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Natural Awakenings Spokane WA/Coeur d'Alene ID

Lymphatic Massage for Seasonal Allergies

May 01, 2021 05:23PM ● By Amber Mc Kenzie

by Dawn-Marie Hancock

Spring has finally sprung and there’s no better time to be outdoors in the warm sunshine, marveling at the beauty of the blossoming flowers and foliage. All this beauty in bloom, however, can come at a price for many of us as while allergy season is in full swing. 

Those well-known collection of symptoms have returned to many of us and we find ourselves experiencing any or all of the following—itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, congestion, fatigue, brain fog, and pain in the sinuses, head, throat and chest.

When we inhale, we breathe in irritants in the air produced by the freshly growing plants.  These irritants cause the immune system to go into high alert. Once activated, the immune system can become over reactive in producing antibodies and mast cells to attack the allergens. During this process we experience allergy symptoms from increased inflammation in our tissues and mucous membranes. There are many over-the-counter remedies, as well as prescription medications, to counteract this allergic response. While temporary relief is achieved, it can often be paired with less desired medication side effects.

Thankfully, there are many effective non-invasive, medication-free treatments to address allergen inflammation—including lymphatic massage. This modality involves gently massaging the lymphatic system so that inflammation, congestion, sinus pain and pressure can be relieved. The lymphatic vessels in the face, throat and upper chest can be easily drained of irritants and toxins, allowing inflamed tissues to heal and allergy symptoms to cease.

The Vodder Method of lymphatic drainage massage was originally developed in the 1930s by Parisian physician Dr. Emil Vodder to help his patients suffering from pain, congestion and inflammation from allergies and sinus infections. Vodder developed specific massage patterns that follow the lymphatic pathways to clear the head, sinuses and respiratory organs. Benefits of lymphatic massage include cleared inflammation and congestion, relaxation, a calmer nervous system and a stronger lymphatic system. Strengthening the lymphatic system helps create a more efficient inflammation management system as well as a healthier immune system. So the next time you feel seasonal allergies coming on, consider making an appointment for a lymphatic massage and feel the relief for yourself!

Dawn-Marie Hancock is an occupational therapist and owner of Healing Hearts Together Myofascial Release & Lymphatic Therapy Center of Northern Idaho, located in Hayden and Sandpoint. For more information or to make an appointment, call 208-389-8234 or visit

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