Celebrities Seem To Be Obsessed With Lymphatic Drainage Massages Right Now — Here's What You Should Know

Hi, folks. Lara here. I consider it my duty to keep an eye on what celebrities are doing and then gather actual information on the trend to present to you all. Today, that trend is lymphatic drainage massages.

A person receiving a back massage with wooden tools from a massage therapist

On TikTok alone, a search for the technique draws up hundreds of videos with thousands of views.

Collage of various people demonstrating lymphatic drainage techniques in different parts of the body
TikTok / Via tiktok.com

And that doesn't even include the countless articles talking about the technique — and celebs' love for it — over the last year.

Gradient background transitioning from light to dark with various headlines about lymphatic drainage massages
Master / Getty Images

I have noticed this massage technique in the celeb world since at least 2022, with stars like Hailey Bieber (see below), Sofia Richie, Real Housewives from Bravo, and even the Kardashians singing the technique's benefits.

So to learn more about lymphatic massage techniques, I contacted physical therapist Laureen McVicker of Femina Physical Therapy. Laureen, who has been a certified lymphedema therapist for over 25 years, gave us the lowdown on lymphatic drainage massages.

To start, what exactly is a lymphatic drainage massage? According to Laureen, it's a light massage that affects the superficial lymph structures of the skin to help propel the lymphatic fluid throughout our system.

Illustration of female lymphatic system with highlighted vessels in a standing figure

Who would be a good candidate for a lymphatic drainage massage? According to Laureen, individuals with a compromised lymphatic system are the best candidates.

Person receiving a gentle abdomen massage to promote digestive health

And if you're wondering what the potential physical and mental health benefits of getting a lymphatic drainage massage might be, don't worry; we asked Laureen all about this, too.

Person receives a back massage using a wooden tool

Unfortunately, I could not get in to see the renowned expert and favorite of the stars, Rebecca. And to be honest with you, after seeing some videos online of the "Brazilian lymphatic drainage" technique, I was a little wary. For one, I did not want to focus on a before-and-after or any sort of weight loss component; for two, I wanted to see someone I knew and trusted, if possible.

So after realizing that my go-to massage therapist at Cinema Wellness in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, was *also* a certified lymphatic massage expert, I asked her if she would show me what the technique was all about. I have been going to Cinema Wellness for shoulder and jaw tension for several months and knew this would be the perfect place to experience the lymphatic technique.

Selfie of the writer with short hair and a nose ring, slight smile, indoors

Note: To respect the rules of Cinema Wellness, I did not take photos or videos during the procedure, but here's a selfie I took right after.

Lara Parker

As someone who has had multiple surgeries, I found myself wishing I had known more about this technique in the immediate aftermath of my prior surgeries. However, I was still excited to go in on a random Monday and see what it was all about. First things first: It was a lot gentler than I expected. If you, like me, have seen videos of lymphatic drainage techniques online that looked a little rough...just know that wasn't my experience! It was so gentle, I barely felt it at times, and I even fell asleep on the table!

Doctor palpating a patient's neck for a medical examination

After my lymphatic massage, she advised me to go home and rest if possible, drink peppermint tea, and relax on the couch. I don't need someone to tell me twice to lie on my couch all day, so I did just that. I was pretty exhausted, my limbs remained relatively heavy, and I peed a lot! I slept well that night.

If you can't access your own professional lymphatic massage, Laureen provided some expert tips on the best ways to stimulate your lymphatic system on your own.

— Diaphragmatic deep breathing. (The diaphragm is an essential respiratory muscle that is powerful in facilitating the lymphatic channels in the abdomen.)

— Exercise in any form: stretching, strengthening, walking, jumping, etc.

— Movement that facilitates muscle pumping, the best way to move the lymphatic fluid throughout the body. Moving throughout the day, drinking adequate amounts of water, eating a healthy diet, and getting adequate sleep.

Thank you so much to Laureen McVicker and the experts at Cinema Wellness for giving us the latest on lymphatic drainage massages. Is this something you would try? Let us know in the comments.