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How to perform lymphatic massage on the legs

How to perform lymphatic massage on the legs

The purpose of leg lymphatic massage is to dilate the lymphatic vessels so that extra fluid can return to the groin lymph nodes.

While there are several methods for doing lymphatic massage on the legs, the ultimate objective is always the same: to allow the fluid to return to the lymph nodes.

To perform a lymphatic massage on the legs, you can follow these steps:


    • Start with the upper body and work your way down to the legs after performing lymphatic massage care. In the supraclavicular, axillary, and inner-elbow regions, perform the three phases of clearing in that proper order. This guarantees that enough room exists in the system for the fluid to flow out.

    • Apply modest force. Pressing too hard means that you can feel the muscles beneath your skin.

    • Work your way down from the place farthest from the injury or affected area to start the leg massage. Starting with the upper leg, massage the area if your ankle is swollen, for instance.

    • One hand should be placed on the inside of your leg and the other on the back, starting at the top of your leg.

    • Extend the skin from the inside of your leg toward your hip, applying light pressure as you go.

    • This movement should be carried out all the way down the leg to the knee.

    • Using alternate hands, push the skin upward toward your armpit once you reach the knee.

This completes the lymphatic massage’s cleaning phase.

A guide to reabsorption

The second part of lymphatic massage is reabsorption. To perform this stage of massage:


Start with the area of the body that is impacted the furthest from the center. For instance, if you have lymphedema in your hand, arm, or shoulder, start with the tips of your fingers.

Move your fingers in a gently sweeping motion from fingertip to hand, then from hand to elbow, and finally from elbow to shoulder, applying just enough pressure to move the skin’s surface.

You’ll employ a pumping motion behind the knee to start reabsorption on the legs:


After your knees, place both of your hands.

Ten to fifteen times, roll your hand upward and pump the back of your knee.

You can now start massaging your lower legs because your knee is prepared to absorb fluid from the leg:

    • Position a hand over the shin and a second hand behind the leg.

    • Release the skin after stretching it upward.

    • Proceed downward toward the ankle region.

    • Stroking upward at all times, repeat through the ankle and feet.

    • Gently press the fluid in the toes upward with your fingers to finish the massage.

Measuring effectiveness

How can the effectiveness of lymphatic drainage massage be determined? If you receive lymphatic massage on a regular basis, your lymphedema shouldn’t worsen. This is a maintenance technique.

Drink water as well. Tissue that is properly hydrated aids in the removal of waste.

Other options for managing your lymphedema include:

    • Using a compression sleeve to prevent fluid buildup

    • Seeing a qualified therapist for in-office drainage massage

Find out as much as you can about a therapist’s educational background before picking one. “Don’t assume you can just go to a massage therapist; massage is very good for you, but deep tissue massage can be too heavy for someone with lymphedema.”

For more information about Cynosure Care, including the process and recovery, contact us at (504) 202-8183 or use the form below to arrange a consultation with Dr. Tiffyin C. Taylor.

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