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Self lymphatic massage

Written by Reema Shamim


Posted on August 12 2019

Lymphatic massage is a therapeutic massage that opens up the lymphatic system, helping the flow of lymphatic fluid through the body.

What is the Lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system is a network of organs and tissues that transport 'lymph', a fluid that carries infection fighting white blood cells through the body. The lymphatic system also carries toxins, waste products and impurities away from the body's cells.

The pressure from body movements and blood vessels push the lymphatic fluid around.

A lack of exercise, digestive imbalances and inadequate nutrition can clog the lymphatic system, leading to sluggishness, dull skin, bloating and other health issues.

Natural ways to improve lymphatic flow

  1. Lymphatic massage
  2. Drinking herbal teas - herbs like goldenseal, poke root and astragalus help improve lymph circulation
  3. Exercise/ yoga/ rebounding
  4. Dry brushing
  5. Staying hydrated
  6. Alternate cold and hot showers
  7. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables
  8. Epsom salt baths

Benefits of a lymphatic massage

  1. Reduces bloating by removing excess fluid from the cells
  2. Promotes plump and firm skin. The manual stimulation of the skin achieved with the massage encourages the production of proteins like collagen and elastic.
  3. Flushes toxins and impurities
  4. Improves immunity
  5. Promotes scar healing
  6. Reduces cellulite
  7. Encourages weight loss
  8. Encourages better circulation

Steps to performing a lymphatic massage at home:

  • Wear comfortable clothing
  • Sit in a warm room, because warmth is essential in increasing lymphatic drainage
  • Make sure your hands are clean
  • Clean your face and apply a face oil or moisturiser
  • Perform the massage (below)
  • Relax


Please use light pressure with long, gentle rhythmic strokes. Each move is performed 3 times.

  1. Place your fingers on your forehead just above the eyebrows. Massage upwards on the forehead, over the top of the head, and down the back of the head with your palms.
  2. With the tips of the fingers, massage by tracing from the middle of the forehead outwards towards your hairline
  3. With the index finger press down in the crease between the eyeball and eyebrow, beginning near the bridge of your nose. Continue pressing while moving the fingers across the top of the eyes (along the eyebrows), down the temples and around the ears.
  4. Place the index fingers in your ears and twist them 3 times clockwise and 3 times anti-clockwise. (Please make sure you have short finger nails)
  5. Rub hands together briskly and make them warm. Close your eyes and place the base of the palms over the closed eyes. Relax completely and breathe deeply.
  6. With the side of the palm (the side of the little finger) massage the side of the nose to the tip.
  7. With the tips of your fingers, massage under the eyes and down the face. Turn the hands sideways and massage down the side of the face and finally massage around the neck with your palms.
  8. Massage the upper lip area from the centre to the sides with the tips of the fingers.
  9. Press down with the base of the palm, press down the upper side of the face just in from your ears. Then, sliding the hands down, so the tips of the fingers meet at the chin.
  10. With the two thumbs, massage up inside the jaw, starting under the chin and outward towards the sides of the face to behind the ears.
  11. With the bases of the two palms pressed against the centre of the neck, massage outward to the sides the neck.
  12. Raise the left arm and massage down to the armpit with your fingers 3 times.
  13. With the right hand, massage the left arm in circular motions, in direction of hair growth. Start from over the left shoulder and down the arm till the wrist.
  14. Massage the top of the left hand and the palm. Massage by gently rotating each finger. (Do not pull or crack the fingers)
  15. Repeat steps 12, 13, and 14 with the right arm.


Drink 1-2 glasses of water after performing the massage. It will help flush out impurities.

This can also be followed by a deep relaxation practice like shavasana or deep breathing.

This massage can be performed daily. With regular practice, the steps will flow easily and will take around 2-3 minutes.

A regular lymphatic drainage practice reduces puffiness and imparts glow to the skin. Skin looks plump, healthy and relaxed. And the best bit - it can be easily performed at home.



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