What is the Lonsdale Method of Lymphatic Massage?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 29 March 2014
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The Lonsdale method of lymphatic massage helps the body drain the lymph nodes more quickly than it ordinarily would. Using this method helps the body detoxify itself through the cleansing of the lymphatic circulatory system. The massage therapist typically uses both deep and superficial massage techniques to move fluid from the lymph system through the body. A session will usually last about 90 minutes, depending on the therapist.

This lymphatic massage method manipulates areas of the body in order to drain superficial and deep lymphatic tissue. Since the lymph system holds many toxins, this practice is believed to detoxify and nurture the body, which is believed to increase health and decrease illnesses.

The Lonsdale method of lymphatic massage is thought to treat symptoms of stress, weakened immune systems, headaches, digestive problems, and allergies. Some people even believe that it works to treat inflamed joints, muscular sprains, and skin problems. It may revitalize the gallbladder, liver, and spleen as well.

Typically, the Lonsdale method uses gentle strokes performed in a rhythmic fashion. The strokes often include rocking and pumping motions that mirror the beat of the heart, and they are thought to connect the person to the energy of her body and put her in a sedative state. In addition, many practitioners believe that this form of massage can release emotional energy that was previously blocked in the body. The release of energy is thought to be healing as well.


Although there may be subtle differences between massage therapists, most use massage oil or moisturizer when performing lymphatic massage. In the upper body, for example, the torso and arms will typically be rubbed with massage oil. Then, skin from the inner elbow to the armpit will be massaged in a circular motion, ending with a pinch near the armpit. Next, light strokes will be used to massage the area from each armpit to the chest. The skin will then be massaged from the center of the stomach to the armpit.

Some massage therapists specialize in the Lonsdale method of lymphatic massage. In most cases, a specialist can be found through local massage therapy schools or though the Internet. Before beginning treatment, potential clients may want to ask whether the therapist has practiced lymphatic massage and whether she has been formally trained in this form of massage therapy.


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