Last week on my Facebook page, I posted an article from a fabulous blog I’d recently found. The author of the blog is Joachim Zuther, a lymphedema specialist who started the first school for lymphedema treatment in the US. Because I have some videos on lymphatic drainage massage techniques you can use on yourself on my blog, I get a lot of questions from people through email, YouTube and Facebook asking for additional resources. To that end, I’ve used the article, “Decongestive and Breathing Exercises for Lymphedema” as a source to demonstrate the techniques he describes in the article.
As always, before doing these techniques, you must consult with your lymphedema specialist and your health care team to determine if these techniques should be a part of your self-care routine. Your specialist can custom design a set of exercises for you based on the area affected by your lymphedema, other associated symptoms or issues you’re having and other conditions you may have.
These exercises may be only part of what your lymphedema specialist creates for your treatment plan. You may also be asked to do some self-lymphatic massage or some strengthening exercises to create a comprehensive treatment plan.
The most important thing you can do is to add the deep diaphragm breathing to your day. This one technique, breathing deep into the belly, uses the diaphragm muscle to facilitate lymphatic flow in the both torso and the lower half of the body – pulling fluid up into the main lymphatic duct in the abdomen.
Photo credit: Flickr.com CCL: User: sportsandsocial