Simple Lymphatic Drainage massage for right arm swelling

Simple Lymphatic Drainage massage is a simple form of self-massage that can be done at home, ideally at least once a day.
The aim is to clear a drainage route for lymphatic fluid to drain away from a swollen area. This is a slow, very gentle massage performed without oil or cream.

Deep Breathing

  • Rest your hands on your abdomen so that you can feel the bottom of your ribs, fingers touching. Breathe in slowly and deeply. You will feel your hands move apart as your abdomen expands
  • Take 5 slow deep breaths


  • Place hands flat against your neck, little fingers just below your ears. Stretch the skin downwards gently, then release the stretch. Repeat 5 times
  • Repeat 5 skin stretches in a lower position on your neck
  • Cross your arms and find the hollow behind each collar bone. With flat fingers, press gently down. Repeat 5 times
  • Repeat these three steps twice more


Your left armpit will provide the exit route for fluid from your swollen arm.

  • Place your right hand under your left armpit. Massage gently upwards into the armpit, counting slowly to 3 then rest for a count of 3. Repeat 10 times
  • Position 1: place your right hand onto your chest next to your left armpit. With your hand flat, stretch the skin gently towards the left armpit then release, allowing the skin to move back itself. Repeat 5 times
  • Position 2: stretch skin 5 times towards the left
  • Position 3: place your right hand over your breastbone and repeat the stretch towards the left 5 times
  • Swap hands and repeat the movement in position 3 with your left hand. Make sure you are still directing fluid towards the left armpit
  • Position 4: repeat 5 skin stretches here, still directing fluid to the left side
  • Position 5: 5 skin stretches
  • If a friend/partner is able to help, the massage can be repeated across the back, starting at the left armpit

Deep breathing

  • Finish with 5 slow deep breaths

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