glowing skin facial massage

You had a sleepless night, an extra-salty meal, a stressful week at work, and perhaps even a few days of PMS. Now it’s all on display for everyone to see— cue the puffy face, dark circles and lackluster skin. Our bodies are constantly detoxifying, but even the strongest constitutions get overburdened at times—and the results aren’t pretty. The secret to keeping your body’s natural detox processes humming along (and ensuring that your body and skin look their absolute best) means improving the lymph flow. Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), is a lymph-stimulating treatment known for its gentle massage strokes—and dramatic results. Try it and get ready to love the fresh face that greets you in the morning.

Manual lymphatic drainage is a technique frequently used by celebrities before red carpet events as it delivers toned, radiant skin, without the risk of redness and breakouts. Most people say that their skin looks its best the day after a lymphatic drainage facial.

A study published in Dermatology Research and Practice, found lymphatic system stimulation helped reduce the appearance of cellulite after a series of treatments.

Lymphatic drainage is also beneficial for stress reduction, thanks to its soft, rhythmic strokes. Falling asleep during a treatment is not uncommon. Lymphatic massage is extremely gentle and light. The lymphatic vessels are just below the skin, not deep within the muscle, so this type of treatment is very superficial. Stimulating lymph flow also eases the parasympathetic nervous system, helping the body handle stress.

So would a run-of-the-mill deep tissue massage produce the same results? Not really. MLD works smarter, not harder. It’s not the intensity of the massage strokes that boost lymph flow, it’s the positioning over the body’s key lymph nodes. Massage therapists certified in Manual Lymphatic Drainage who use lymphatic drainage massage for facial treatments focus on the lymph nodes behind the ears, the sides of the neck and just above the collarbone.

A Manual Lymphatic Drainage facial treatment begins by gently pumping on the nodes located above the collarbone, which are lymph drainage points. From there, the focus is on moving the lymph flow around the face, and outward along the jawbone to the nodes behind the ears, and down the sides of the neck to the collarbone. 


At Wave Crest Massage, we use The Alatriste Method of lymphatic drainage which employs light touch carried out in a particular sequence. Because the benefits of MLD are cumulative, Wave Crest Massage recommends splurging on a series of treatments every one to two months to see the best results. It’s also important to follow up at home by drinking plenty of water, getting regular exercise (rebounding on a mini trampoline is a popular lymph stimulating exercise) and eating unprocessed foods. Alcohol, dairy and caffeine, can be lymph-slowing offenders.

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Lymph is somewhat of a mystery for most of us; this fluidlike substance is made up of water, protein and white blood cells and flows just below the skin, collecting toxins that get eliminated when we sweat or urinate. When lymph flow becomes sluggish (the result of stress, inflammation, poor diet, lack of exercise, injury or surgery), toxins hang around in the body longer. You may see puffiness, dull skin, dark circles, or water retention, or feel tenderness and swelling around your lymph nodes. Restore healthy lymph flow and you’ll rev up your internal detox.

Massage Therapy

Facial Massage & Lymph Flow: Your Key To A Gorgeous Glow