How to Improve Lymphatic Drainage in the Legs

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:12
Your lymphatic system is an important part of your vascular system that removes toxins from your body and protects you from illnesses. It is made of a large network of lymphatic vessels that carry lymph through your body toward your heart....
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Your lymphatic system is an important part of your vascular system that removes toxins from your body and protects you from illnesses. It is made of a large network of lymphatic vessels that carry lymph through your body toward your heart. The circulation of lymphatic blood can easily become stagnant since it does not have a pump, and instead relies on the relaxation and contraction of muscles to move it along. To improve your lymphatic drainage system in your legs, try manually palpating your own skin and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Method 1
Method 1 of 2:

Draining Your Lymphatic System Manually

  1. Step 1 Sit with your affected leg up on a flat surface.
    You need to be able to reach your leg without bending downward. Sit on a couch or a bench and prop your affected leg out in front of you. Use good posture and keep your shoulders back.[1]

    Tip: If both of your legs are affected, you can drain them 1 at a time.

  2. Step 2 Begin lightly rubbing the skin of your neck in between your collar bones.
    Cross your hands and put them below your neck. Use both of your hands to gently press on the skin of your lower neck. Make your strokes gentle enough to only move the skin, not massage any muscles. Repeat 10 reps of strokes in this area. Massage in a circular motion in each area that you touch.[2]
    • The massage should not feel uncomfortable or make you sore.
  3. Step 3 Palpate the skin over lymph nodes in your armpit.
    Feel for the hard lump in your armpit on the same side as your affected leg. Place your hand directly over the lymph node and gently move the skin in a circular motion 10 times. Do not press hard.[3]
    • The lymphatic blood from your leg will move upward toward your higher lymph nodes. Massaging them increases blood flow to them.
  4. Step 4 Massage the skin from the inside of your leg outward.
    Start with the top of your affected leg. Press your hands gently onto your inner thigh and move them outward and back toward yourself in a sweeping, circular motion. Move your skin gently as you do so. Repeat the strokes 10 times in each position, and move down your leg until you reach your foot.[4]
    • If you have trouble reaching your calf, bend your leg until you can comfortably massage it.
  5. Step 5 Massage the skin from the outside of your leg inward.
    Start with the top of your leg again. Place your hands on the outside of your thigh and move them toward your inner thigh, moving the skin slightly. Repeat each motion 10 times and move down your leg until you reach your foot.[5]
    • Manual drainage can be dehydrating. Be sure to drink plenty of water afterwards.
  6. Step 6 Bandage your leg to encourage lymph to flow back to your trunk.
    Take a bandage and wrap it around the affected leg from your toes to your thigh. The bandage should be tightest around the toes and become gradually become looser as it goes up.[6]
    • Ask a lymphedema specialist to apply the bandage or show you how to do it yourself.
  7. Step 7 Try a pneumatic compression device.
    A pneumatic compression device is a sleeve you can fit over your affected leg(s). The sleeve is connected to a pump that intermittently squeezes the affected limb and pushes the lymphatic fluids away and into your trunk.[7]
    • These devices are also helpful for improving circulation in your legs and preventing blood clots.[8]
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Method 2
Method 2 of 2:

Improving Your Lymphatic Health

  1. Step 1 Visit a licensed...
    Visit a licensed massage therapist for a lymphatic drainage massage. Your massage therapist will gently palpate your leg and move your lymphatic blood upward toward your other lymph nodes. Make sure your massage therapist knows that the goal of your massage is to improve the lymphatic drainage in your legs.[9]
    • Ask your primary care doctor to refer you to a licensed massage therapist near you.
    • You can also ask your doctor to recommend a physical therapist who specializes in the treatment of lymphatic edema.
  2. Step 2 Jump on a trampoline for 10 minutes if you are able to.
    The vibrations and reverberations from a trampoline improve blood flow and can help your lymphatic drainage process. Use a trampoline for about 10 minutes and do some light, slow jumping. Exercising this way doesn’t put a lot of pressure on your joints and also strengthens your tissue.[10]
    • If you don’t have a trampoline near you, search for a bounce center or purchase a small one to fit in your home.
  3. Step 3 Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
    Your blood is made up of a lot of water, and it also helps flush out toxins. Try to drink around 8 glasses of water per day, or drink whenever you feel thirsty. Avoid dehydrating liquids like coffee and alcohol.[11]
    • You can also try drinking sports drinks that have added electrolytes.
  4. Step 4 Breathe deeply with your diaphragm to get fluids out of your torso.
    Take deep breaths in through your nose that lift your diaphragm away from you. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Do a set of 10 deep breaths 2 to 3 times a day to improve your blood flow and circulate toxins out of your body.[12]
    • To feel your diaphragm moving, lie on the ground with your hands just below your lungs. Practice breathing in and watch your hands move up and down as you inhale and exhale.
  5. Step 5 Eat raw vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
    Raw foods contain enzymes that help your body break down toxins. Your lymphatic system works to remove toxins from your body, so adding enzymes to help it will make its job easier. Incorporate as many raw vegetables, seeds, and nuts into your diet as you can.[13]
  6. Step 6 Use an infrared sauna to heat up your body.
    Infrared saunas work to increase the temperature of your body, which improves blood and lymph flow. It will also help you relax your muscles and make it easier for your body to move toxins throughout. Visit an infrared sauna once a week.[14]
    • You can purchase a personal infrared sauna for a couple hundred dollars, or visit one at a health clinic near you.
  7. Step 7 Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes on your legs.
    Your clothes can affect the way your blood flows, and if they are too tight, they can impede or even stop your circulation. Wear loose-fitting pants and underwear that don’t dig into your skin. Pick clothing that you can move and sit comfortably in.[15]

    Tip: If your clothes are leaving marks on your skin when you take them off, it could be a sign that they are too tight.

  8. Step 8 Ask your doctor about complete decongestive therapy for severe lymphedema.
    Complete (or complex) decongestive therapy (CDT) is a form of treatment that’s especially helpful if you have moderate to severe lymphedema associated with cancer or another chronic illness. Discuss this treatment with your doctor if you have lymphedema that’s difficult to control with other methods.[16]
    • CDT involves a combination of therapies, including gentle massage and the use of compression garments, along with lifestyle changes and exercise.
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