My sister, Social Cindy, called me last week and said, “Val, my right leg is all swollen and so is my right arm, can you please come rub me?” And of course, I said yes.

Cindy has some pretty badly deteriorated discs in her lower back, she has scoliosis, and now that she is turning 68, she is overweight and out of shape. Mostly because her body just can’t handle the strenuous workouts she used to do, and also because she is just plain tired of living on a strict diet. But she is going to have to overcome both of those things in order to get healthy once again.

I worked on her lower back, her legs and her arms. When I work on someone who has symptoms of Lymphedema, I am very gentle and careful not to push too hard, but to use gentle pressure and work slowly from the affected areas. This is the advice I found on the Healthline Site and it’s pretty much what I try to follow with my sister:

“How to perform lymphatic massage on the legs

The goal of lymphatic massage on the legs is to open the lymphatic vessels to let the excess fluid drain back up into the lymph nodes located in the groin.

There are different techniques used to perform lymphatic massage on the legs, but all have the same end goal: to release the fluid to go back up through the lymph nodes.

To perform a lymphatic massage on the legs, you can follow these steps:

  • Perform lymphatic massage of the upper body before beginning with the legs. Follow the three stages of clearing in the supraclavicular area, the axillary area, and the inner-elbow area, in that order. This ensures that the system is clear to allow fluid to drain up.
  • Use light pressure. If you can feel the muscles underneath your skin, you are pressing too hard.
  • Begin the leg massage at the furthest point away from the injury or affected area and work your way down. For example, if your ankle has swelling, start the massage on the upper part of the leg.
  • Starting at the top of the leg, put one hand on the inside of the leg and the other on the back of your leg.
  • With gentle pressure, stretch the skin from the inside of your leg up and out, toward your hip.
  • Continue this motion down the leg until you reach the knee.
  • When you reach the knee, stretch the skin up, with alternating hands, toward your armpit.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times.

You have now completed the clearing step of the lymphatic massage.”

There are more steps for the different part of your body which may be affected by swelling. To read the remainder of this article just head on over to the site at:

After the massage, I helped her to stretch her legs and back and she began to feel better.


If you or someone you know, has experienced swelling in your legs, give me a call.

Valentina Boonstra

Massage therapist

Palm Bay, Melbourne, Indialantic, Vero Beach, Sebastian 



About Brevard Massage

I have been a personal trainer and massage therapist for many years now. My specialty is getting people moving again. I have learned through the years that preventing injuries is as important as relieving pain after an injury. To that end, I have also learned Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Pilates.