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Light thumb circles are used on small areas such as the wrist, feet, ankles, and hands. The subtle stretching and releasing action, repeated in a line over a hand or foot, is the start of a process to move lymph up to the auxiliary lymph nodes.
A scoop action on the lower limbs follows the circling action, continuing to stimulate lymph up to the lymph nodes. The hands alternate in a light stretching (not sliding), pushing, and release action, moving up the arm to finish at the elbow.
This stretch and release action is suitable on the upper limbs, in particular the thigh, where there is a larger surface area. As with the scoop, the aim is to stretch the skin only, then release, repeating this action as you work up the limb to encourage excess fluid into the lymph nodes.
This action, done on the calf, combines the techniques of the pump and scoop to maximize lymph drainage. The pump and release action is done with the top hand, followed by the scoop and release action with the bottom hand, working up the limb to finish before the knee.
For more massage techniques, and to understand key disciplines – including reflexology, Swedish massage, Shiatsu massage and Thai massage – discover Neal's Yard Remedies Complete Massage.