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Lymphatic Drainage for Cellulite Removal

Sailee Kale Aug 31, 2020
Cellulite, the lumpy fat deposits prominently visible in the thighs, knees, and upper arms, can be a major source of embarrassment, especially for women. But you can shed the extra fat. Lymphatic drainage is one such method, which can help you get back in shape.
Cellulite is formed when deposits of fat accumulate in the subcutaneous layers of the skin, eventually giving it the appearance of an orange peel, which can be rather ungainly to look at. Lack of exercise, unhealthy eating habits, and a predisposition to gain weight all contribute to the body harboring cellulite.
A major cause of cellulite buildup is decreased lymph circulation. Lymph contains white blood cells and helps to flush the fluid waste from the body, and supplies the cells with the nutrition they require.
Circulating lymph means healthy white blood cells, the precursor to a healthy immune system. If it does not move freely through the body, toxins and fat deposits continue to build up and cells are deprived of their nutrition, eventually resulting in cellulite.
So, to eliminate cellulite, the first step is to get the lymph moving, which also ensures that all waste fluids are thrown out of the body. Lymphatic drainage, a special kind of massage, can be employed to remove cellulite and stimulate the circulation of lymph.

Types of Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

This massage aims at improving the lymph circulation throughout the body. Using a particular amount of pressure, this massage incites muscles to propel the lymph flow through the lymph vessels towards the lymph nodes, and from thereon to the lymph ducts, after which the lymph re-enters the thoracic ducts, and is drained from the body.
This technique was first developed by a French physician, Dr. Emil Vodder. The drainage triggered by this massage eliminates the deposits of toxins and fats, thereby reducing the cellulite. This massage is best done by trained therapists who know the right technique to get the lymph flowing, but can also be done by yourself.

Massaging Oneself

A fairly simple massage to try out yourself, it enhances the circulation of lymph. You can target the problem areas where you see the cellulite accumulating, especially the knees and upper thighs. Put pressure on these areas by gently massaging the skin in circular motions, just like you would knead dough.
This will make sure that your body cells receive nourishment and hinder the growth of fat deposits and waste materials. Do this for 15 minutes every day. Be careful not to exert a lot of pressure. Lymph vessels are as thin as threads and must be delicately massaged. For best results, it is advisable to see a trained massage therapist.

Massage by a Trained Therapist

A therapist uses delicate, wave-like finger movements to knead the muscles in your body, greatly enhancing lymph and blood circulation. Therapists are trained to use just the right amount of pressure using bare hands, which will get the lymph flowing.

Dry Skin Brushing

This option also works wonders to enhance lymphatic circulation. Take a skin brush with soft bristles and rub it over your body, always in the direction of the heart.
Pay more attention towards your arms and thighs which store cellulite, and brush in gentle, upward strokes. Carry out this routine for five minutes every day, just before you shower. Apart from helping improve blood and lymph flow, this is an ideal way to get rid of the skin of dead cells and promote new cell formation.

Other Methods of Lymphatic Drainage

Anticellulite Machines

Different types of machines are available to remove cellulite by using various methods. One kind of machine uses suction power to pull the skin in various directions, which ultimately leads to lymph circulation and drainage. Yet another produces a lot of heat, which assists in the breakdown of the fatty tissues.
There are even some which come fitted with a certain type of massager, and massaging the cellulite-filled areas of the body in circular motions helps enhance lymphatic flow, leading to drainage of toxins and waste materials.


This therapy stimulates drainage and blood flow and involves the use of inflated pumps. In this therapy, the arms and legs are enclosed in inflated pumps, which alternatively deflate and inflate controlling the amount of pressure that is applied. The pressure applied by this inflation and deflation is similar to a massage, and helps the lymph to flow freely.

Lifestyle Changes

Try to get the lymph flowing again naturally by making dietary and lifestyle modifications. Colon therapy, a technique which involves colon cleansing can prove useful because it rids the body of toxins, eventually aiding lymph circulation.
Alter your diet, eat more of nutritious foods, fresh veggies and fruits, and cut back on greasy food high in trans fats. Drink lots of water. If possible, take a sauna bath once a week.
Exercise, deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and acupressure will help the lymph to flow freely, strengthening the immune system. Stay away from restrictive clothing. Wear comfortable and loose-fitting garments.
Pressotherapy and anticellulite machines, though an option, fail to produce the same results as a massage by a trained therapist. There are limitations to the use of these machines, and it is recommended to seek medical advice before using either of them for lymphatic drainage.
Though drainage is ideal to get rid of cellulite, it cannot give optimal results unless combined with exercise and a right diet. Getting rid of cellulite does not happen in a jiffy, it requires a good amount of patience and a lot of will power to keep up with a healthy routine, and to tone your body and get back in shape.