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How to Give Yourself a Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Back when I was but cub reporter, one of the editors at the magazine where I worked had a singular obsession: lymphatic drainage. The woman talked about it as if it was the holy grail of spa services, and she'd return from her appointments glowing and, she swore, five pounds thinner. Lymphatic drainage is a massage technique designed to help the body rid itself of extra fluids, so for the water-retentive among us, it can mean a visible slim-down. Unfortunately, it's also pricey. But never fear! In her book Being Simply Beautiful, author Helen Noble gives a step-by-step tutorial on self lymphatic drainage. So to find out how to get the lymph out, just keep reading.

For the best at-home results, Noble suggests you use a soaped sponge while you take your shower or bath, and that you do five to 10 repetitions of each stroke.

  • Begin by sponging from your neck to your collarbones. Then move down your chest and sponge your pectorals in opposite circular motions.
  • Then move down to your abdomen, and sponge in clockwise circular motions.
  • For your legs and thighs, start by sponging from your feet to your hip socket in light upward strokes. Then, spend several minutes making clockwise circles on your thighs and up your glutes and hips.
  • For your arms, stroke from your hands up to your shoulders, and make several clockwise circles around your triceps.
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