Move to keep things moving.
Exercise and deep breathing become a vital part of managing lymphoedema for both upper and lower lymphatic conditions. For lower lymphoedema, whatever method you use to draw the fluid up to the abdominal area you still need to get the fluid above the diaphragm into the thoracic duct for either recycling back into the venous system or elimination out of the body. For upper lymphoedema, interstitial fluid that is not taken up by the lymphatic system can via gravity move into the abdominal area where it can be drawn into the lymph vessels back up into the thoracic duct.
When fluid fills the abdominal cavity, you can feel very blotted, this is when deep breathing is required to get the fluid up past the diaphragm for either recycling or elimination.
The best type of exercise for lymphedema patients is swimming and other water exercises because the water provides tissue counter pressure on the skin lymphatics and the muscular exercise helps the lymph to flow.
Aqua Aerobics exercise has a double advantage. When you carry out vigorous exercise in the water that gets you breathing deeply thus drawing lymph fluid up into the thoracic duct, the action of the water against your body acts like a massage. Pushing your body through the water applies pressure against the skin along with the pressure of your muscles against the lymph vessels encourages lymph fluid to move through the lymphatic system.
If you prefer to do Aqua separately & not in a class, I recommend Aqua on Demand with Christine England which gives you expert training sessions privately. Great to get your heart & lymphatic system pumping as well as releasing endorphins to make you feel good.
Early intervention is essential to encourage the lymph fluid to move around the site of the blockage, which assists in creating new pathways to a site where the fluid can be processed. Ongoing management then ensures a continual flow.
Yoga is also excellent for lymphoedema, not just for muscle movement but also deep breathing and elevation of the limbs. Remember gravity is your friend as long as you use it that way.
For many people, deep breathing is no longer instinctive, instead, many of us have become shallow chest, or thoracic breathers – inhaling through our mouth, holding our breath and taking in less air.
We don’t breathe as nature designed it. Your breathing at any time falls in one of four patterns:
1 - Chest breathing, when breathing is primarily occurring in the chest:
2 - Belly breathing, when breathing is primarily occurring in the belly;
3 - Pelvic breathing, when breathing is more active in the pelvic area and
4 - Full breathing, when breathing involves the entire torso, from collarbones to the perineum.
HOW SHOULD I BREATHE?
You should breathe in through the nose for one count, hold for four counts, and exhale through the mouth for two counts. In other words, if you inhaled for five seconds, you’d hold for twenty, and exhale for ten. The numbers can change as long as the rations stays the same. Why exhale for twice as long as you inhale? That’s when you’re eliminating toxins via your lymphatic system. And holding for four times as long allows you to fully oxygenate the blood and activate your lymph system. You should breathe like this in three sessions of at least ten breaths per session.Use hashtags to describe what your post is about.