Fitness Expert: Bergen Wheeler, Director of Fitness Innovation
Spa Expert: Sam Masciari, Lead Aesthetician at Exhale Spa Upper East Side

Many of us may not be aware of the importance of lymphatic health and how it affects our bodies. Your lymphatic system works to eliminate toxins and waste in your body, which helps to maintain a balanced immune system, healthy circulation, and while keeping inflammation at bay. The more we can stimulate the drainage of our lymphatic system, the stronger our bodies and the healthier our skin. All of these benefits are essential in carrying on balanced day-to-day wellbeing, and luckily for us, we had some experts at Exhale weigh in on the topic and give us tips on how we can achieve lymphatic drainage both at Exhale and at home!

Bergen Wheeler, Director of Fitness Innovation at Exhale Spa and creator of Exhale Recovery, walks us through the process of lymphatic drainage and how it affects our fitness. “Lymphatic drainage removes toxins and waste from our bodies and really improves our overall health and wellbeing. It acts as a detox for our organs, and it is crucial in maintaining a solid fitness routine. The lymph system depends strongly on our muscle movement.”

“Embedded in our Exhale classes are movements that support this drainage. When engaging in full range of motion in an Exhale barre class, such as twisting and dynamic stretching, we are lymphatically draining our systems and pumping up our circulation health. In our HIIT classes, the movements of jumping and squatting also work to detox the body. The more you move your body, the more you flush.”

Bergen continues to explain that “foam rolling is another great way to give ourselves that extra boost of lymphatic drainage in a concentrated area, especially if we are feeling soreness from class. Whether you’re foam rolling in an Exhale Recovery class, or you’re following along with Exhale On Demand while at home, foam rolling is an effective and powerful way to stimulate the detoxification in a specific area that needs attention. Another strong way to achieve this result is through a customizable Exhale Sports Massage. This therapy incorporates dynamic stretching along with deep massage to help repair our muscles and stimulate detoxification. Even one session will help to improve your flexibility, and will help maintain resistance to injuries”

To bring our wellbeing full circle, we also explored the ways that lymphatic drainage can strongly benefit the health and appearance of our skin. We touched base with Sam Masciari, Lead Aesthetician at Exhale Spa Upper East Side, in New York City. When we asked her what lymphatic drainage means to her, she tells us that “lymphatic drainage is a therapeutic massage treatment that uses very light pressure and long gentle strokes to increase the flow of the lymph and reduce the toxins in your body. The lymph system is part of your immune system to help fight off infection. This massage can be done throughout the whole entire body including the face.”

When it comes to skincare, she emphasizes that “we sometimes have built up lymph in our face. Some common areas you can notice it is under the eyes and around the jawline area. You may at some point have noticed some puffiness in these areas, that would be a buildup of lymph. Some great ways we help take care of this for our guests at exhale during our facials is through facial massage. Through the magical hands of our estheticians we can help move and drain the lymph in these areas to give you more of a sculpted and defined jawline as well as de-puff those tired looking eyes (while also stimulating collagen).”

Sam continues by stating that, “another great way we can achieve this goal is through our lift facial. With the technology of our lift machines we can not only give your facial muscles a good workout, we can also drain the lymph with the electrical current that the machine uses.”

Sam also gives us a few ways we can take this technique back home. “Using your favorite facial oil to give your hands some slip, using the palms of your hands, start at your forehead, applying gentle pressure to slowly stretch the skin down toward the lymph nodes in the side of your neck. Keep going, moving all the way down your face. Use care around your eyes. For under your eyes, switch to your ring finger and use a rolling movement. You can also use a jade roller. You can find them at your local beauty supply store. Doing the same motions as before, gently glide your jade roller from the inside -out and down towards the lymph. For best results, try putting your jade roller in the fridge to help with inflammation.”

Overall, we should always be aware of how our bodies feel and be sure to give it what it needs. When we feel swelling, soreness or discomfort, that can often be attributed to the buildup of toxins and therefor will require some of that lymphatic drainage that we’ve learned so much about. Grab your rollers, move your body, and keep that circulation healthy!