How Does Magnesium Lotion Work to Support Your Wellness?
You may recognize Dani Allen from their viral TikTok featuring Life-flo Magnesium Lotion. The original post quickly racked up over 4 million views and Dani has since become a go-to source for all things magnesium and lymphatic massage related.
We connected with Dani to learn more about lymphatics, living with chronic illness, and the importance of accessible self-care.
Life-flo: Why did you decide to focus your practice on lymphatic massage?
Dani Allen: I got diagnosed with EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) about a year ago. I already had lymphatic on my radar and had been learning some stuff about it, and then it became very obvious very quickly after my diagnosis that I could not continue to massage in the way that I was doing it.
I was doing a lot of deep tissue and that type of practice so I kind of burned down my business, rebranded, and completely switched over to lymphatics. It was terrifying—kind of a last-ditch effort to stay in massage. But the more I learned about it the more I was in love with it and I realized how important it is.
Especially as someone who is chronically ill—who’s in chronic pain—who’s experienced the health care system, I really enjoy getting to work with people who are going through that journey. Also, I got into post-plastic surgery lymphatic drainage; there is such a variety of reasons people get plastic surgery and I really like getting to be part of that process.
Can you share more about Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) and how it affects you?
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a connective tissue disorder. Day-to-day it has a variety of symptoms that it causes. I also have POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which may or may not be [a direct impact of] EDS; there’s more research that needs to be done. Basically, I live in chronic pain and I have for a long time. EDS has a tendency to get worse over time and there’s skin sensitivity along with joint pain and more.
I feel lucky that I am a massage therapist because I have a lot more tools and ways to deal with this than I think the average person knows about.
What drew you to a career in massage therapy in the first place?
I started out in nursing school because I love taking care of people. It’s an amazing career but just not for me; I had a specific experience in the NICU where it was all too much. I met another nurse who was going to massage school and they suggested it to me.
I thought, ‘I do not like crystals, that’s not me’ but the more I looked into it, the more I thought it was super cool. You get to use your brain, you get to work with people, you get to create really incredible connections, and you can own your own business, which was super appealing to me.
In your practice, you focus on making pain relief and self-care accessible, can you tell us about that?
I’m always trying to think of ways to make wellness more accessible because it really sucks feeling othered by providers, [like] when you constantly have to explain who you are as a person, not just how you’re feeling and what you need. Plus, it all can be so expensive.
That’s part of why I started doing social media for my business. [To] educate people that massage and [demonstrate that] wellness doesn’t have to be for "perfect" people in yoga pants. It really can be for anyone and it can fit into your life however you need it. You can show up imperfectly and that’s absolutely wonderful and exactly how it should be. Not everybody has access to a bathtub but there are plenty of things you can do instead. Not everybody can do a 25-minute workout because of their back pain but there are really accessible, easy things that you can do instead. Blanket statements don’t serve anybody.
What is something simple that people can do to help take better care of themselves?
One of the best things you can do is find somewhere comfortable to lie down and regulate your nervous system [by] deeply breathing in and out. This can help with lowering inflammation, and lowering inflammation can help with lowering pain levels and you don’t have to leave the house. Breathing is something I really love promoting because it can help with lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, too.
Your viral TikTok about magnesium lotion and subsequent follow-ups have clearly resonated with tons of people. Why magnesium? What are some of your favorite Life-flo products?
Somebody told me about this great lotion and that they use it in their massage practice so I bought it and that [same] night I lathered myself up and was like ‘Wow, this works great.’ When I got a leg cramp I put the lotion on and that’s how the TikTok came about because I thought, ‘This is wild, it just keeps working!’
I knew the benefits of magnesium—I take magnesium supplements—but topically it was one of those brain connection moments and it makes so much sense. It was described to me as nature’s muscle relaxer and that’s exactly what it is.
Topically it’s so accessible. This is everything that I love about experiences like hot springs, which I spend so much time seeking out, [but] I can do this at home. The Magnesium Lotion was pretty life-changing for me. The Pure Magnesium Oil Spray is great too [for reaching places like] your back on your own.
I am kind of obsessed with the Magnesium Sport Roll-On. I now use it on the bottom of my feet because 5,000 people on TikTok told me to try that and now I just roll myself every night.
You can find Dani creating content about lymphatic drainage, massage, and more at tiktok.com/@lymphlaughlove or at their massage practice in Portland, Oregon at lymphlaughlove.com.