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Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage is a gentle form of massage that accelerates the circulation of the lymph—fluids that support your immune system—throughout the body.

Does the groin area for a swollen node need be massaged in certain direction or pattern?

Melissa DeFrancesco (Goshen, IN) on Mar 7, 2012
Yes, you should massage the swollen lymph node in a superior, then medial, circular fashion, toward the inguinal lymph nodes. Lymph massage is done very lightly and slowly.
Joshua Bart (Silver Spring, MD) on Mar 7, 2012
Always push toward the heart. Use light strokes.
Deborah Gilmore (Golden, CO) on Mar 7, 2012
Yes, though it depends on what is happening with the leg and if there's been any blockage of nodes in the past.
Russell Fox (Tampa, FL) on Mar 7, 2012
The could be one of the inguinal lymph nodes. If it is swollen, that is usually indicative of an active infection in the right leg. An active infection is a contraindication for normal massage and lymphatic drainage. This could lead to a spreading of the infection throughout the body, and considering the age of the patient, that could be very dangerous. If it is determined that there is no infection, then a therapist trained in lymphatic massage could decongest the area safely.
Kevin Franklin (Brandon, FL) on Mar 7, 2012
When a lymph node is swollen, it is fighting off an infection. I can tell you from personal experience that you will only irritate the lymph node if you touch it. Talk to a doctor and get his advice before moving forward.
Jagdish Jindal (Houston, TX) on Mar 7, 2012
A swollen lymph node means there is infection in the area. Massage should not be done to relieve the discomfort of a swollen lymph node. I suggest that feather touch work might give some comfort in that area.
Marcus Webb (Grand Rapids, MI) on Mar 7, 2012
This is a very serious condition and needs medical attention. Massage could potentially make the situation worse. You need a doctor's permission to proceed with massage. I would be happy to help if you are in the greater Grand Rapids area. Thank you and God bless.
Lynn Maison (Moreno Valley, CA) on Mar 7, 2012
Yes. The lymph needs to be directed to an area of larger nodes where it can be better filtered and flushed from the body. You can look up a chart of the lymphatic system online to help you visualize these areas. Lymphatic drainage techniques with light feather-like pressure is used within a specific protocol. Also needed for lymphatic drainage massage to follow treatment progression: measurements pre/post session and compression garments worn between at increments prescribed by the primary care provider.
Nicole Scruggs (Detroit, MI) on Mar 7, 2012
I would make a poultice of garlic and extra virgin olive oil and cayenne pepper and gently rub into area. Gently stroke towards inguinal area (that is, the crease of the leg and pelvis) Make him a green drink, a handful of parsley and spinach. Make sure his bowels are moving.
Luis Rivera (Marietta, IL) on Dec 11, 2012
If there is swelling in the area it should be checked by a medical professional as this could be a more serious condition.
Katherine Turner (Schertz, TX) on Oct 2, 2012
every massage the strokes show go towards the heart otherwise you are going against the blood flow in the body and possible bruising could happen
Richard Bartlett (Lansing, MI) on May 11, 2012
I would have a single swollen lymph node checked for a medical cause, such as a tumor, blood clot or infection, before using massage. If this has been ruled out, massage in any direction should help lymphatic drainage, since lymphatic vessels have one-direction valves, just as veins do. I would work the entire area, so that fluid can be absorbed by the rest of the lymphatic system and be helped to flow "downstream." Short strokes toward the heart, beginning near the torso and working outward toward the hands and feet, are usually used in lymphatic work. If massage is uncomfortable, mobilizing the hip (flex/extend and adduct/abduct) can help circulate lymph as well. Remember that for a patient in hospice care, making her as comfortable as possible is the most important goal.
Timothy Mathews (Clearwater, FL) on Apr 11, 2012
There are certain drainage quadrants on the body and for the groin area you want to massage very lightly towards the center of the leg. If you are sensing any pain, I would seek profeesional help
Mitchell Eichman (Lake Zurich, IL) on Apr 10, 2012
Yes, counter clockwise...very important...
Keely Jackson (New York, NY) on Apr 4, 2012
Yes, the direction in which you massage for lymph drainage is very important. For the groin area, start with a light massage of the abdominal and pelvis. Circular motion starting at the belly button, then working your way outward. This stimulates the cluster of lymph nodes and capillaries in the belly. I would suggest at least 10 minutes of tummy time. Now moving down to the bikini or groin area, with light pressure from the fingers and palms, brush upwards towards the abdomen...alternate hands, one over the other. It is not uncommon to feel the swollen node start to soften in a few minutes. Check with your Doctor before hand to make sure there's no infection present.
Keely Jackson (New York, NY) on Apr 4, 2012
Yes, the direction in which you massage for lymph drainage is very important. For the groin area, start with a light massage of the abdominal and pelvis. Circular motion starting at the belly button, then working your way outward. This stimulates the cluster of lymph nodes and capillaries in the belly. I would suggest at least 10 minutes of tummy time. Now moving down to the bikini or groin area, with light pressure from the fingers and palms, brush upwards towards the abdomen...alternate hands, one over the other. It is not uncommon to feel the swollen node start to soften in a few minutes. Check with your Doctor before hand to make sure there's no infection present.
Brenda Breedlove (San Francisco, CA) on Apr 2, 2012
I would be very careful with swollen nodes, get clearence from his DR. Once you have that (just to make sure there is no infection going on somewhere, this could be dangerous) all strokes should go towards the abdomen where the drainage sites are. Keep it really light on the leg on the effected side, lymphatic massage light, just to assist the lymphatic system. Keep any strokes going towards the foot SUPER light as not to pull any extra fluid into the leg. A little late but I hope that helps!
Cari Cater (Smyrna, GA) on Mar 25, 2012
Yes, you need to contact a certified lymph drainage therapist with advanced training.
Andrea Santoro (Forest Hills, NY) on Mar 22, 2012
As a Licensed Massage Therapist, I would not attempt to treat a swollen lymph in the groin area of a 90 year old client.
Laura Gruenwald (Jupiter, FL) on Mar 21, 2012
You do Manual Lymphatic Drainage toward the groin area. You first do a opening of the lymphatic system, which consist of 5 to 9 circles. Then you would start at the feet and do a full leg treatment to the groin, so you know that the whole leg will drain. It works, I did some MLD on my 84 year old mother today. She had swollen feet and ankles today, when I got finished with the treatment it had come down some, not totally gone, but she commented that she felt better and didn't have the pressure like she had before the treatment.
Christine Gross (Grand Rapids, MI) on Mar 19, 2012
Hello: For this case make sure to go toward the Heart when massaging.
Madeline Michaels (New York, NY) on Mar 19, 2012
According to Gray's Anatomy, lymph moves by more than one mechanism. Lymphatic fluid motion occurs by rhythmic muscle contraction of the surrounding musculature compressing the contained lymphatic vessels with the fluid direction checked by the presence of one-way valves. The smooth muscle in the walls of the lymphatic trunks is strongest just proximal to the valves and stimulation of sympathetic nerves accompanying these trunks results in contraction of the vessels. Lymph can also be assisted in movement by pulsation of nearby arterial vessels and by the rhythmic variation in intrathoracic pressure from respiration. Yes, this means breathing exercises. Abdominal breathing helps with motility of the intestinal tract, venous pressure, and gravity as forces that aid lymphatic flow. Take is slowly. If dizziness occurs stop immediately. If you are a body therapist and not sure how to approach this matter feel free to contact me through my website at www.bodyfeelgoodstudio.com
Carin Piacente (Putnam Valley, NY) on Mar 16, 2012
Has he/she ever had this problem before? For simplistic explaination, massaging towards the heart is also the most benificial for the patient.
Sean Elias (Santa Monica, CA) on Mar 14, 2012
I would massage the affected area very gently in the direction of the heart to push the fluid in the area toward the abdomen (where there is a large quantity of nodes). Doing so, allows the fluid in the node, that's causing the swelling, to drain properly. I would also suggest that practitioner trained in lymphatic drainage massage perform the massage on the affected area.
Efren Jimenez (Burbank, CA) on Mar 14, 2012
It must be massaged in the direction of the heart. I cannot described the pattern as it requires special training. Lymphatic drainage massage is a specialty massage and should be administered by someone who has taken a cours in such modality.
Jennifer Forte (Ithaca, NY) on Mar 8, 2012
If there is a palpable node in the groin area I would suggest getting it looked at by a physician, especially if there is a history of cancer. If there is already visible Lymphedema, and it absolutely is not malignant, find a Certified Lymphedema Therapist in your area and talk to them about beginning Manual Lymph Drainage treatment. Since the patient is already in Hospice, obviously they should only do what they feel is most worth their time.
Joseph McCoy (Muenster, TX) on Mar 7, 2012
Yes, it depends on which groin, but my lymphatic instructor says to vibrate the node.