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Lymphatic Yoga Tips

Hi, I’m back, dear Lymphatic family! I did not forget you! I have been busy. After a Lymphatic Yoga Teacher Training in Florida, I travelled to the Foldi Clinic in Germany. I had an amazing time with Dr. Foldi and the other physicians of this renowned Lymphatic Center. I’m looking forward to sharing all this great information with you.

Dr. Foldi reaction to my Lymphatic Yoga Book :)

Dr. Foldi’s reaction to my Lymphatic Yoga Book 

Today, I want to share  two simple and very effective Lymphatic Yoga tips. They will encourage the lymph flow not only in the neck but through the entire Lymphatic System.

About 1/3 of the body lymph nodes are in the neck. Because the neck area is so rich in lymph nodes, the lymph flow in the neck determines the condition of the lymphatic flow throughout the entire body. Wow!!!

As you know, most of us carry tensions, stiffness and contractions in the neck. These tensions impair lymph flow. So, lymph fluid becomes sluggish and gradually it hardens creating stiffness in the neck. Which in turn, negatively impacts the lymphatic flow all over the body. However a healthy lymph flow in the neck automatically ensures a freer lymph motion through the whole body. So let’s improve our lymph flow! Let’s start:

 

 

LYMPHATIC YOGA TIPS

1. Neck Massage

Lymphatic Yoga Tip

Lymphatic Yoga Tip

Place your hands at the back of your neck and gently press and release the neck area a few times. As you do this gentle massage bring your attention to the neck and use the right pressure. Avoid forcing or straining. Be gentle with yourself. Slowly, breathe in and out through the nose. After that, gently also press and release the area between neck and shoulders.

2. Shoulder Lift

Both arms relaxed along side the torso. Inhale and slowly lift both shoulders up towards your ears. Exhale with a sigh as you drop both shoulders – let them go. Allow your arms to relax back along your sides. Repeat several times. Lift the shoulders, without forcing, a little bit higher each time you repeat it.

Practice these two exercises every day without straining or forcing. Be as gentle and soft as a feather! The Lymphatic System is very delicate and lymph vessels can come to spasms when forced or the pressure you use is too strong.. Spasms don’t allow proper lymph flow!

I’m completing the continuation of “Breast Cancer and Lymphedema” blog to be posted soon. Also, subscribe to the blog to receive the blogs as soon as I write. Stay tuned!

Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!!!

Love to all

Breast Cancer and Lymphedema. Is There a Relationship?

We all have cancer cells running throughout our bodies. Every day we have about 30 cancer cells growing and traveling inside the body. The Lymphatic System (LS) is in charge of getting rid or neutralizing them. However, when this system is sluggish, the lymph  fluid and nodes retain toxins and the LS easily becomes clogged. So, the defense mechanism of the mighty Lymphatic System is reduced. In this opportunistic condition, cancer cells can thrive and multiply randomly. Unfortunately, breast cancer and lymphedema can result.

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Breast Cancer and Lymphedema Awareness

When the lymph system is flowing properly, its defense mechanisms are in top shape and all is well! It’s the mighty LS working! However, a clogged Lymphatic System is instrumental in cancer development.

 

Imagine now, a clogged LS pressed on by wired bras, influenced by hormone imbalances and daily stress. Sure, you guessed it! This is a perfect mix for breast cancer to show up.

 

The second cause of death in the US is breast cancer. Right now, over three million women – among them our sisters, friends, family and neighbors – are fighting breast cancer.

My sister is a brave breast cancer survivor for over 10 years. She had had surgery with lymph nodes removed and went through radiation, hair loss, nausea, fatigue and all paraphernalia that comes along with cancer therapy.

 

Most women who are affected by this disease also travel the same infamous road of cancer recovery. However, fewer women know that this traumatic, sad breast cancer story may not end here. Cancer survivors who had lymph nodes removed and/or radiation therapy are “at risk” for Lymphedema. Their chance for developing this serious disease is greatly increased with breast cancer treatment. Breast cancer and lymphedema are closely associated, unless preventive measures are taken.

 

But, What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is an abnormal swelling caused by lymph fluid build up in body parts. Lymphedema is a chronic disease caused by impaired Lymphatic System.

 

Lymphedema of the arm and upper trunk is the most common complication after breast cancer treatment.

 

The road to lymphedema begins with an impaired Lymphatic System.  Unable to properly drain the lymph fluid the LS causes lymph fluid accumulation and swelling. The lymph fluid becomes stagnant. When stagnant, the protein content of the lymph begins to harden. So, fibrotic tissue shows up. Protein molecules will also attract more water to the already swollen area. Left untreated, swollen increases,  skin bursts resulting in inflammation and repetitive infections. The body part affected gradually swells even more. Over time, it loses its natural shape and function. Over the years, if untreated lymphedema spreads to other body parts.

 

Usually, lymphedema develops slowly. It’s almost undetectable for years. It’s an insidious disease that can start immediately, months or even years after undergoing breast cancer therapy. It’s onset is mostly unpredictable.

 

Though lymphedema affects about 3 million Americans, the detection, gravity, development and problems caused by lymphedema are poorly understood by the medical community. Insurance companies in the US don’t pay for the life time treatment lymphedema requires.

 

So, lymphedema is almost an underground disease. Very few people know about it.  Doctors and medical insurance companies ignore it. Lymphedema sufferers have a tendency to hide it.

 

Today, because of  lack of information, lots of people have a devastating incurable disease. However, with some information and certain precautions, lymphedema can be avoided or managed if developed.

 

Lymphedema after breast cancer should not be feared provide precautions are taken.

 

Stay tuned for Part II and III. Learn how to identify edema and lymphedema, types of lymphedema, ways to prevent it, how to manage it, lymphatic yoga and more!

 

Stay well! Much love to all!

 

Lymphatic Yoga Workshop in France 2014

I’m still “jet-lagged” but couldn’t wait to share some exciting news with you!  I just arrived from South France. I was invited to teach a Lymphatic Yoga workshop in France next summer at the Marcevol Monastery in the Pyrenees Mountains!!!
Le Canigou

Le Canigou – Amazing view from the yoga room

The Marcevol Monastery is located on the famous “El Camino” or “St. Jacques Way.”  Today, this monastery is not active anymore as a monastery but as a place of visitation and yoga and meditation workshops.
This is a breathtaking place! During the practice we will be facing and contemplating through the windows “Le Canigou” the highest mountains in the Pyrenees. According to tradition, these mountains and the St. Jacques Way have an indefinable spiritual aura and powerful healing atmosphere. We’re all going to soak in this amazing energy field for 6  to 9 days (optional) practicing and understanding Lymphatic Yoga. Can’t wait!
I’m so happy I can share this with you  :)
I’m going to teach in English from Monday, Jun 30 to Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  We are also going to do some walking or hiking trips to visit some of the sites in the area. Walking is a sure way to move your lymph fluid. Walking in the St. Jacques path deeply feeds your inner soul.
Some guided excursions are planned for the end of the course. Accommodation in the monastery is limited to 25 people. It includes all meals! Of course, delicious fresh French food will be on our menu! Space is limited. More details later when booking opens.
Ariel view of the Marcevol Monastery

Aerial view of the Marcevol Monastery

Lymphatic Yoga Workshop Main Topics
The workshop topics include:
  • Lymphatic Yoga practice
  • Breathing techniques
  • Understanding the anatomy of the Lymphatic System
  • Types of edema and how they develop
  • Lymphatic Yoga for Lymphedema
  • Auto-immune conditions and how to deal with an overactive Immune System using Lymphatic Yoga
  • Relaxation techniques and more

This was a magical trip for me. I was with my friends Simone and her husband Danny in their home at Ceret. Fig, grapes and cherry trees were in their beautiful backyard. The figs and grapes were simply “freshly” delicious! I had the opportunity to go to Lourdes also in the Pyrenees. It was transcendental! Thank you to my dear friends for this amazing experience!

Fig & Grape Trees in Simone's Backyard

Fig & Grape Trees in Simone’s Backyard

I’m so happy to share this information with you in this wonderful European venue.  Look forward to seeing you there next year. Still developing and arranging final details. More details to come soon.
Much love to all,
I’m now writing a series of Breast Cancer and Lymphedema blogs to be posted soon. Stay tuned for more!

Got Fat? Is Lymphatic Yoga The Answer for Weight Loss?

Lymphatic Yoga, Breathing and Weight Loss

Lymphatic Yoga, Breathing and Weight Loss

Millions of dollars are spent in liposuction, laser treatments, cellulite creams, diet pills and all lose-weight fads that are popping up every day. Do they work? Sadly, all this money is thrown away in a vain attempt to lose weight. We keep gaining weight for no reason. We keep dieting with little effect on our extra pounds. Unfortunately, stubborn fat and bloating are winning this battle. Sadness and depression settle in.  What is the problem? Is Lymphatic Yoga the answer for weight loss?

Well, the answer may be much simpler than what you expect! The problem is not as much what you eat but how you breathe. Wow!

The truth is that if you diet and do not breathe properly, you deprive yourself of the necessary fuel to burn and metabolize your meals. So, food is not properly processed and it’s stored in the body. Inevitably, you get fat.

Breathing, Yoga and Weight Loss

This may explain why Yogis – those who practice Yoga – are healthy, happy and have their weight under control! Weight loss appears not to be an issue for them.

The ancient practice of Yoga, beyond body exercises also includes more than 30 different types of breathing techniques. Breathing and oxygen create a chemical reaction that helps to dissolve fat and assimilate food nutrients during digestion.

Breathing techniques also improve circulation of the two main fluids of the body: lymph and blood. Improved circulation avoids stagnation and accumulation of both fat and metabolic waste in the body. Of course, it keeps your Lymphatic System doing its  job: moving, nourishing the cells, washing away the cells’ trash and mainly absorbing fat!  As a result, breathing techniques can keep you lean and your weight under control! And weight loss can become a reality.

There are three of the Yoga breathing techniques that can lead you to lose weight: diaphragmatic breathing (link), complete breathing and alternate nostril breath.

Most of us breathe very shallowly. The cause of this distorted and shallow breathing is mainly stress and tight clothes. Another cause of shallow breathing is the lack of knowledge that proper breathing happens in the bottom part of the lungs! If you’re not a trained singer, a swimmer or haven’t practice Yoga breathing techniques, you probably are a chest breather.

So, to change this daily poor breathing we need to retrain ourselves. We need to consciously breathe in the bottom of the lungs. The bottom of the lungs are bigger than the rest of the lungs. So, you can draw more oxygen and burn more fat when you breathe deeply. Deep breathing is called diaphragmatic breathing. Slow and deep diaphragmatic breathing can begin to change the merry go round of stubborn fat! And you become happy again!

Let’s practice!

After you get used to practicing the diaphragmatic breathing, you can ad a new breathing practice! The complete breath gently and slowly fills up the lungs with air. It draws the maximum amount of oxygen to the body. It pumps the lymph fluid all over the body.  So, you can burn more toxins and fat! The complete breath is a healing technique. It has three phases:

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing as before
  2. Middle chest breathing. After doing the first phase bring your hands to the ribs on the sides of your trunk and keep breathing to expand the ribs to the sides. Imagine your ribs opening like an accordion.
  3. Upper chest breathing. Gently and slightly lift both shoulders, bring your hands to the area of the collar bones and breathe in in the upper part of the lungs. Because the lungs are much smaller here, this third phase is very short in time.

After doing your diaphragmatic breathing practice, add 10 to 15 minutes of complete breath. Remember, there is no forcing or straining in any Yoga practice. Do a little less than what can be done. Less is more in Yoga.

Because breathing is free of charge you save money. You also get the desired results as you breathe your way to skinny! Happy breathing!

Stay tuned for more about practice, lymph knowledge and health!

Love, light and lymph!

 

Copyright 2013 Edely Wallace

 

“Muscle Movement Transports Lymph” by Professor Neil Piller

Muscle and Lymph Vessels

Muscle and Lymph Vessels

“One of the major issues in helping the lymphatics function optimally is to address the issue of balance between lymph load and transport. There are many ways in which lymph transport can be influenced, both positively and negatively.
In terms of loading the lymphatic system and improving the transport of fluids and their contents along it, an understanding of the structural and functional aspects of the lymphatic system is important. In terms of lymphoedemas, which are generally an epi fascial problem, the most important uptake vessels (called lymph capillaries or initial lymphatics) are located within the epifascial compartment, above the deep fascia which overlies the skeletal musculature.
Many of the larger collectors are located directly above this deep fascia, while the uptake capillaries are located through out it.
In order to facilitate entry of fluids and contents into the lymphatic system a variation in tissue pressure is necessary. At the cellular level this changes the tension on the filaments of the endothelial cells of the initial lymphatic capillaries, facilitating their opening and closing. Once the fluids and their contents are in the lymph capillaries the presence of functional valves ensure their movement along into the structural and functional unit of the lymphatic system – the lymphangion.
The two animations indicate the effect of the variation in tissue pressures brought about by vibration (as might occur through the use of a massage pad), manual lymphatic drainage techniques, efflourage and importantly what happens every time we move our muscles.
While we are not sure of the comparative benefits of all of these actions which vary tissue pressure, they all do so thus helping the loading of the lymphatic system and transport through it. The only difference between all of the above mentioned actions or techniques is the frequency of “vibration” , that is the change in the tissue pressures.
Observe the video and gain an understanding of how even something as simple as moving will help a lymphatic system.” ~ Professor Neil Piller – from The Journal of Lymphoedema

CLICK HERE TO WATCH SHORT VIDEO!

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