lymphatic massage

Before you zone out on my short-hand science lesson on the lymphatic system and our fascia, we hope the above before-and-afters will keep you focused. Yes, these before and after shots are of incredibly svelte, LA-dwelling models — and, technically, most of us would be quite satisfied to achieve their befores, but these images illustrate the power of a lymphatic massage quite well.

Changes in the health and wellness world can move too slowly — sometimes a little vanity can help to speed thing up.

Over the last few months, I’ve been trying massages all over LA that target the lymphatic system. Although most of us learned much more about the heart and brain than the lymph or fascia in science class, emerging studies have identified these body parts as far more powerful than our predecessors assumed, some even labelling them as “sensory organs”. I’ve been fascinated to learn from pros like Lauren Roxburgh about just how these systems operate and how to keep them in tip-top condition.

The truth is, however, that most of us err on the side of neglect when it comes to body parts that don’t make us immediately smarter, stronger or better looking in a bathing suit. The attention around these fascial and lymphatic studies has been underwhelming. Sometimes, harnessing a little vanity to bring the public (and ourselves) to attention can help.

After all my interviews, reading and studies on the fascia and the lymphatic system, nothing influenced me quite as much as my first lymphatic drainage massage with the sought-after Brazilian practitioner, Lais Perez, below. I came in frazzled and slightly bloated and left an hour later calm, collected, instantly slimmer, with carved abs and hips. How was this possible? And do I have your attention?

Before singing Lais’ praises, I wanted to visit a few lymphatic drainage practitioners and I happily found that the results were all quite similar. I experienced a light detox reaction (nothing a little soup and sleep couldn’t fix), followed by an increase in circulation and a sense of strengthened immunity — plus profoundly slimmer abs and thighs. Our lymphatic systems play a crucial role in our overall circulatory and immune health, but this isn’t something I was taught in health class or by most trainers or gyms, were you?

For the last couple of months, I’ve been trying a variety of lymphatic massage studios around LA. I wasn’t certain what to expect, but after just one treatment my entire body slimmed down, my waist was chiseled and my sense of well-being soared. As I do with most great Chalkboard-related discoveries, I texted all my friends.

Here are the three practitioners I would fully recommend, although all are here in LA. If you’re not an Angeleno, I’ve included a spa with national locations and I’m also confident a quick skim of lymphatic drainage massage in your area will uncover some truly fascinating experiences. Please leave your local favorites in the comments!

Lais Perez |The Brazilian approach | Apparently, the Brazilian technique often involves a few harsh wooden tools, but that was not my experience with Lais, who learned from her impossible-to-book mother in Miami and recently relocated to LA. According to Lais, Brazilian women often start getting lymphatic massages in their teens to keep their immunity strong and their famed beach game stronger. Her technique is hands-only and much more gentle than some of the famed Brazilian-style massages that use harsh strokes with wooden tools. Nonetheless, Lais’ results are undeniable. During the relaxing massage, Lais takes extra time to sculpt the body around the waist, glutes or hips to incredulous effect. She’s currently available at just one spa in Beverly Hills and I couldn’t recommend her more highly to feel your best for a big occasion or for a healthful tune-up when your circulation or immunity isn’t at its best.

The Tox Technique |The chain that gets it |  I was surprised to find that a chain of spas offering lymphatic massage exclusively already exists (The Tox locations include LA, Miami, New York and Walnut Creek). My expectations were low, but my experience blew me away. My massage therapist at The Tox had an impressive background in naturopathy and I left just as calm, clear and sculpted as my Beverly Hills treatment. Unlike my treatment with Lais, The Tox uses a spa-grade machine to assist the lymph-draining strokes of the massage therapist with powerful suction. The Tox recommends a sequence of treatments to significantly “lessen water retention and bloat, decrease pain and headaches, clear the mind and skin, strengthen immunity, increase circulation, improve mood, , decrease inflammation, boost metabolism and improve energy.” While I can’t verify what happened to me after my session with any hard-core blood or urine tests (this is meant to be a beauty treatment, people!), I can tell you that, based on my experience, it’s easy for me to believe that all of the above are true.

Ricari Studios | the hollywood treatment | I left my heavenly treatment at Ricari Studios on a weekend morning before the Golden Globes and I can assure you that a line of A-list bodies hovered in the waiting area before they hit the red carpet the next day. While it feels like our culture is finally evolving beyond our worship of the Hollywood body stereotype, not a one of us doesn’t aim to feel glowy, hydrated, alive and energetic on a day that includes a big event. Ricari gained a cult following, first in New York, and now here in LA and with good reason. Climbing into a full-length body version of Spanx, spa goers are treated to top of the line Italian technology paired with an educated team of therapists whose focus is on lymph flow and overall fascia health to create a sense of overall well-being that is visceral. And a sculpting effect that is undeniable.

While I can’t claim this to be the most scientific piece I’ve ever written here on TCM, I hope you’ll take some time to explore our more in-depth coverage of lymphatic and fascial health stories and explore these esthetic treatments for yourself. We plan on covering this topic more in 2020 as the impact of treatments like these convince our whole team to do a deeper dive! Lymphatic drainage may also offer support for a wide range of immune and hormonal issues. We welcome you to share your experiences in the comments below.

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.

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