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Lymph Node Massage

Sleep is essential for a healthy pregnancy, yet it’s hard to shake that feeling of discomfort and restlessness. You know that your body is changing so what can you do to make yourself feel better during this time? 

Swelling in the lymph nodes can be common because of the changes in your blood circulation.  Massaging your lymph nodes as well as mobilizing your joints will help aid in relaxation and will help you to feel less stress throughout your body. When you massage your lymph nodes, it stimulates body fluid circulation which indirectly stimulates the blood circulation of the body.  The passage of lymph through the lymph nodes also stimulates your immune system which is important during pregnancy.

You can mobilize your joints to activate the synovial fluid and create ease of movement. By moving your joints, you can have better mobility and reduce stiffness or sensitivity. Be sure to speak with your doctor before performing any exercises.

Lymph node massage:

There are lymph nodes all over your body, but the easiest ones to massage are under your clavicle.  The lymph node under your right clavicle will help move lymph throughout the right side of your upper body to the right side of your head while the left lymph node will take care of everything else. If you have swollen ankles on either side you would massage the left lymph node.

First, you are going to find the start of your clavicle and then move about two finger lengths along it towards your shoulder.  As you move your fingers across the skin you are looking for a small divet.  Press your first two fingers into the divet and then move them up and towards your shoulder.  This should not hurt or feel like too much pressure.  It is important to breathe deeply as you massage because this because breathing is what helps move the lymph throughout your body.  You can do this standing, sitting, or laying down.

Mobilizing your ankle joints:

Bring one foot forward and tilt your ankle to the outside making sure both feet are pointed forward and it doesn't hurt when you tilt your ankle. This will help get blood flow to your feet and help reduce stiffness in your ankles.

Take a small lunge to one side so that one knee is bent and one knee is straight and stretching the inside of your thigh then tilt your ankle inward making sure both your feet are straight and you are still standing tall through your spine. 

Mobilizing your knees:

Drop your knees to one side and circle them around the front of your body and then lock them out when you finish circling them around the front. Make sure you are moving through your knees and your hips are stable. 


Mobilizing your pelvis:

Shift your weight side to side, moving through your pelvis and keeping both feet flat on the floor.  As you do this one of your knees will be straight and one will be bent.  You can also move your pelvis front to back.  This will relieve tension in your lower back as well. You can also do this movement on your hands and knees making sure your hands are lined up with your shoulders and your knees are in line with your hips.

Jessica Pollack is a certified trainer and currently works at Crunch Fitness.

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