You may have come across or even visited The CALMM at our Bondi studio. We chat to founder Jessie Whittaker about the benefits of massage therapy and how it can be used to stimulate the body’s lymphatic system.
What inspired you to found The CALMM?
The CALMM was no more than myself and a few essential oils in the beginning. I moved into the wellness world to follow my passion for helping people and massage was my only skill outside of my business degree so I ran with it. I had been working in ‘office chair land’ prior to this and started to notice how the stress compounded over the weeks, months and years by sitting in our bodies and all over our face. The patterns of the people around me never seemed to change. Myself, my friends, family and acquaintances, we were all on the hamster wheel, it was the norm to be stressed. I wondered what the heck was going on. Why do people want to live like robots? Definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. I put my cup down and started working towards a new me; a more sustainable version of myself and in turn, one that could help those around me.
What are the benefits to massage therapy?
Massage offers a pause in your day. Time to simultaneously tap out and tap in, some time to ‘be’. The benefits of massage are endless. It allows you to notice yourself, be present, listen to your body and nourish it where needed. It stimulates both blood and lymph flow, giving your body a boost. With movement of lymph fluid, your immune system strengthens, pain dissipates, mobility improves and your energy is restored. As blood begins to flow to those areas that were previously restricted, healing will take place. Freshly oxygenated and nutrient rich blood fills areas of deficiency, giving your cells all that they need to regenerate and provide comfort in your own skin. With regular treatments, negative manifestations dissolve. Any unremitting pain fades, you find freedom in movement and feel a sense of equilibrium. The distant memory of feeling grounded and still becomes the new normal. You are CALMM.
What is the lymphatic system and why is it important?
The lymphatic system is our sewerage system. We have approximately five litres of blood and 12-15 litres of lymphatic fluid in the body, a lot more than you’d think! Our lymphatic system cleanses our tissues, protects our bodies from illness-causing invaders, absorbs digestive tract fats and removes cellular waste. It’s our immune system, our first line of defence, our internal support. Without it, we would have toxic overload and it wouldn’t be long before disease set in. We heavily rely on our body sorting and filtering the good from the bad. Our lymphatic system does just that and if it is not flowing, you will know about it in some way shape or form.
If you could give our community some tips to help stimulate their lymphatic system at home, what would it be?
To drain lymph fluid is to dissipate inflammation. If we are blocked in any of our lymph nodes, we will see inflammation in the form of of pain, tenderness, discomfort, immobility and many other ways. If toxic fluid can not drain away, we are left with a swamp-like scenario going on within our tissues. Doesn’t paint the prettiest picture, does it? Your lymph fluid does not move unless you move so my best advice would be to move as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be strenuous but think more dynamic. Move your joints in their full rotation. Our lymph nodes sit in the joints of our bodies so the best way to activate them is to move dynamically.
Take a deep breath in for six seconds, all the way down to your belly button, hold for two seconds and exhale for six seconds. Repeat 20 times.
Squat all the way to the floor and stand up again. Repeat 20 times.
Rotate your arms in opposite directions (like a windmill) then swap the directions. Repeat 20 times.
Twist your upper body from side to side using your arms for momentum. Repeat 20 times.
Rotate your neck from one side to the other. Repeat ten times. Break, then do another ten.
Your body needs your support. Look after it and it will look after you.
Jessie Whittaker, massage therapist and founder of The CALMM - @the__calmm