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Are deep massages good for arm lymphedema?

Jennifer Forte, Ithaca, NY
“No. Lymphatic drainage massage is very light, and your therapist should have an extra certification in lymphatic drainage to do this work. The lymphatic vessels are very fine and delicate, so lighter pressure moves fluid through them most efficiently. Your therapist also needs to be educated about the direction of the lymphatic flow in different areas of the body as to not cause unnecessary...” Read more
Geraldine Macinski, Sandy Hook, CT
“Lymph system issues are best addressed by a certified lymph drainage therapist. Lymphedema is a contraindication for deep tissue massage.” Read more
Jayma Temple, Worthington, OH
“Deep pressure in a massage will compact the vessels of the lymph system. This prevents the lymph from being able to flow. In order to move the lymph, a rhythmic, superficial pressure should be used. It is best to see a therapist who has studied techniques for lymphatic drainage to ensure the best results. Always be sure to share your medical history with your massage professional before...” Read more
Paula Irwin, Del Mar, CA
“It's essential to be gentle with an area affected by lymphedema. Since the nodes and vessels are compromised with lymphedema, deep massage is counterindicated as it may cause increased swelling and further damage. Continued MLD treatments for long term health are best, along with proper home care. Use PH balanced lotions, such as Eucerin, to prevent ulcerations caused by excessive...” Read more
Julie LaFrano, Breckenridge, CO
“Lymph massage is superficial. A massage that is too deep will not allow the fluids to drain. ” Read more
Deborah Gilmore, Golden, CO
“Possibly, but deep work is contraindicated for edema at this point.” Read more
Judie Yim, New York, NY
“There are degrees of edema which determine the proper massage protocol. Edema can be a general diagnosis of stasis of lymph within a segment of the body, mainly the peripheral extensions of legs and arms. A more serious condition is "pitting edema," pitting on the surface of the skin which remains depressed when medium pressure is applied. This indicates that the lymph is thick and viscous and...” Read more
Carin Piacente, Putnam Valley, NY
“No, they are not. The lymphatic system sits at a superficial layer on the body. If you press too hard, you actually cut the system off. Think of a tourniquet. If you cut the circulation off, the area swells. ” Read more

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