Lymphatic Drainage Massage: IMD Beauty Spa Review

I can't be the only person who's heard about this massage, right? I feel like it's starting to pop up more and more places and is the new "it" thing to do. So of course I got suckered into it and wanted to see what it was all about. Especially because I felt like there wasn't much out there in terms of reviews! Hopefully this will help someone like me who is curious and confused about it all. 

What it is: I'm going to be the first to admit I don't know everything about it. I read a few things here and there but my research is light. Overall, I get what it is and what it does, but I'm in no way any type of expert. This post should be read understanding that pretense. Please do your own research before trying this out!
Simply put, a Lymphatic Drainage Massage is a massage that helps your lymphatic system remove waste and toxins from you body tissue and encourages fluids in your body to move around. I believe the massage originated to help those with lymphatic problems, post-surgical issues, different types of cancer and conditions like lymphedema.
It's been known to help with swelling, stress, arthritis, digestive problems, healing after surgery, an improved immune system, circulation, cellulite, tiredness, jet lag, bloating, relaxation and more. And with all of this, it seems like a wide variety of people can benefit from the massage. BUT if you have any kind of heart, circulation, blood or kidney problems, it's not recommended. Either way, if you're worried about it or think it is/is not for you, talk to your doctor and do your research. 
A lot of my explanation is from this and this article 
The price: They don't list these prices online (for good reason!) but when I called to ask about pricing they said all their massages are $285/hour and include the infrared sauna. After my massage they did offer discount packages where the more you buy the more you save but I personally didn't think they were that good of a deal.
My experiences: I assume (like I did) you found this place from an influencer/model/beautiful person online and want to try it out. Welcome. I've been to IMD Beauty Spa twice now and both were very different experiences. I want to separate them, explain what happened, what I thought, and then come to my overall review after. 
--April 2: For this appointment I booked the regular Body Lymphatic Drainage massage. It was my first time and I had no idea what to expect. The place was very clean and the staff was friendly. I filled out a form talking about my lifestyle and habits and waited until I was called in. I had, I believe, the owner/main masseuse give me a quick consolation asking about my questionnaire and giving me a quick (like quick) overview of the process: wrap in magnesium, infrared sauna and drainage massage after. Then she left, I got undressed and a new woman appeared to wrap me. 
You're pretty much naked at this point, and have paper underwear for the bottom and are holding a towel on the top. They put a magnesium scrub on your thighs, stomach and arms and then wrap it in a charcoal wrap for the sauna, which helps (pulled from their Instagram) "trap the moisture into your skin allowing for the deepest detox an infrared sauna could ever give you!"

This is where it got "meh" (in my opinion). The new woman didn't speak to me, didn't really answer my questions and kind of shuffled me along. She placed me in the sauna without any heads up of how long I'd be in there and gave me a small cup of water. That was the last time I saw her for 30 minutes. I'm totally down if you give me an idea of what's going on, but 30 minutes in something that hot without knowing your time limit was rough
I honestly think she forgot about me because she never came to check back in, offer more water or drop off a towel. I was just hanging out, sweating my ass off. BUT I really liked being in there. Yes it was very hot but it felt good to sweat so much so quickly. I really did feel like I was getting rid of extra water and toxins and it felt great to sweat.
I thought the different colored lights that rotated through the sauna were pretty cool. I know red and blue light have been used on my face during facials, so I really liked that it was happening for my whole body. In this instagram post they seem to touch on all the lights and their different benefits (there are a lot).
Once my 30 minutes was up, she shuffled me down the hall into the massage room and we started doing the (what I assumed) lymphatic drainage massage. She started on my legs and was switching between her hands and a wooden plank? I honestly don't remember what exactly it was, but it was a soft wood object that she rolled over my body. The massage itself is not comfortable and I knew that going in. Pain is beauty, right?? But when we got to my stomach she was pinching my lower ab area around my belly button and it hurt. Like really hurt. And I thought, "Oh this is probably what's supposed to happen." But it felt a little bit off.
We continued with the rest of the massage and it was fine. She again didn't really speak to me or tell me what was going on and didn't talk much when asked about it. So we finished in silence and I got dressed. She told me to drink a lot of water, shower at the end of the day (so the lotions could help work into my skin) and I went on my way. 
I left and didn't feel or look any different. But I did have some very light bruising around my stomach. I will admit that I bruise very easily but my stomach (where she pinched) really hurt for a few days after. I was seriously worried it would get worse/darker/swell as we were a getting close to my bachelorette party.
The next day I did feel leaner but it wasn't a difference worth $300. I'm not sure if I was looking for it more but my legs showed the biggest difference and were just a little bit slimmer. They did mention that it takes a few times to start seeing a major difference and suggest going 2x a week for three weeks to get into a stride.
--April 10: I decided to go back and give it another try but this time booked a Slimming & Cellulite Treatment to see if there was any difference. If there was any difference I didn't notice it before, during, or after treatment. For the review (which I always wanted to do) I thought one visit wasn't enough to make a proper decision. My first time was out of the way and this time I would go into the process knowing what to expect. And honestly, I'm really glad I did. I had a totally different experience the second time and I really attribute it to the masseuse. It was like night and day. 
She was talkative, informative and seemed really knowledgeable. She gave me a heads up on timing in the sauna, checked in on me every 10 or so minutes, brought me more water and left me with a towel to dry the sweat. I played a YouTube video outside of my booth that helped pass the time. I learned that your phone can/will overheat in the booth and it was best to leave it out. Plus it's a good time to be by yourself. 
After the sauna we moved onto the massage and it was still rough but not nearly as bad as before. She was very kind and was explaining as she went along. She was still switching between her hands and the wood roller(?) and using the same lotion. She was from Brazil and talked about how the women there did this massage weekly and how popular it was versus in the States. Overall she really was amazing and I left the massage feeling good.
(Picture of my left leg for comparison right after the drainage massage on it. No difference in my eye)
Did I see a major change after in my body? No, not really. It wasn't like I walked out slimmer than before, but again, I did feel a little bit leaner the day after. Was it anything to write home about? No. 
My Review: Overall I'm torn. I had two very different experiences. I really liked one half of the massage and was just meh about the other. I absolutely don't like the price but I didn't hate the results. It might have been in my head but I felt a little leaner the days after but nothing that dramatic. I'm torn. I do feel that if I kept up with it the results would be there, but at what cost?
My Recommendation: I'm a believer in trying (just about) anything once. Because each person and body is different I would recommend trying this, or something similar, if you feel inclined to. If you are comfortable spending the money, it's something you think you can benefit from or are just curious -- try it out! I do believe that different people would react differently to the massage. 
One thing I noticed was how the movements of the massage and the drainage points were very similar to the path suggested for dry brushing. I asked about it in the salon and they suggested to keep up with this at home as a DIY massage in a way. They have similar results, so it's something to note!!

Would I do it again: Probably not at this spa, but it has nothing to do with the staff itself. I would love to find it elsewhere for a more affordable price.  I do like the idea of helping my body rid unneeded toxins and help my circulation, but not at this price. That is for sure the biggest drawback of this place. What I would be interested in is going back for just the sauna portion. It looks like they offer packages for that and it was easily my favorite part of the experience. 
But we will see! After doing this twice I am eager to see how other places offer the massages and go about them. If you have any suggestions for places in the city or would be interested in me reviewing more, please let me know down below in the comments!
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