Lymphatic System Basics in simplest terms, the lymphatic system is a network of vessels, nodes and organs that work as part of the immune system to carry lymph fluid that is rich in infection-fighting white blood cells throughout the body, while also helping rid the body of waste and excess fluid. In addition to the nodes and vessels, the tonsils, thymus and spleen are all part of the lymphatic system.
Via the circulatory system, blood delivers oxygen, nutrients and hormones to cells and also collects waste. This exchange takes place in the interstitial fluid surrounding the cells. About 90 percent of this interstitial fluid returns to the circulatory system as venous blood. That last 10 percent is lymph fluid, which travels through the body via lymph vessels, passing through lymph nodes, where excess fluid and waste products are filtered out. Here, too, lymphocytes (specialized white blood cells) kill pathogens that might be present.
Lymph can only move in one direction—upward, toward the neck, where it reenters the circulatory system via the subclavian veins. And unlike blood in the circulatory system, which relies on the heart pumping, lymph fluid depends on muscle contractions in the surrounding skeletal muscles to move through the lymphatic vessels.
The average person has approximately 600 to 700 lymph nodes.
MLD is generally discussed as a massage technique that works to encourage the natural movement of lymph fluid. “It is a systemic, rhythmic method of purposefully stretching the skin to produce an increase in the volume of flow of the lymph fluid through the filtering system of the body,” Thompson explains.
For many, the main benefits of MLD are going to be helping reduce edemas and inflammation and prevent lymphedema—the latter being of particular importance as there currently is no cure for lymphedema.
"As someone who has never experienced any major injury or illness, I cannot relate to the discomfort of extreme swelling. However, after standing for long periods of time and working with my arms and hands out in front of me, I have experienced fatigued and sometimes heavy or tight extremities. In September of 2019, I completed the Lymphatic Drainage Technique course at Cumberland Institute of Holistic Therapies and learned not only how to better care for my clients dealing with Edema and levels 0 & 1 of Lymphedema, I also learned better self-care. Especially, for those days where I feel that tight, uncomfortable heaviness in my limbs. I am excited to make use of this new tool and better serve you." - Rachael Decosta, LMT
What is Cupping Therapy?
Negative Pressure, or suction, is used to rapidly facilitate rigid soft tissue release, loosen and lift connective tissue, break up and drain stagnation while increasing blood and lymph flow to the skin and muscles in ways not possible using compression techniques.
Simply put, the use of cups allows for a stretching and opening of the tissues in the body. This lifting creates space for fluid to move and helps drain toxins and waste from the cells, then moves that waste out of the body.
Benefits of Cupping
(Reasons not to receive cupping therapy or to seek doctor approval)
Cupping is contraindicated in cases of severe diseases, such as cardiac failure, renal failure, ascites due to hepato-cirrhosis and severe edema, as well as hemorrhagic diseases such as allergic pupura, hemophilia and leukemia, and clients with dermatosis, destruction of skin, or allergic dermatitis.
Cupping should not be applied on an area where a hernia exists or has occurred in the past.
For pregnant women, work on the lower abdomen, inner side of the leg and sacral (tail bone) region should be avoided. Also, if you have never received a cupping treatment, you should wait until the 2nd trimester to receive your first treatment.
If you are unsure whether or not a condition you have may be contraindicated, please first consult your doctor.
Cupping Therapy affects the body the same as a deep tissue massage. You may experience Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness that will be akin to a long hard workout. However, the feel of cupping is not as intense as deep tissue massage. Thanks to the nature of negative pressure therapy, the work is deep without being painful although occasionally it can be uncomfortable. Remember to check in with your therapist to make sure the therapy is within your personal comfort level.
If you are on blood thinners, are a hemophiliac, diabetic, or have high or low blood pressure, shorter, lighter techniques are recommended and must be used for your overall wellness. Those with low blood pressure should warn the therapist ahead of time as you'll need extra time to rest before rising after a treatment and accommodations will need to be made.
You must sign a release form to receive cupping therapy. We will ask that you read it before booking an appointment.
#Therapistspotlight for our New York native Heather Bourkney, LMT!
Heather has over ten years of massage therapy experience, making it her mission to be honest and compassionate in her sessions to alleviate concerns🙏🏼
View her full bio under 'Team'
#wellnesswednesday #wcw#wednesdaywisdom #wednesday#massagetherapist #massagetherapy #massage#deeptissuemassage
As Practical Massage Therapy's Studio Manager I had no prior experience working with massage therapists, so I had quite the learning curve when I first started! I had to learn about different massage techniques and pass that knowledge on to clients who inquired about them when booking appointments. If there is one thing I would like to relay to the general population about massage therapy it’s the difference between deep tissue and deep pressure massage. Yes, they are two different things. I know I had a very vague idea of the difference myself!
t’s probably the biggest misconception about massage today.
Deep Tissue massage is actually it’s own modality and is for specific issues, which cause chronic pain or limit range of motion. Deep Tissue focuses on one or two muscle groups to retrain the muscles at the root of the problem and is not sustained for the full massage. Deep Tissue is good for breaking up scar tissue and holding patterns such as frozen shoulder syndrome. Therapists may use myofascial release, trigger point therapy, friction, compression, traction, heat and striping with forearms and elbows.
Deep pressure is just what it sounds like: it is any type of massage therapy that is performed with more, or deeper pressure. There are many techniques that can be more effective if the pressure is greater, such as sports massage for an athlete but there are others that require hardly any pressure at all such as craniosacral therapy or John Barnes Myofascial Technique.
It is very important to ALWAYS speak up and let your therapist know if you need the pressure to be corrected. Therapists are trained to listen to your body and they may naturally find the pressure that works for you. Muscles actually push back if the pressure is too intense. This is called Muscle Guarding. It’s a signal that if you continue pushing the muscle you may cause injury to the tissue. Everyone’s body responds differently to body work, some days you may feel you need a lighter touch, while on other days you may feel you could stand a little more pressure.
There are obviously so many factors to consider when you’re thinking about booking a massage appointment. Here at Practical Massage Therapy we charge by time so that our therapists can incorporate different techniques and different types of pressure in to their sessions to accommodate client needs, without having to tack on an extra charge. Keeping an open line of communication throughout your session can be very beneficial and can ensure that you are receiving the therapy that works best for you. It is our intention to provide thoughtful therapeutic work to address issues in a variety of different ways!
Winter brings cooler temperatures, holiday festivities…and seasonal illnesses. During this time of year, we have clients frequently ask if they can/should receive bodywork if they’re sick. The short answer is no, but not for the reasons you might think.
Aside from the obvious danger of spreading contagious illnesses, massage during an illness can actually make you feel worse! Massage can be very stimulating internally and place demands on your body during a time when you should be resting. Getting a massage can seem like resting, but it is actually hard work for your body to respond to the stimulating touch techniques. Our bodies can’t heal easily when they are working, and instead of feeling energized you may end up feeling totally exhausted.
When in doubt, check with your doctor before scheduling any bodywork appointments. Massage is not intended to cure any diseases.
If you are experiencing any of the following, we ask that you refrain from booking, or call us to reschedule:
If you can get dressed by yourself, turn over on the table without assistance, lay flat for the full session length without experiencing any discomfort or symptoms then you should be okay to receive massage services.
We carry a selection of natural products in studio that will help prevent and/or ease illness. Ask the about these products after your next appointment!
Tis the season to celebrate gratitude! Many cultures around the world celebrate being thankful during autumn – it’s the traditional time to give thanks for the crops being harvested and to prepare for winter.
Researchers, mental health clinicians and psychologists researching gratitude have found that people who practice gratitude consistently report benefits like:
Feeling grateful is only part of the equation – actively practicing gratitude plays a large role. After collecting thousands of personal stories about joy and happiness, sociology researcher and author Brené Brown found that people who actively practiced gratitude attributed their joyfulness to the practice. Both joy and gratitude were described as spiritual practices that were bound to belief in human connectedness. While happiness is often circumstantial, joy can permeate every aspect of your life. The individuals who reported practicing gratitude did so by keeping gratitude journals, practicing gratitude meditation and prayers, creating gratitude art and writing gratitude lists or letters.
It is important to remember no thing is too insignificant to acknowledge and feel grateful for. A conscious focus on gratitude may help to remind you of even the smallest moment which made your day that much more joyful, wondrous or even just slightly less stressful. It can also remind us of those things we are subconsciously grateful for but often take for granted – like family, friends or having food on the table every day. It turns your attention to what you do have instead of what you do not, and places emphasis on the abundance of life rather than the feeling of being without.
This season we have many things that we are grateful for here at the studio – including our fantastic staff and wonderful customers. Consider - what are you grateful for? Are you more prone to practice gratitude after learning of the benefits?
Did you know we now offer a special add on service during your 60, 75 or 90 minute massage that can help revitalize your eye area with a boost of moisture? Nerium Eye-V Moisture Boost patches are the perfect solution for stressed, tired and puffy eyes.
Applied during your session by your therapist, Nerium Eye-V Moisture Boost patches instantly hydrate and soothe your under eye area. The active ingredient then continues to work days after application, so you receive not only instant visible results, they last too!
In addition to instant hydration and long lasting results, there are other great benefits of adding Nerium Eye-V patches to your massage session:
Ask the front desk or your therapist about adding Nerium Eye-V Moisture Boost patches to your next session!
Written by LC
As of October 16th, 2017 we will be increasing the cost of our sessions as follows:
This is due to several factors. First and foremost, we are committed to supporting our therapists and this price increase will ensure that they can maintain a massage therapy license in the state of Tennessee, which includes the cost of mandatory continuing education, license fees and insurance premiums. A successful and prolonged career in massage therapy requires being paid a living wage, which means working a schedule designed to maintain the physical health of the therapist and being paid a fair rate. We offer our therapists a compensation increase to ensure they are making a living wage and to honor the time they have spent building a practice here at Practical Massage. Also as the 12South neighborhood continues to flourish property taxes and cost of running our little studio has increased.
Are you a frequent patron? Consider purchasing a package now at the current rate!
We are so grateful you include Practical Massage as part of your wellness plan...Thank you!