*Saturday 2:30-6:30 Neals Yard :: Sunday 10:00-6:00 @Reflexions, Chelsea
Our girl has all her stresses drained away...
Everyone seems to be jetting off on their hols at the moment. And if like me, you're yet to get away, you're probably feeling as though you need a little treat. I decided a Manual lymphatic drainage could literally be the remedy. The treatment itself sounds painful - anything that has drainage in the title sounds particularly hard core. But in actual fact my therapist Genny Hurst used a feather-light touch to encourage the lymphs to flow more freely around the body. From the second she started gently touching my feet and lower legs, l felt a sensation of lightness.
One of the reasons l chose the treatment was for the potential inch-loss a course could promote. And l was cheered to learn that my ugly pockets of flesh around my knee - a phenomenon I once heard called babysitter's knee - are more likely to be stubborn water retention than fat.
As with any massage that removes toxins, it's really important to drink lots of water, so afterwards l sipped my way through a good few pints. I often vow to have a particular treatment regularly but this one really is worth committing to. As well as relieving fluid congestion it promotes healing strengthens the immune system and can help reduce pain. Try for yourself - it might not be a substitute for a break away but it'll make it easier to wait for your travels.
THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
Can a Massage Cleanse you?
Under the Microscope
Manual lymphatic drainage
In theory Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a massage that stimulates the lymphatic system, the thing that's responsible for transporting nutrients around the body and eliminating waste and excess fluid. Using light, rhythmical strokes, therapists clear areas of congestion to reduce puffiness and boost the immune system. Best used as an aid to other detox methods, MLD is a favourite among French women, who swear by its cellulite-busting effect.
In Practice Before the massage, therapist Genny took me through a list of questions to diagnose my needs. It you are used to a firm pummelling from a masseuse, the feather light touch used in MLD may initially seem rather underwhelming. Not long into the treatment , however, skin starts to tingle in an odd but invigorating way, leaving one slightly light headed.
Observations Immediately after, Dr.F felt both energised and incredibly thirsty- a reassuring sign that a treatment has had a physical effect. The next day there was a definite improvement in skin tone, particularly on arms and legs. and Dr.F's stomach was definitely flatter, suggesting that MLD really can help if you are prone to water retention.
Analysis It's hard to believe such a subtle technique can have a noticeable effect, but it does.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Bad name, Nice treatment
by Prudence Vincent.
A massage this effective really ought to have a prettier name.
There are no vacuum machines or suction tubes in this 'king' of detox-massages; despite the cumbersome name. Lymphatic drainage is actually light level, gentle massage that concentrates on stimulating the lymphatic system that sits below the skin, encouraging it into releasing all its stored toxins to help cleanse the body.
The lymphatic system is a much ignored, but vitally important part of the body - it protects against infections, moves nutrients around the body and helps get rid of excess fluid. If you've a sluggish lymph system, you may find yourself suffering regularly from colds, fluid retention, migraines, sinusitis or skin disorders including acne and rosacea. Basically, by massaging it, you're giving the body a chance at protecting and healing itself.
The added bonus in all of this is that it also reduces puffiness around the eyes, cellulite and improves skin tone.
Genny Hurst's gentle touch as she worked her way around the body, applying her magic fingers to the various lymphatic points, was relaxing, but not in the deep-tissue way those accustomed to massages might be. Rather, I began to feel a tingling sensation on my scalp as she massaged my feet. A sure indication of how the meridian lines of the body are interconnected.
Genny explained that I might feel dazed afterwards, and would find I needed to get to a bathroom. I have to admit I was sceptical - surely the gentleness of the massage wouldn't affect me greatly? Au contraire. I stumbled around Covent Garden markets in a daze, stared into space on the Tube, fell asleep and nearly missed my stop - such was the relaxation - only to be woken at Turnham Green by a desperate urge to wee. A feeling which lasted for a week as my body purged a build-up of toxins.
Even when I felt the approach of a sore throat - something that would normally escalate into a two-week cold, and catarrh - my body fought it off. I didn't see any immediate change to my skin-tone, but I can see how regular visits would soon have my body and skin fighting fit. A perfect kick-start to a spring-time spring-clean.
"It never ceases to amaze me that reflexology can balance your physical/mental/emotional being in such a powerful way but Genny manages this for me in an understated and very professional way".
Covent Garden Diva
My therapist Genny used a feather-light touch to encourage the lymphs to flow more freely around the body. From the second she started gently touching my feet and lower legs,l felt a sensation of lightness.
Aid to other detox methods, MLD is a favourite among French women, who swear by its cellulite-busting effect.
THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY