Canine Massage Lymphatic Drainage
Lymphatic drainage is a therapeutic massage treatment. The goal of lymphatic drainage in the massage is to increase the flow of lymph and reduce toxins in the body.
The lymph system is part of the dog’s body’s immune system and helps fight infection. Lymph itself is a clear, slightly yellow fluid. It transports nutrients and oxygen to cells, collecting toxins on the way and flushing them out through the lymph nodes. There are around twice as many lymph vessels as blood vessels in the dog’s body. However, unlike blood, which is pumped around by your heart, the lymph system has no pump. The pressure from their blood vessels and movement from their muscles push the lymphatic fluid around.
Lymphatic drainage massage has beneficial effects on dogs’ general health. Improving the flow and drainage of lymph around the body is good for dogs in lots of ways.
- Reduces the suffering from minor colds and viruses
- Helps the body fight off infection, and speeds up healing and recovery from illness
- Reduces water retention; for instance, because the lymph system has no pump. When dogs sit for a long time without moving, the lymph can’t flow easily — this is why he may experience swollen wrists and hocks
- Boosts weight loss. improving the lymphatic system improves metabolic rate, which helps burn calories more efficiently
- Manual lymphatic drainage is also used in the treatment of lymphoedema
- Improves skin texture by reducing swelling, puffiness and blotches
- Speeds up healing in scar tissue
- Use very light pressure
- Long, gentle, rhythmic strokes following the venous cardiovascular patterns
- Light fingertip scratching over the lymph nodes toward the heart
- Muscle stripping
- Joint mobilization
- Holding and breathing
Begin by working your way up from the paws. Lymphatic drainage massage uses very light pressure, as well as long, gentle, rhythmic strokes and soft pumping movements toward, over, and away from the lymph nodes.
Lymphatic drainage can leave dogs feeling exhausted. They may want to rest for the rest of the day. They need time to ease their bodies back into activity. Lymphatic drainage massage may also leave them thirsty. It’s a process of flushing out the system; encouraging them to drink plenty of water adds to the treatment.
Post treatment plan
After the rest period, gentle activity, like a walk, will help encourage healthy lymph flow. Movement at the joints exerts pressure on the lymphatic vessels and keeps lymph flowing through them.