You might have seen celebrities tagging their ever-expanding list of red carpet teams on social media. And while hair, make-up and stylists are all predictable, less so are the raft of wellness treatments everyone seems to be tagging too. One attribution we keep seeing is ‘body by @detoxbyrebecca’. Rebecca Faria is a Brazilian lymphatic massage expert who has worked with the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Sofia Richie Grainge and Hailey Bieber, and has (over the last year or so) garnered a 4000-strong waiting list of celebrity clientele, with a reach that continues to grow. In a bid to understand this burgeoning fascination with lymphatic drainage through the lens of one of the best practitioners in the world right now, we sat down with Faria to understand how she obtained her impressive reach, what really matters when it comes to lymphatic drainage, and the most manageable steps to maintaining a youthful body.
Moving from Brazil to LA is a significant shift, especially in bringing your treatment to the market. Where did you train, and how did you get to where you are now?
Lymphatic massage has been a part of my life since I was a child in Brazil (where it’s very popular), and I studied Aesthetics and Cosmetology in Brazil and Oriental Medicine in Australia. I also hold a Master’s Degree in Body Aesthetics. When I moved to Los Angeles, I saw an opportunity to introduce my skills to Hollywood’s high-profile clientele. But it was a challenging journey. I had to overcome cultural differences, language barriers and financial constraints. But my persistence paid off, and I gradually grew my clientele through word-of-mouth referrals. Today, I have my own spa in Beverly Hills, where I offer a unique treatment called Detox by Rebecca.
I’d love to hear more about your wellbeing philosophy. What defines your approach?
I believe in promoting overall health and wellness through natural means. Taking care of our bodies holistically is the key to achieving balance and harmony, both physically and mentally. It encompasses the mind, body and spirit. My approach to wellbeing focuses on empowering individuals to take control of their health. Lymphatic drainage massage is a natural and non-invasive way to support the body’s healing processes.
Why is supporting the lymphatic system so essential?
It is crucial to your overall wellbeing. It regulates fluid balance, removes waste and toxins, and supports your immune system. Unlike the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump to circulate lymph fluid throughout the body. Instead, it relies on the movement of muscles and joints to help move the fluid through the vessels. Lymphatic drainage massage can stimulate lymph fluid movement, reduce inflammation and swelling, and promote proper lymphatic system functioning.
What are some of the key aggravating factors for the lymphatic system?
Depending on our lifestyle, we are exposing our bodies to these agents through:
• Processed foods, which are full of toxic substances
• Sleep deprivation, which affects our immune system
• Stressful relationships, which can raise our hormones to inflammatory levels
• Lack of water intake, which will make you dehydrated
• Lack of exercise, which will compromise your blood circulation
What diet and exercise regimes would you recommend to support lymphatic drainage and make the treatment’s effects last longer?
Firstly, it is essential to maintain a healthy and balanced diet that is low in sodium and high in fibre. Consuming excessive amounts of sodium can lead to water retention and swelling. Eating a diet high in fibre can also help support a healthy bowel, essential for removing waste and excess fluid from the body. Drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day. In addition to helping the body function better, water is vital in helping the lymphatic system transport toxins and other substances out of the body. Foods with colouring, sugar, preservatives, chemicals and additives increase inflammation and disrupt the lymphatic system.
In terms of exercise, low-impact activities such as walking, cycling and swimming can improve lymphatic flow. These exercises help activate the legs’ muscles, which act as pumps to stimulate lymphatic circulation. Yoga and stretching can also help promote drainage by improving flexibility and posture, which can help to reduce fluid accumulation.
People often say their results are more related to getting rid of water weight. What causes water retention?
One of the most common causes is consuming too much salt. Other possible causes of water retention include hormonal changes, certain medications and standing or sitting for long periods. Pregnancy and premenstrual syndrome can also cause water retention.
“Unlike the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump to circulate lymph fluid throughout the body.”
What would you say to people who think the body should be able to undertake these processes without therapeutic support?
I completely understand why someone might think their body can handle these processes independently. After all, our bodies are amazing and capable of so much. But the truth is, our modern lifestyles can put a lot of strain on our bodies, making it difficult for them to function optimally. Poor diets, lack of exercise, stress and other factors can all take a toll on our lymphatic system, leading to swelling, inflammation, and a host of other health issues. That’s where lymphatic drainage massage comes in. This therapy is like giving your body a helping hand to ensure it can function at its best.
Think of it like getting a tune-up for your car. Sure, your car might be able to run without maintenance, but it won’t be running as efficiently or smoothly as it could. By giving it the support it needs, you can help ensure it performs at its best. The same is true for our bodies.
What does your signature treatment actually consist of?
My approach combines tailored manoeuvres of Brazilian lymphatic drainage massage with specialist equipment I have created to release toxins and target areas of congestion in the body. My machine exerts a negative pressure that breaks the fibres between the agglomeration of fat. As a result, it improves tissue oxygenation to 200 percent and reduces the aspect of the nodules that causes cellulite.
I also do cupping therapy, which works as a guide to know what part of the organism is overwhelmed with toxins or has any issues because once I place the cups on the clients’ backs, each region is interconnected with a specific organ. The cupping therapy provides necessary nutrients to the treated area. It promotes healing but also guides me on the lymphatic drainage treatment and the recommendations to the client.
What sets us apart is our personalised approach to each client’s needs. Everyone has different problems that can lead to swelling, inflammation and secondary health conditions.
By identifying and treating the root issue, we can help clients achieve their wellness goals.
Can you target specific areas?
Yes. For example, if a client is struggling with sagging skin on their face, I can use specific movements to help stimulate lymphatic flow and reduce inflammation in that area. Similarly, if a client is experiencing bloating or water retention in their stomach or legs, I can target those areas to help promote lymphatic drainage and reduce swelling.
However, it’s important to note that while targeted lymphatic drainage massage can effectively address specific concerns, working on the whole body during a session is also essential. The lymphatic system is interconnected and should be stimulated throughout the body to promote optimal lymphatic flow.
You have quite a celebrity clientele. What is it like working with such public figures?
Having celebrity clients certainly helps my company thrive, and I am proud to work with well-known women such as Jennifer Aniston, the Kardashians, Hailey Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande. That said, I do not prioritise catering to them over others. I treat all my clients equally and always have.
I’ve seen you also work with people on photo shoots, movie sets, etc. How does this kind of work come about? How does it support your clients through this time?
My goal is to provide a holistic approach to supporting individuals in the entertainment industry facing stressful and high-pressure environments. My treatments aim to help actors, singers and models perform at their highest level by reducing physical symptoms like swelling or puffiness, promoting wellbeing and improving mental clarity.
How often would you recommend people get treatments? What are some simple exercises or rituals they could undertake at home?
The frequency of lymphatic drainage treatments depends on each individual’s needs and health conditions. More frequent treatments may be necessary for people with certain medical conditions or recovering from surgery. For people who want to get just the benefits of lymphatic massage, one to four times per month. As an at-home complement, there are several options:
• Morning routine (wake up early, scrape your tongue)
• Drink plenty of water
• Drink herbal tea daily
• Avoid processed food
• Have a good sleep routine
How do you think being in LA has impacted the success you’ve enjoyed so far?
My success results from a combination of factors, including my dedication to my craft and ability to market my services effectively. However, being in Los Angeles has significantly impacted my success. LA is a hub for wellness and beauty, and there is a demand for innovative treatments and techniques. Additionally, LA’s diverse and open-minded culture has allowed me to introduce and popularise the Brazilian lymphatic massage technique. As people become more interested in natural and holistic approaches to wellness, they will seek practical and innovative treatments like lymphatic drainage massage. I have already seen increased interest in my technique from people outside LA. As more people learn about its benefits, it will continue to gain popularity and spread to other parts of the world.
What is next for Detox by Rebecca? Where do you go from here?
I’m excited to share that I am launching a Digital Training Program for lymphatic drainage massage. I’m passionate about making this technique more accessible and spreading the word about the importance of self-care and overall wellness. We can create a global community of therapists and individuals who are committed to promoting health and wellbeing. My legacy will be one of empowering individuals to take control of their own health and wellbeing. By teaching my technique to others, I want to create a ripple effect that will spread throughout communities worldwide.