While lymphatic body massages have become a more common treatment in clinics and spas, we were introduced to an additional phase of the regimen which you can incorporate during any treatment: lymphatic breathing.
While there's not a lot of research around the treatment, and many view it as more of a relaxation technique, claims around lymphatic breathing (or deep diaphragmatic breathing) say that the technique causes the lungs to press into the thoracic duct, ultimately pressuring the fluid back into the blood stream. This facilitates the movement of lymph through the blood and increases the elimination of toxins.
Speaking to a therapist from Byron Bay's Osprey Spa, who incorporate the treatment into their massages, the technique comes from a holistic approach to lymphatic drainage.
"Your lymphatic system is what helps to eliminate your toxins, and by doing lymphatic breath, you're helping to drain your lymphatic system quicker, and more effectively," explains Lucy. "You may find that when you do the breath, that you feel a little bit gurgley, and that just means that it's really activated that and getting the lymph moving. Post treatment it's important to drink plenty of water, too."
How do you so lymphatic breathing?
Breathe deeply in through your nose and hold for four counts. Exhale through your mouth for two counts. As you continue you can increase the time, I.e. if you breathe in for 5, hold for 20 and exhale for 10.
What you're doing here is exhaling for twice as long as you are inhaling in order to bring oxygen to the blood and activate the lymphatic system.
"Deep breathing and the Lymphatic System work in unity since long and slow breathing effectively promotes lymph flow. Deep breathing also especially assists those with lipedema and lymphedema. It helps eliminate toxins, improve metabolism, assist the intestinal lymph nodes to absorb fat, and also boosts the body’s immune system," adds Lucy.
Keen for the whole experience? You can book the Osprey Signature Massage here, which combines a pressure point sequence with lymphatic breath. Enjoy!