If you spend any time on social media, you will know that lymphatic drainage has become all the rage. Celebrities and other notable individuals seem to be constantly touting its benefits, especially for body sculpting and toning. But does this novel treatment work for weight loss?

How an unhealthly lymphatic system can cause weight gain

The lymphatic system’s role in weight loss has to do with the fact that it absorbs fat from the small intestine to transport it through the bloodstream where it can either be used as energy or removed as waste. When the lymphatic system is not functioning optimally and becomes sluggish, fat absorption becomes compromised, and fat accumulates in the body’s tissue. Over time this can lead to noticeable weight gain that is hard to lose. The key to weight loss and overall health and wellness is to make sure that the lymphatic system is functioning at a high level so that I can do what it is designed to do naturally. Leading factors that will play a role in lymphatic dysfunction are genetics and medical history. Other factors like stress, diet, exercise, and environmental factors can also contribute to the lymphatic system not functioning properly.

What is Lymphatic Drainage?

Lymphatic drainage massage is a specialized form of massage therapy that can be performed by hand (known as manual lymphatic drainage massage), rollers, and even mechanized devices. It  is thought to stimulate blood flow and tissue regeneration, improve immune system functioning by aiding the body to remove toxins naturally, and assisting with overall relaxation of the mind and body.

Does Lymphatic Drainage Help With Weight Loss?

When you see before and after pics online that show visible slim-down results, it is hard to dispute that lymphatic drainage can help to contour the body, but real weight loss isn’t occurring (at least there isn’t any research to back this claim up, yet). Rather, according to anecdotal reports, lymphatic drainage may help to reduce bloating and water retention, which may have a temporary visual slimming effect. Celebrity massage therapist, Flavia Lanini, who has worked with countless celebrities and supermodels, recently told US Weekly that a lymphatic massage can "promote a contouring effect while also promoting relaxation,” which is most likely the results we are seeing on TikTok and Instagram.

Bottom Line

Weight gain is a complicated issue to address. Getting your lymphatic system back-on-track will probably require work in several areas like lifestyle, diet, exercise, and medical.

If you suspect your lymphatic system is playing a role in your weight gain, talk to your doctor to determine if there is an underlying medical condition. You can also read up on facts about the lymphatic system to learn more about its function and how to keep it healthy.

If you don’t have a medical issue and you still suspect that your lymphatic system is not performing optimally, lymphatic drainage can help with overall health, bloating, and even offer sculpting benefits with continued treatments. But don’t expect the results to last forever nor should you rely on this treatment for weight loss.