Living with Lymphedema: Promoting Healthy Lymph

Lymph-Health-Jump-Break

Fun with Benefits

Why do people wear Medical ID Jewelry for lymph alert after breast cancer?

When the lymph fluid collects in an area of the body causing swelling, it’s called Lymphedema. The treatment for breast cancer typically involves surgery and radiation; that can result in some lymph nodes and lymph vessels being damaged when the lymph fluid needs to flow through. Without lymph nodes and vessels, the lymph fluid can back up in the tissue which leads to swelling.

About 1 in 5 people (20%) will have lymphedema of the arm after breast cancer treatment.

Things that can increase your risk of lymphedema development are:

  • Infection in a cut or graze
  • Insect bites
  • Severe sunburn
  • Putting too much strain on your arm too early

 

It’s important to list “Lymph alert” and/or Breast Cancer survivor on your medical alert bracelet or necklace. Lucky for you, we have some of the most stylish awareness medical jewelry you could ever find!

lymphedema medical id bracelet
lymphedema medical alert bracelet for women

What the heck is ‘ lymph’ anyway?

Lymph is the fluid that goes through the body; in your lymphatic system, and it’s all over your body! Yout lymphatic system begins as petite delicate lymph vessels like roots of a plant, just under the skin.

Its job is to eliminate abundant fluid from the tissues between cells, absorb protein & fat soluble vitamins for the blood, and remove pathogens, toxins & cancer cells.

Trampoline-drains-Lymph-System-698x1024
2014 Alberta Lymphedema Association

Fluid in your lymph vessels must travel throughout your body from head to toes. If you think of your lymphatic system as a river, toxins and ‘gunk’ settle at the bottom of your lymphatic vessels (like a river bed).The lymph fluid in the vessels (like a river) need to flow to keep your body clean of toxins. There’s no “engine” for the lymphatic system to pump the lymph fluid, like the heart does for the blood, our lymph relies on our movement.

Daily movement alone may not be sufficient for some stubborn lymphatic systems. You may have a sluggish lymph system, like many others in the world. A study found that roughly 80% of overweight participants suffered from a ‘sluggish lymph’. It’s sort of a chicken or the egg situation though. There’s no definite direction of effect or causation for this link. A sluggish lymph does not always cause obesity, just as sluggish lymph is not always a symptom of obesity.

There may also be a link between lymph health and sleep apnea!

 

 

~Chronic illness         ~Autoimmune disorder              ~Thyroid imbalances (hypothyroidism)

~Weak immune system (prone to infections and illness)             ~Sinus congestion/infections

~Headaches       ~Consistent fatigue            ~Swollen lymph nodes             ~Poor circulation            ~Itching

~Allergies            ~Cellulite                   ~Overweight                        ~Swollen face and/or limbs

~“puffy eyes” in the morning                                     ~Fluid retention (enema)                       ~Swollen tonsils

~Pressure in head                      ~”full feeling”

…These are all symptoms of a sluggish lymphatic system.

 

Rebounding

Are you reeling from all of this new information? Feeling like you may need a way to process? Perfect…let’s start jumping!

Jumping around on the hard ground will do more harm for your joints and cartilage than good for your lymphatic system. So the solution takes us back to childhood. Jumping on a trampoline allows knees and body to bounce without joint stress.

More is not always better. Take your time and start slow. No jump overload!

So just jump. Lift off with your toes. Up and down, nothing too strenuous. When you feel comfortable jumping try mixing it up! Regular jumps, little jumps, knee tuck jumps, etc. This is a great way to exercise and improve lymph health. No expensive trainer/gym membership required – most people can use one of those small trampolines. *No crazy back flips on these of course.

Here is a great demonstration of easy jumps and the importance of breaks when you’re tired…

 

Up and Downer?

If you aren’t a fan (or not capable) of jumping, there are plenty of ways for you to maintain lymph health.

  • It can be as easy as deep breathing!
  • Any sort of exercising can get lymph fluid moving!
    • Studies have shown that the best non-trampoline exercises are yoga and swimming. Both are easy on joints and have a huge variety of health benefits.
      • The inversion part of yoga has the most benefits!
    • Chiropractic care and acupuncture.
    • Drink water and get proper nutrition.
      • Eating the right foods and staying hydrated can solve a multitude of issues!
    • Massage and dry Skin Brushing.

Skin brushing moves lymph fluid and gives us a jump-start on health. Dry skin brushing uses a brush to improve the surface circulation of the skin and keep the pores of the skin open (that can accumulate over a pound of waste products), encouraging your body to discharge metabolic wastes. Here is a link to lymph draining facial massage technique.

  • Sweat it out!
    • Every little bit of sweat is lymph fluid toxins. Saunas and hot baths make for easy sweat production.
  • OIL!
    • Magnesium oil, castor oil, or essential oils (orange, rosemary, ginger, lemon, peppermint, etc.) are all great for lymph health.
    • Swish oil (coconut, olive, or sesame) in your mouth or dab under your chin by your lymph nodes to flush the sinuses!

Laugh-for-Lymph-Health

 

*If you have a medical issue with your lymphatic system, such as lymphoma, you should also be wearing a medical alert bracelet or personalized medical alert necklace in case of emergencies.

 

 

 

 

However you do it, try to show your lymph some love today!

 

 

Sources:

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/lymphedema

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancerbasics/lymph-nodes-and-cancer

 

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