Your lymphatic system is responsible for getting rid of the toxins and waste that build up in our tissues, cells, and nodes. Lymph fluid flows through our bodies, flushing out these wastes and moving oxygen and nutrients to our cells. However, because the lymph system doesn’t have its own pump (like the cardiovascular system that circulates our blood), fluid is more likely to get blocked up – which means a build-up of toxins. Lymphatic drainage is a great way to support the lymphatic system and help keep fluids flowing normally and reduce any swelling, pain, or weakening of the immune system.

There are many lymph nodes in your face and neck, making them prime areas for fluid build-up. The lymph nodes in your face help protect you against pathogens that enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth, so it is crucial to keep these areas free of congestion. Facial lymphatic drainage will help flush toxins, drain sinuses and relieve congestion from sinus colds or allergies, reduce fluid retention in the face and neck, and even shorten the length of a cold. Incorporating a daily facial lymphatic massage will also help reduce puffiness and give you a boost of refreshing energy.

Because so many of your lymph vessels and nodes are located directly below the skin, it is important to use a light tough and gentle pressure when massaging your face and neck. Use small circular motions and even pressure to allow your lymph vessels to open and let fluid flow easily. You want to press hard enough just to move the skin, unlike a deep tissue massage.

Starting just above your collar bone in front of your neck, massage in slow, circular motions. Move up the neck toward your ears, keeping consistent gentle pressure, and slowly move along your jawline and under your chin. Finish the neck portion of the massage by massaging under the base of your skull.

Continue the massage to cover your entire face, starting with your chin and jawline and working your way up to your forehead. To finish the massage, put your hands on the back of your head and massage your scalp in large circular motions. Use the same motion on your temples just above your ears, and then on the top of your head. Massage from your ears down to your collarbone to complete the massage and encourage lymph fluid to circulate freely.