The manual lymphatic drainage is one of the best techniques from the dermis to stimulate the lymphatic system, is based on massages that help eliminate toxins and strengthen the immune system. In addition, it is a method used by professionals or even at home to avoid some common problems such as the formation of varicose veins or cellulite.

This technique has a lot of difference compared to other massage techniques, since it has a slower and more penetrating rhythm. It seeks to imitate the normal functioning of the circulatory system and improve its function, in the event of fluid retention in the tissues.

For this reason, when you notice the body swollen or tired, generally in areas of the legs this massage is a great option, especially if you want to avoid the formation of varicose veins.

What are varicose veins?

This name refers to the dilation of the superficial veins, frequently in the lower limbs. Its sole cause has not been identified so far, some causes lie in family history, pregnancies, tendency to stand for long periods of time, etc.

The lymphatic system is in charge of purifying and cleaning the circulatory system , eliminating waste and excess fluid. In addition, it helps the nutrients and other fluids of the body return to the bloodstream after being purified.

Benefits of manual lymphatic drainage to prevent varicose veins

The best solution to avoid the formation of varicose veins that can lead to great risks and even in extreme cases amputation in diabetic people, is to stimulate the circulation of the lymphatic system. For this, a DLM manual lymphatic drainage can be applied, in the hands of a professional or a self- massage at home .

It should be noted that this drain meets other related health benefits:

  • Reduce cellulite.
  • Reduce leg swelling.
  • Remove excess liquid.
  • Prevent wrinkles.
  • Regulate and stimulate lymph circulation.

How to do manual lymphatic drainage at home

To avoid the formation of edema and varicose veins , a self-massage is essential and very easy to perform, it consists of gentle and rhythmic massages following the direction of the flow of the lymphatic system. These movements seek to stretch the walls of the vessels and drain the lymph in the veins, redirecting it away from the obstructed areas.

homemade DLM can last about 25 minutes and can be repeated 3 times a week.

If you have poor circulation, you can use sweet almond oil or rosemary oil to facilitate the massage . It should always start from the bottom up, the purpose is to bring the lymph to the groin, where several lymph nodes are found.


The main thing to keep in mind is to avoid pressing hard on the varicose veins. The procedure is explained more precisely below:

  • In a sitting position in a chair or on the floor, it begins with gentle pressure on the fingertips using both hands.
  • The thumb rests on the foot and the rest of the fingers rest on the sole, exerting slight pressure, always in the direction of the heel.
  • Then it goes up without letting go towards the calf. Slight pressure is exerted on the ankles, performing circular massages with both hands.
  • It continues to rise without releasing, when reaching the knee, pressure must be exerted on the inside with the help of the thumbs, following circular movements.
  • Finally, you will reach the thigh area and reach the groin, where you will use the open palms, with circular and more energetic massages.
  • At the end of the lymphatic massage on one leg, the same procedure should be performed on the other.

Once the massage on both legs is finished, it is advisable to lift the legs and leave them in this position for a few minutes or until it is possible. This helps the lymph flow better.

This series is for lymphatic drainage of the legs , if it is necessary to treat a specific problem, it can be done in a corresponding area. There are a series of movements to stimulate the general lymphatic drainage of the body, in areas such as the face, neck, arms, abdomen, buttocks and dorsal area.

How long before manual lymphatic drainage can be seen?

After the first sessions you should notice some improvement, this is shown in the affected area, as it should deflate by reducing fluid retention or improving circulation. This may vary depending on whether the technique is properly applied, whether it is a home massage or whether it is applied by a professional.

Contraindications of manual lymphatic drainage

This therapy may present certain contraindications such as:

  • Infections
  • Thrombosis
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Bronchial asthma.
  • Carotid sinus syndrome.

It is important to consider the technique and avoid overdoing the sessions due to its delicacy. To achieve better results and avoid varicose veins formation, it may be advisable to start with a specialist who can start with the lymphatic massage sessions or can instruct you.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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