The designer of the passive massage garments, Cheryl Pollock, was a gynaecological cancer
patient who suffered with lymphoedema in her groin. Her initial management of lymphoedema was through massage which did not have lasting effects on the swelling in the groin. She sought out products to help solve her discomfort such as compression stockings, corsets, skins etc which caused pain & swelling in the abdomen & knees. None of these products were effective in relieving the swelling in her groin.
After doing her own research (using her practical expertise from a career background in Mechanical Engineering), Cheryl thought that she needed a product that could mimic subtle massage in the areas where lymph node clearance occurred. The massage and other industries have been using similar products for feet and back care. For example massage sandals and eggshell mattresses to disperse pressure caused by limited or restricted movement. Hence, the choice of an insert designed using a plastic bubble material similar to bubblewrap in appearance but made from stronger material with a consistency that allowed a gentle pressure onto the skin during movement. The bubble material is then covered with a cotton material for breathability and comfort. It is also machine washable and can be dried in a clothes dryer.
The passive massage product appears to work by allowing for lymphatic fluid to drain more effectively because the bubbles in the fabric gently massage the affected areas, as the person wearing it performs the usual activities of daily living.
The first pre-trial (Case 1) was a pair of underpants made with the passive massage insert.
The underpants have been worn by Cheryl for two years. The passive massage garment has controlled her lymphatic drainage, pain & discomfort. Cheryl is aware that when she has periods of time when the garment is not worn, the lymphatic fluid builds up in her abdomen rendering her much discomfort though she has not had any further swelling in the groin. Since the initial pre-trial of the product, several other persons (including breast cancer patients) have trialled the product in a variety of ways.
GS is also a gynaecological cancer patient. She had tried several ways (including compression garments) to reduce her leg and abdominal lymphoedema. After wearing the passage massage garments for six weeks, she has reduced lymphoedema and is now on the lowest level of compression stockings and is expected to not require the stockings in the near future. Her leg and abdominal swelling has reduced as well as the incredible discomfort that she used to have pre-passage massage. GS has also noted that when she stopped wearing the passive massage garment, her swelling accumulated back to the original level which was painful and uncomfortable for her.Clearly, the passive massage garment has shown to be involved in the control of the flow of lymphatic fluid and therefore, provides a comfort measure for the patients .
SF has had a swollen foot an accident leading to reconstructive surgery. After using the passive massage garment around her foot, the fluid problems disappeared though she then became aware of the swelling in her calf which was then addressed with passive massage garments
SF commented that she felt it relieved the nerve damage in her foot as well.
K, a young girl was referred to Cheryl from the lymphoedema clinic. She had lymphoedema around her knee, ankle and foot after sustaining a dislocated knee injury 3 years ago. Both K & the lymphoedema clinic requested treatment on her foot only as this is where the swelling was visible & measured. After wearing the garment around her foot for around 2 weeks, K had a reduction in her foot and ankle by 2.5cm. Her knee was then treated with passive massage garment. She has movement back in her knee, ankle and foot and has no pain or tightness.
KB is a breast cancer survivor. She had surgery in 2001 for a left mastectomy with auxiliary node clearance. She had 4 months of chemotherapy. As a result of her surgery, she developed lymphoedema in the left underarm region. She has been managing her lymphoedema with regular fortnightly remedial massage which has given her limited relief for a small amount of time. She also trialled a compression bandage (from a physiotherapist) but felt that the bandage only aggravated the problem. KB started using the passage massage garment in October, 2010 and felt that she had improvement within the first few days of wearing the product. The garment was a sports bra with the passive massage insert along the side and back. After wearing the garment, KB noticed that she had longer periods where she had no sensation of fluid build-up. She admits that the garment does not stop the sensation completely; it is a welcome improvement and has resulted in her experiencing longer periods of time when she completely is unaware of any fluid build-up.
Since the initial insert a breast piece has been added and this has given KB further relief over the area of the reconstructed breast. After 9 years of persisting with alternative management, her quality of life has been enhanced considerably. She also noted that the garment does not cure the problem but manages the problem by giving quality relief that she previously did not have.
SP is a breast cancer patient who developed lymphoedema post-surgery. SP states that Lymphoedema changed my life so much that I was unable to work in my profession as a Midwife. Wearing the passive massage insert has been so great that I have been able to remove my compression garments altogether which has allowed me to return to my job. I still get some fluid when I go to the Gym or when I don't wear the insert but as soon as I put it on again it soon dissipates. It has changed the quality of my life for the better and I don't know what I would do without it now.
LS is a patient suffering from varicose veins I found that wearing the ankle wrap provided tremendous relief to the achingI was experiencing from varicose veins. The ankle wrap provided warmth and increased blood
flow through the area of varicose veins. As a result of the relief I received, I found that pain medication was not needed.
BM is a throat cancer patient.
Just a quick report on the passive massage garment that I have been using for fluid build-up in the neck area. After completing radiation & chemotherapy for throat & mouth tumors, I have experienced large fluid build-up, due to damage done to Lymphatic system by the treatment. This is predominantly on the left hand side of neck & under chin. I apply massage morning & night as instructed by physiotherapy department at Mater Hospital. I have been wearing the passive massage garment since mid-august and have experienced a marked decrease in the amount of pooled fluid build-up at left hand side of neck and under chin. I wear the garment at all times at home & overnight although not at work during the day. I will continue to wear garment and monitor improvement over time.
Passive Massage Wear Also Known As BubbleWear
Kerry found relief after 9 years of pain from Lymphoedema as a result from breast cancer. Her husband is extremely grateful as he has his wife back.
Lymphoedema Physiotherapist "Caitlyn" explains the Lymphatic System and why using a product such as Passive Massage Wear ( Bubble Wear ) is so beneficial.
Vicki shares her story of how she was able to enjoy a complete pain free nights sleep after using the ChezLeon passive massage wear bra insert. She is a survivor of breast cancer and suffered a great deal of scar tissue build up. Since using the passive massage bra insert, she and her doctors and oncologist have noticed a significant breakdown of painful scar tissue.