It’s never too late!
People throw around the word "detox" in all kinds of health and wellness applications, but we all know that most of the time, it's a pretty bogus claim. One tangible toxin that can ruin your beauty and health game, though, is booze. Sippin' the hooch can wreak havoc on your body, causing swelling, congestion, and general malaise.
First, go back to this post and make yourself a ginger shot. Then take a few minutes to learn about some very simple movements you can do to stimulate the lymphatic system of the face--an effective method of detoxing.
This treatment is so simple and effective, especially if you have sinus issues, are hungover, or have a headache.
What Is MLD?
Lymphatic drainage is a medical procedure. When the body has a hard time removing lymph, it causes swelling, water retention, and discomfort. Lymph nodes are powerhouses of the body, regulating fats, sending out white blood cells to heal, and disposing of bacteria. Sometimes, the body needs a bit of help to get this system moving optimally. Exercise is the easiest way to stimulate lymph flow, but you can add a few minutes of light manipulation to the face to really see a difference in swelling, headaches, or sinus congestion.
Since performing Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) requires years of training, finding a technician to perform this procedure is not simple. I sought out one of New York City’s only MLD-providing massage therapists, Robin Ehrlich at Eastside Massage Therapy to discuss this technique and its beauty benefits.
After a brief and informative hands-on demonstration of how to stimulate lymph glands of the face, Robin and I discussed how to perform a modified version of this technique at home to see results. This is best done after cleansing but before applying product, since slip is not needed here. It requires a very light amount of pressure on specific points on the face and neck to get things moving, and it can be done in about 3-5 minutes.
Stimulating the lymphatic glands of the face helps to carry away stale lymph from the face back into the bloodstream where it is broken down. The lymph system is connected through silk-fine threads that rest just under the surface of the skin, hence the reason to use a light touch. This fluid is comprised of white blood cells, waste material, fats from the digestive system, and interstitial fluid, which is the plasma surrounding every organ of the body. This fluid literally cleans the body, fighting illness and regulating many processes. Light, circular pressure is used to wake up these systems and get them moving optimally, reducing congestion and swelling anywhere applied. Unlike typical facial massage, these movements are directed downward to drain, not upward to tone muscle.
How To MLD At Home
First, begin with the neck and under the jaw. Stimulating these areas creates a pathway for all of the waste lymph from elsewhere in the head to drain efficiently. Two large tubes run on either side of the neck and down right where collar bones meet, and that is where you initially want to apply light pressure and stimulate.
Then, address the areas right in front and behind the ears, as well as either side of the nose. You may feel like you have to swallow or clear your throat, which happens when the lymph starts moving around in your noggin. This movement clears the sinuses or at least helps a bit when you have allergies or a cold.
Next, using ring fingers only, use very light circular patting motions in a C-shape from eyebrows down tracing the orbital bone of the eye back up to the tail of your eyebrow. This movement helps de-puff eyes and get circulation moving.
Last, use light pressure around the temples and right in the center of the forehead for about one minute. Follow this movement with a repeat of the neck and jaw movements, to encourage all remaining lymph to go bye-bye.
If you can’t find a local tech, try incorporating these movements into your routine a few times a week. You will feel lighter and look refreshed, as skin can really shine when not fighting stagnant fluid under the surface.
- Do you massage your face during skin care routine?
- Have you ever had a facialist or massage tech perform this on you?
Hero by Maria Penaloza