Take your health into your own hands this cold and flu season with gentle and easy-to-learn lymphatic self-massage. Lymphatic massage helps rid the body of toxins and supports the immune system, according to massage therapist and medical massage textbook author Charlotte Michael Versagi, who recommends treatment when you feel cold symptoms coming on. "How hard you get hit by a cold or flu completely depends on how strong your immune system is," she says.
A healthy lymphatic system produces white blood cells in the lymph nodes to fight infection, and it cleans out waste via a series of lymph vessels under the skin. Self-massage can boost your immunity by stimulating the lymph nodes and helping fluid move through the vessels. A gentle touch, no more than the weight of your hand, is all you need, says Versagi, who recommends the three techniques below.
3 Self-Massage Techniques to Boost Your Immune System
1. Using a loofah or brush, gently whisk skin, moving toward the heart. For arms: Brush from hands toward armpits. For legs, start at ankles and move up, working with swift strokes.
2. Slide fingers just beneath jaw to locate tiny, pearl-shaped lymph nodes. With fingers right against the bone, pump the nodes with gentle yet firm pressure. Repeat up to every few hours.
3. Place a tennis ball in your armpit, and gently pump your arm into your side body.