Lymphatic Drainage Massage Tools – When to Use & How to Use?

I own a therapeutic massage salon, and we use Lymphatic drainage massage tools all the time as a great add-on to your classic lymphatic drainage massage. They help speed up the lymphatic flow and benefit my clients.

Today, we will be looking at how and why I use these tools to help my clients.

Why is Lymphatic Drainage Important?

Lymphatic drainage massage is a holistic way that you can help remove toxins from your body. If these toxins stay in your system, it creates unwanted swelling, pain, discomfort, and sometimes skin discoloration.

Lymphatic drainage can decrease inflammation in your body. Inflammation causes pain and swelling, and taking medication will help reduce the pain, but it will not take the cause of the pain away. Lymphatic drainage will help you manage the cause of the pain holistically.

The Different Types of Tools That Are Used During A Lymphatic Drainage Massage

There are many different tools that are used daily for a lymphatic drainage massage. Below are the tools that I use when treating my clients.

1. Aromatherapy Oils

1. Aromatherapy Oils

Some massage therapists are trained in Aromatherapy. I am an Aromatherapist, so I enjoy using essential oils in my massages to help boost the benefits of the overall massage treatment. The oils are mixed and rubbed onto your skin during your massage.

Oils such as Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme, and Chamomile help support your lymphatic system and increase your blood flow. Before using the oils, it is important that you tell your therapist what you are allergic to.

2. Wooden Pedals

2. Wooden Pedals

Pedals are used for clients who have an intense exercise routine. It helps to remove muscle pain and takes swelling away around your legs and arms.

I use these wooden tools in almost every lymphatic massage session as it helps to move the lymph quicker, which gives my clients results faster.

These tools are placed against your skin, and the therapist will glide the pedals over your muscles.

3. Gua Sha Facial Wands

3. Gua Sha Facial Wands

I use Gua Sha Facial Wands in my lymphatic treatments all the time. I use them when clients suffer from chronic sinusitis, flu, and colds.

The tools help you to breathe through your nose better and remove swelling around your eyes and forehead area. The wands are placed on your skin, and your therapist will gently move the wand around your face and neck area.

Your therapist might add Aromatherapy oils or facial serums to this treatment as they can help benefit your skin and your lymphatic system at the same time.

4. Recovery Boots

4. Recovery Boots

Recovery boots are one of my favorite tools that I use in my lymphatic treatments. These boots help to move the lymph in your lower limbs and are helpful after post-surgical treatment.

I use these boots on my clients, who are professional cyclists, runners, or swimmers, as they help to speed up muscle recovery.

These tools are very easy to use. The client simply places the boots on like pants and pushes the on button. You will sit in these boosts for 30-40 minutes. You will simply relax, get some work done, or take a nap.

Finally, Use of Hands/ Elbows/ Forearms

My hands as a massage therapist are my greatest tool because they allow me to feel the problem, and then I can come up with a treatment plan.

Our hands are able to feel where the lymph is stuck, and then we manually move the lymph around the body to the lymph nodes so that your body can get rid of the excess toxins in your body.

Using our forearms is a technique that is used in Hawaiian massage. It allows us to move the lymph in bigger muscles such as your calves and quads.

Elbows are a great tool to get into those smaller areas and apply pressure to remove trigger points in the muscles that might be blocking the lymphatic flow.

How Often Are These Tools Used in Your Lymphatic Massage Sessions?

Common tools such as the bed, hands, and oils are used in every session. Aromatherapy blends can be used every second session, depending on how severe your swelling is. I personally like to use Aromatherapy oils when my clients are feeling anxious, or stressed or during winter to give them an added boost. 

The other tools, such as the pedals, boots, and wands, will be used as and when they are needed.

For example, if you are suffering from blocked sinuses for one week, the facial wands will be used to help drain your sinuses and remove any discomfort in your face. Finally, the recovery boots can be used in every session or between sessions.

Your trained professional will be able to tell which tools will benefit you the most throughout your session. Remember that your therapist might use certain tools in your first session and might use something different during your recovery journey.

Who Cannot Use Lymphatic Massage Tools?

Lymphatic tools help to boost the benefits of your overall treatment. They feel amazing, loosen your muscles, and help to reduce the swelling in your body. Even though these tools are beneficial, there are some instances when they are not ideal.

Wooden or plastic tools cannot be used with open cuts or wounds. The therapist should not go anywhere near open wounds as it can cause infection.

If you have chronic conditions such as Diabetes, you should use the tools carefully as you can have a loss of skin sensation which can result in bruising.

Aromatherapy oils should also not be used if you have heart disease, Diabetes, kidney issues, or cancer, as some of them create complications with your chronic medications, spike your sugar levels, and increase your blood pressure if they are not used correctly.


Lymphatic massage tools are great add-ons for your lymphatic drainage massage treatments and at home. They help your body get rid of the swelling and can cut your session time down, which is an added bonus for those who have a busy lifestyle. 

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