me!

Please, send me a message if you’re interested in a lymphatic massage after your surgery.