Can Lymphatic Drainage Make You Sick? Here's All You Need to Know

can lymphatic drainage make you sick


Are you considering getting a lymphatic drainage massage but wondering if it can make you sick?

Lymphatic drainage has become increasingly popular in recent years to improve the body's natural detoxification and cleansing process.

The short answer is no – lymphatic drainage should not make you sick, as long as it is done correctly. Some people may experience mild side effects such as fatigue, soreness, and nausea. These massage side effects are pretty normal and usually go away after a few hours.

This form of gentle massage therapy helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, which helps to remove toxins and waste from the body. While studies have shown that lymphatic drainage provides a host of health benefits, most people are concerned about the risk associated with this type of massage.

Does it come with any side effects? Are there any signs to watch out for?

Well, that's what we're about to explore in this article. You'll learn about the potential risks of lymphatic drainage and whether it makes you sick.

But first, let's look at lymphatic drainage and its benefits.

Understanding Lymphatic Drainage

Did you know that there are twice as many lymphatic vessels in the body as blood vessels?

The lymphatic system is a complex network of lymph nodes and vessels that help remove toxins, waste, and other substances from the body. They are also responsible for transporting lymph, a clear fluid that contains white blood cells.

While this network of vessels and nodes is essential for our health and wellbeing, it can become blocked for various reasons.

This can lead to a build-up of toxins in the body, which can cause a range of acute symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and skin issues.

This is where lymphatic drainage comes in. This type of massage therapy helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, allowing it to work more efficiently and remove toxins from the body.

Let's look at what common benefits it offers first.

How Lymphatic Drainage Can Benefit Your Body

Getting lymphatic treatment massages comes with a range of health benefits that can help improve your overall wellbeing. Some of them include the following:

1. Reduced stress

One of the most notable benefits of getting lymphatic massages is its ability to reduce stress.

When you're stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. This hormone can cause inflammation and lead to a range of health issues.

Lymphatic drainage helps to reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, allowing you to feel more relaxed and at ease. With reduced cortisol levels, you can also experience improved sleep quality and a better mood overall.

2. Removal of waste and toxins

Waste and toxins? Yes, these can build up in the body, causing a range of common symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and skin issues.

Getting a lymphatic massage helps to stimulate your lymphatic system, allowing it to flush out these toxins from the body more efficiently.

With a clear lymphatic system, you can experience improved overall health and wellbeing. You may also notice a decrease in inflammation and chronic pain.

3. Improved circulation of body fluids

Another way clearing your lymphatic system can benefit your health is by improving the circulation of body fluids.

When your lymphatic system is blocked, it can cause a build-up of lymph fluid in certain areas of your body.

This can lead to swelling, which can be uncomfortable and even painful. By getting a lymphatic massage, you can help improve body fluids' circulation, reducing swelling and improving your overall comfort.

4. Increased lymph circulation

Lymph circulation stimulation

Clearing your lymphatic system can also help increase lymph circulation throughout your body.

This is important as it helps transport white blood cells and other substances essential for your body's immune system. With increased lymph circulation, your body can fight off any risk of infection and illness more effectively.

You may also experience improved digestion and better nutrient absorption.

So, these are some of the benefits from lymph massage. Enjoying these benefits all comes down to finding the right massage therapist and having regular treatments.

Can lymphatic drainage make you sick?

Well, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, a blocked lymphatic system can cause a range of acute symptoms.

While getting lymphatic massage can help clear your system, it is possible to experience some initial discomfort or even pain if your body is not used to this type of massage therapy.

These massage side effects are pretty normal and usually go away after a few hours.

They can also be managed with a range of simple remedies that ensure you get the most out of your massage therapy. Let's look at some of these remedies in the following section.

Managing Side Effects of Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Managing the side effects of lymphatic drainage treatment is essential to ensure you get the most out of your treatments. Here are some tips to help you out:

1. Drink plenty of water before and after your massage session

Drinking plenty of water before and after your massage session is essential for managing the side effects of lymphatic drainage massage.

Water helps to flush out toxins from the body, reducing inflammation and improving overall health. It also helps to replenish any fluids lost during the massage session. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily to keep your body hydrated and healthy.

2. Take a warm bath or apply a cold compress

Taking a warm bath or applying a cold compress can help reduce any soreness or discomfort you may experience after your lymphatic drainage massage.

The warm water helps to relax the muscles, while the cold compress helps to reduce inflammation and swelling.

You can also add essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus for relaxation and relief. Make sure to take a warm bath or apply a cold compress for at least 15 minutes after your massage session.

3. Avoid strenuous activities and get plenty of rest

After getting a lymphatic drainage massage, it is important to avoid strenuous activities and get plenty of rest.

This will help your body recover from the massage session and reap the full benefits. Make sure to take some time off from work or any other physical activity that may be too taxing on your body.

This includes activities such as running, lifting weights, and intense exercise. These activities can strain your body and make any soreness or fatigue worse.

Instead, opt for gentle activities such as walking or yoga, which can help to improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation.

Now that you have a complete picture of whether lymphatic drainage massage can make you sick and how to manage any side effects let's look at some frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about lymphatic drainage massage. Let's take a look:

How often should I get a lymphatic drainage massage?

Treating yourself to a lymphatic drainage massage once or twice every three months is recommended for optimal results. However, if you are dealing with chronic swelling or inflammation, your health care provider may recommend more frequent sessions, from once per month to once weekly.

Just listen to your body and take it easy after each session. Drink plenty of water, take a warm bath or apply a cold compress, and get plenty of rest. This will help your body recover from the massage session and reap the full benefits.

Can I perform a lymphatic drainage massage on my own?

Yes, you can perform lymphatic drainage massage on your own.

Popular DIY techniques include self-massage, dry brushing, and lymphatic massage tools like massage guns and air compression massage therapy.

With similar benefits to a professional massage, massage guns are especially popular as they can provide trigger point relief and help to reduce inflammation by flushing lymphatic fluids out of your muscle tissue.

However, it is important to note that lymphatic massage tools should only be used cautiously for maximum safety. Feel free to explore our guides on massage guns for more detail on how to safely use one.

Who is not suited to receive lymphatic drainage massage?

Lymphatic drainage massage is not recommended for people with certain health conditions such as heart disease, kidney failure or any other serious illness.

It is also unsuitable for pregnant women and those who have recently undergone surgery. If you are unsure whether a lymphatic drainage massage is right for you, it is best to consult a doctor before proceeding.

Is lymphatic drainage massage painful?

Lymphatic drainage massage is generally not painful, but some people may experience mild discomfort during the session.

This is because the massage helps to stimulate the lymphatic system and can cause a slight tingling sensation as it works to flush out toxins and waste from your body.

However, if you experience any pain or discomfort during your massage session, let your therapist know so they can adjust the pressure accordingly.


While "lymphatic drainage" may sound like something that could make you sick, it is a safe and effective way to improve your overall health.

This form of massage therapy helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is responsible for flushing out toxins and waste from your body. It can also help to reduce inflammation, improve energy levels, and even reduce the appearance of cellulite.

However, reaping the full benefits of lymphatic drainage massage requires proper care and attention.

Make sure to listen to your body and take it easy after each session, drink plenty of water, and get plenty of rest. If you have any severe medical conditions or are pregnant, consult a medical professional before proceeding with the massage.

We hope this article has helped to answer your questions about lymphatic drainage massage and its potential benefits. Feel free to explore our other guides for more information on massage therapy.

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