Doing Away with Morning Puffiness

By Laura Gordon

Do you ever wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and see “puffy face” staring back at you?

For excessive puffiness you will need to see your doctor if it’s due to allergic reaction to allergens or diseases such as sinusitis, tooth abscesses, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s or conjunctivitis, to name a few. For mild morning puffiness what you have is “stuck” lymph. Some reasons for puffiness might be nasal congestion, too much wine the night before, or a lack of sleep. Basically it’s an excess of fluid caught between the skin and the muscle tissue.

Over the course of the day it will begin to drain away, but if you want to help it disappear before your very eyes, and the puffy bag under them, here’s a handy technique to use: Facial Lymphatic Drainage.

Facial Lymphatic Drainage is a relaxing treatment that gently moves the excess facial fluid into larger duct systems (aka nodes) that quietly and quickly moves it out of the body.

  1. To begin place your fore fingers at the base on each side of your neck and gently move with a light touch in a circular motion. You want to move the skin under your fingers down, lateral, superior and medial. This stimulates and prepares the lymph nodes at the base of the neck to receive the lymph you are about to send its way!
  2. Next place your fingers under your chin just inside the jaw line and again perform light circular movement. This time the fingers are sweeping the tissue away from the center of the jaw toward the neck.

Remember, lymph channels are very close to the surface of the skin and it flows only one way so we want to use a gentle, light touch that moves the lymph to each side of the face and down to the neck.

The map to the left shows you the general direction you will use to move the lymph with your fingers. Note: start at the base and work up.

  1. From under the chin move to the space between the lower lip and the chin. Lightly move the skin under your fingers in a downward motion, release and begin in the starting position. Three times for all of these movements is sufficient.
  2. Go up the face to the cheek area repeating the technique, then under the eyes, along the temples, and over the eye brows. Remember to work laterally.

All in all facial lymphatic drainage should only take about 3 to 5 minutes.

Use this technique on yourself and let me know your results. Remember your touch should only move the suffice skin and a few layers of tissue underneath. Keep it light, move in one direction, and aim toward the neck!

Bonus for those who suffer from acne: doing this technique once a week will decrease the break outs.

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