resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
April, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 04
Incorporating Lymphatic Drainage in Facelift Massage
By Rita Woods, LMT
More and more therapists are performing facial massage as a stand alone session such as a facelift massage. Women in their 60s, the typical age group treated in my practice, present with specific issues that should be taken into consideration. First, if they do not receive regular massage and do not have an active lifestyle, they may have sluggish circulatory/lymphatic systems. Second, they may have health and medication issues that impact how, and if, you can proceed with the session. In this column, I'll discuss what you need to know and how to approach the facial lymphatic system in a basic and uncomplicated session.
Areas of Caution
First, some words of caution. If your client suffers from an active infection such as sinusitis, strep throat, tooth abscess or any skin infection, do not proceed. Active head/face infection is your number one contraindication for this work. If, however, they have been taking antibiotics for at least three days, it is generally safe to proceed. Next, if your client has facial swelling of unknown origin, do not proceed. Remember this is for a typical session with a healthy client and no extenuating circumstances. While it is possible to use this work to address blunt force trauma and post-facial surgery, that requires advanced training. Standard massage contraindications also apply even when working on the face alone.
Facial Lymphatic System
Now, onto the treatment itself. You remember from your massage school curriculum that massage increases circulation; it also increases lymphatic flow. That is, massage also increases the release and flow of lymphatic waste. As with any "waste disposal," some form of clearing should be done before adding more waste to the system. (For example, if there is mud stuck in the end of a garden hose, the mud must be cleared out before the water can flow effectively. The same holds true in the body's waste removal systems.)
Unlike the blood circulation in the face which drains in a variety of directions before ending up back at the heart, the facial lymphatic system follows a very exacting drainage path. The right side of the face flows to the right and the left side to the left - with both sides ultimately flowing into submandibular lymph nodes. While there are other locations housing lymph nodes involved with head/face "cleaning," such as under the occiput, the main ones for facelift style work are the submandibular ones. Lymph nodes vary in size from small - about the size of a pin head - to large, about the size of an olive. The ones under the mandible are about the size of a pea.
During a regular full body massage, muscles are warmed and circulation increases. When performing a stand alone face session, muscles must also be "prewarmed" in order to gain the necessary effects. As importantly, submandibular lymph nodes must be stimulated (rubbed) in order to open and enhance circulatory and lymphatic flow. Failure to do so could result in edema and puffiness especially under the eyes, an area prone to sluggish lymph flow.
If your client suffers from bags under the eyes or obvious fluid retention in the face, you may choose to focus more time on lymphatic work until some of the fluid and puffiness has decreased, possibly in one or two sessions. Although it is not possible or practical to teach a facial lymphatic protocol in this format, we can follow some basic steps that will surely help your client. Do not mix muscle work and lymphatic work. The lymph vessels are just under the surface of the skin on the face and are easily flattened by pressing too deeply. While they recover quickly, they need time to do so. A muscle technique to break up adhesions should not immediately be followed by a lymphatic stroke.
Two Key Areas
Two key areas to focus your attention are the submandibular nodes and the terminus. The terminus is where the lymph vessels dump into the circulatory system just before entering the heart. Unlike the rest of the body, the lymph vessels of the face have a straight shot down the neck and into the heart. You want to stimulate this area to prepare it to receive more lymph. This stimulation, while gentle, is more aggressive than work on the actual vessels. The same is true of the submandibular nodes. You will exert a steady and firm pressure, almost in a milking/pumping action, to these nodes. Done correctly, your client will be able to breathe, swallow and speak while you affect the nodes. The tips of your fingers apply pumping pressure on the underside of mandible and your fingers must remain in constant contact with the inner edge of the jaw line. The nodes are tucked up under the inside edge and in some cases can be palpated. Keeping your fingers on the bone will also ensure that you are not encroaching on arteries or veins in the neck.
Steps of Treatment
A typical session would be as follows: 1)Warm the facial muscles using any gentle, non-invasive technique; 2)Gently stimulate the lymphatic terminus which is found below the clavicles and on either side of the manubrium; 3) Stimulate the submandibular lymph nodes by using digital pressure up underneath the mandible bone; then 4) Proceed with your facelift session protocol. Upon completion of the facelift protocol, allow 5-10 minutes for stimulating the lymph flow through the lymphatic vessels. These vessels respond well to light stroking that is almost featherlike. Starting with the region closest to the nodes, apply a light stretch to the skin then follow the movement with a featherlike trailing toward the nodes. Your stroke will look like a 7 or an L. Work your strokes up to the middle of the face with the featherlike trailing toward the nodes. You may encounter some drag if there is lubricant on the face. If so, you can use a cotton ball for the trailing stroke. Cotton balls work well on and around the eyelids.
The combination of the proper facial and/or facelift massage and lymphatic drainage of the face can multiply the effects of facial work. Some of my happiest clients are those who finally get rid of the bag-gage.
I want to thank Charlotte Versagi, lymphatic massage instructor extraordinaire for sharing her knowledge and experience in the writing of this article.
Click here for previous articles by Rita Woods, LMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.