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Aromatherapy Massage for the Lymphatic System

Using aromatherapy massage to help the lymphatic system

The lymphatic system is the body's cleaning system, and it runs - by and large - parallel to the blood's circulation system. However, unlike the heart, which pumps the blood around the body, the lymph system uses pressure from the normal activity of the surrounding muscles to circulate the lymph. Lack of exercise and insufficient muscle movement can, therefore, affect the way the lymph system functions. For example, cellulite is caused by the retention of toxins due to poor lymphatic circulation.

The lymph system is a network of small capillaries, larger vessels and ducts, which all transport the lymph fluid; and lymph nodes, which act as filters. Lymph fluid is similar to plasma, but contains less protein and more lymphocytes, which help provide immunological protection against infection.

How to use aromatherapy massage to help the lymphatic system

Aromatherapy massage of a brisk, stimulating nature, which manually encourages lymphatic circulation, is of great benefit. This is especially true for those with a sluggish lymphatic system, usually caused by insufficient exercise, sitting at a desk or standing all day. The massage works from the extremities (for example, from the hands up the arms, and from the feet up the legs), ultimately in the direction of the clavicle (collarbone). Here the lymph system drains into the blood at the subclavian vein, directly under the clavicle. The abdomen is also massaged, because there are many lymphatic glands and vessels situated here.

Essential oils that have a depurative (or blood-cleansing) property are of benefit, because they encourage the elimination of toxins, thereby easing strain on the lymph system. Depurative essential oils include angelica root, carrot seed, cypress, grapefruit, fennel and juniper berry.

Circulatory stimulant and diuretic essential oils are also recommended. The circulatory stimulants increase the flow of lymph, and include many spice essential oils, such as black pepper, clove bud, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon leaf, as well as rosemary. Diuretics increase the flow of urine by stimulating the kidneys and accelerating the elimination of toxins. Diuretic essential oils include grapefruit, lemon, sweet orange, geranium, juniper berry and fennel.

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