Body of Health created a clinic that specializes in lymphatic therapies. We have put together a maintenance program for lymphedema patients that works. We recognized that lymphedema is a chronic, ongoing condition that has to be maintained on a regular basis. Lymph Drainage Therapy along with manual manipulation of the tissues is designed to maintain your edema and is usually done after you have been wrapped or bandaged. We recommend a lymph drainage therapy session once a month to keep the tissues pliable and lymphatic pathways open.
Many people and therapist are not aware of the problems associated with lymphedema. It is not only difficult to get a diagnosis, but it is also hard to find therapy. We are excited about the following services we offer to lymphedema clients:
- Open pathways for lymphatic flow
- Soften protein enriched tissues (hard, thick tissue)
- Clear congested lymph nodes
- Move fluid and stimulate lymphatic system
- Prevent infection and skin damage with regular lymph drainage therapy
- Provide compression garments with a certified fitter
- Provide donning devices and instruction on correct care of the garments
- Latest styles and technology of compression garments and devices
- Education and resources in the lymphedema community
- Support group for those suffering with lymphedema
A general understanding of Lymphedema will help in the understanding of the Lymphedema treatment process. Think of your lymph system as a “Tissue Issue”. Lymph vessels are located at the level of skin. The vessels are small and have openings all along the vessel that are attached to the derma of the skin. This attached superficial system leads me to say it is a “Tissue Issue”.
Most of the time, Lymphedema is associated with cancer treatment. The lymphatics have been impaired due to lymph node removal. The lymph vessels form channels that then connect to the lymph nodes. If the lymph nodes are missing, then these channels either disburse to nearby nodes or do not have anywhere to connect. When this happens, then the lymph system is overloaded and swelling is the result.
Swelling, due to an impaired or damaged lymphatic system, is very different than swelling due to water retention. Diuretics are NOT effective because the problem of swelling is due to the lymphatics not having the capacity to process the fluid, not that the body is producing too much fluid (such as with heart related issues).
Lymphedema treatment has multiple steps. Complex Decongestive Therapy, or CDT, is the gold standard of treatment. The function of this treatment is to assist the lymphatic system to reabsorb and channel fluid. Remember Lymphedema is a “Tissue Issue” so it is important to take care of your delicate tissue or skin.
LDT – Lymph Drainage Therapy
Open pathways and clear away protein enriched fluid. One of the important functions of the lymph system is to move proteins. When these proteins settle in the tissues, they become gel-like and hard. LDT will help reroute vessels to healthier lymphatic areas and break up these hard areas. Learn more
Skin Care – Lotion, Cleansing
PH is important for Tissue/skin balance due to the fact the lymphatic system is not able to properly process fungus, bacteria, or infection. This can be detrimental so it is important to balance the PH of the tissue to avoid unnecessary problems.
Simple measures which will promote healthy skin:
- INSPECT the skin daily for any cracks, cuts or dry areas and insect bites. Check areas of reduced sensation carefully, and any skin folds for redness or broken skin.
- CLEAN skin daily, use an anti-bacterial/non-perfumed soap.
- DRY skin completely, especially the area between the toes and skin folds.
- HYDRATE skin. Use a low pH lotion such as Eucerin ® or Nivea ® to keep skin moist and pliable. (apply in an upward motion).
- Apply an antibacterial cream to any opening to the skin.
- CHECK fingernails and toenails for cracks, fungus, torn cuticles and ingrown toenails. If you have diabetes always have your podiatrist cut your toenails. Take caution when going to nail salons you may be risking your nails to fungus.
- PROTECT skin from sun and insects. Wear gloves if working with chemicals. Wear shoes and avoid walking barefoot.
Wrapping – Layers
Wrapping: This treatment is a process of layering multiple materials in such a way that it creates an even, gradient pressure to tissues. Cotton, foam and breathable short stretch bandages are used. It is important not to cut off lymph flow of the tissues by putting too much pressure on one area. This will break down tissue and cause wounds. During the wrapping process, the client is required to wear the bandages for 24 hours and to see the lymph therapist every day. The amount of time for the therapy depends on the severity of the Lymphedema. Learn more
Movement – Exercise
It is very important for individuals with lymphedema to be physically active and maintain a healthy weight. A safe form of exercise is an essential part of a fitness program for people with lymphedema. Fitness and exercise are not the same. Exercise includes many different types of physical movement. There are many other types of exercise that have health benefits such as Pilates, yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, aquatic exercise, trampoline rebounding, breathing exercises, and relaxation exercise that have not been adequately studied in people with lymphedema. However, the person with lymphedema can use the benefits of any system of exercise if he/she follows the general safety principles of exercise with lymphedema, seeks medical guidance, and uses caution in starting any new exercise program.
The type of exercise that is best for an individual depends upon the severity and cause of lymphedema and other co-existing medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, etc). Exercise for breast cancer-related lymphedema is the most studied lymphedema condition. Many conclusions about exercise and lymphedema are based on studies of breast cancer survivors that may or may not apply to other forms of lymphedema.
* Wear your compression garment during exercise
* Monitor limb during exercise for swelling/ changes
* Stay hydrated, avoid excessive caffeinated drinks
* Wear proper fitting clothing and shoes.
* Avoid extreme heat or cold
* Avoid blood pressure and needle sticks
* Avoid extended periods of sitting or standing
* Avoid deep massage
* Avoid sleeping on the involved side
* Avoid vigorous exercise
* Maintain your ideal weight
We believe that it is just as important to take care of the inside of your body as much as the outside of your body. Your nutrition and personal care play a big role in your overall health. We want to help you find ways to improve your nutrition and feel good about your choices. Learn more
The device used to assist the therapist in the lymph drainage procedure is called the LymphMed. It is a highly reliable, compact machine designed to generate different patterns of pumping to massage the skin. During its development, the driving idea was to provide a tool to the practitioner to facilitate the performance of Manual Lymph Drainage and ease the stress involved with it. The LymphMed allows the therapist to perform lymphatic drainage on the face or body in a more efficient way than strictly manual drainage. (eight times faster). Learn more
Here at The Garment Shop, we see customers for multiple types of compression needs. Our top requests for compression garments include Plastic Surgery Recovery, Venous Insufficiency, Diabetes and Lymphedema. Many patients will be prescribed garments by their physician in order to provide compression for an affected limb. The garments primary purpose is to help move fluid from accumulating in the limb. Learn more
The diagnosis of cancer is difficult in and of itself. The treatments, decisions and process to fight the cancer is invasive and aggressive. Sometimes clients are not sure why they don’t feel normal. Even after physical therapy and rehabilitation they don’t have their range of motion or energy. They experience pain in places they never did before. The recovery process and new normal is uncertain and hard to navigate. Body of Health has developed a program to help you Recover! This program helps navigate you to answers and brings the nurturing side of healing to your journey. We are here to help you achieve much needed balance and empower you with knowledge about your body and life style.
There are multiple modalities and services that are included in our Breast Cancer Program.
This type of massage is a little different than mastectomy massage. With oncology massage the therapist is knowledgeable about your treatments as well as your diagnosis. The focus of the massage is to give you a safe space to let go and be yourself. The techniques are gentle but very effective. learn more
A mastectomy or lumpectomy are often necessary in the fight against breast cancer. Breast tissue has been removed and deep adhesions are the result. Sometimes with reconstruction, muscles are moved, such as in a latissimus flap, or implants have been inserted with manipulation of skin and tissue.
Mastectomy massage is the gentle manual manipulation of tissues. This type of massage is safe, taking into account lymph node removal or any other secondary issues that might occur due to the surgery.
Another important procedure that usually occurs when a mastectomy is done is radiation. Mastectomy massage works with your radiated tissues to bring about more pliability and movement as well as lymph flow.
The shoulder is a very complex area and can be affected by scarring post mastectomy. There are many muscle groups that attach to the shoulder girdle and have different directions of pull. These muscles tend to shorten which makes the other muscles compensate and work harder. As you can imagine, this can become a domino effect until all of the muscle groups around the shoulder become shortened and rigid. Then you will see a frozen shoulder type of pattern. Mastectomy massage addresses the entire shoulder girdle and releases these guarded or reactive muscles and helps restore full range of motion.
Post mastectomy health has many physical factors as described. However, there are also many emotional factors. This is a sensitive area for most women and having a compassionate Massage Therapist who can be respectful, but also address all the physical after-affects of a mastectomy can have a positive impact in their quality of life.
Lymph Drainage Massage
We talk a lot about the benefits of lymph drainage therapy throughout this website. With our Breast Cancer Program, you will receive a lymph drainage massage which prevents the onset of lymphedema. With 40% of breast cancer survivors developing lymphedema, this is an important therapy to receive on a regular basis. If you have already developed lymphedema, Lymph Drainage therapy is used to help maintain the fluid and health of the tissues. Our program helps you understand lymphedema and gives you tricks of the trade to make home care simple. learn more
With surgery there will be scars, but with mastectomies you are working with delicate breast tissue. When these layers are removed, it tends to form deep adhesions that become wide and thick. It is important to understand these layers, such as fascia and fat and lymph, so that these areas can be softened and lead to greater range of motion. learn more.
When going through cancer treatments, the body is exposed to toxins, medications, stress and edema. Neutralizing these toxins is important when recovering from cancer. An easy, non-invasive way to neutralize toxins is with ions. The negative charge of the ions partner with the positive charge of the toxins and neutralizes the inflammatory affect of toxins. With our Breast Cancer Program we have included this piece of the puzzle to help stabilize the body and help you heal quicker to achieve a better quality of life. learn more
Body of Health understands the importance of good nutrition when you are recovering. Once your body creates an environment in which cancer can grow, then it is necessary to make dietary and lifestyle changes to turn that around. Nutrient dense foods and good hydration (plenty of water) are key to weakening cancer cells and preventing any from coming back. Your lifestyle matters. Our Breast Cancer Program has included excellent resources and tips on simple changes that can make a profound difference. learn more
Here at The Garment Shop, we see customers for multiple types of compression needs. Our top requests for compression garments include Plastic Surgery Recovery, Venous Insufficiency, Diabetes and Lymphedema. Many patients will be prescribed garments by their physician in order to provide compression for an affected limb. The garments primary purpose is to help move fluid from accumulating in the limb.
You may have never connected the two, but lymph drainage therapy – which is a specialty of Body of Health – is a beneficial treatment for those who have undergone plastic surgical procedures. Some of these include liposuction, tummy tucks, augmentation, and face lifts. What all of these operations have in common is that they result in the damaging of lymph capillaries which are attached to the derma of the skin. This type of trauma can prolong the patient’s recovery time, result in the affected tissues becoming hard and malformed, and the surgical scars forming deep adhesions.
You may have never connected the two, but lymph drainage therapy – which is a specialty of Body of Health – is a beneficial treatment for those who have undergone plastic surgery procedures. Some of these include liposuction, tummy tucks, augmentation, and face lifts. What all of these operations have in common is that they result in the damaging of lymph capillaries which are attached to the derma of the skin. This type of trauma can prolong the patient’s recovery time, result in the affected tissues becoming hard and malformed, and the surgical scars forming deep adhesions. learn more…
Lymphatic drainage therapy (LDT) is a very effective way of detoxing the body plus stimulating vital immune defenses. It is a specialized manual technique designed to activate and cleanse the human fluid system, using flat hands and light touch to treat individuals with or having: Liposuction, Face Lifts, Rhinoplasty, Brazilian Butt Lift, Reconstruction, Lymphedema, Lymph node removal, Breast surgeries and more. learn more
While undergoing cancer treatment, your body has specific needs due to the procedures, medications and suppressed immune function. LDT will: Minimize the effects of chemotherapy, Speed recovery time, Reduce risk of Lymphedema after lymph node removal, Soften scar tissues due to surgery and radiation. learn more
The trauma of any surgery takes an extreme toll on your whole body. The proper post-surgery care with scar therapy will: Decrease scar adhesion, Reduce pain and swelling, Minimize extensive scar damage and Enable faster healing. learn more
Finding the correct compression garment is important for comfort and effectiveness. BOH has a relationship with multiple suppliers so that we can offer you the best fit. Measure for correct size, Offer the latest styles and fit, Quality garments at reasonable pricing. Learn more