“It’s so hard to find information about the Lymphatic System!” How can I know more about the lymph world? I hear this all over. But why?
Firstly, because this is a very elusive and complex system. Though it spreads throughout the entire body, this is not even a symmetric system! Unlike other bodily systems, the Lymphatic System (LS) is anatomically different on the left and right sides of the body. The structure of the LS also varies from person to person. For instance, the number of lymph nodes differs according to the individual bodies. We may have anywhere from 600 to 800 lymph nodes. The lymph vessels can also follow different paths in different bodies. It’s a weird system!
Secondly, up to recently very little was known about the LS. So, in the medical schools the future physicians are not instructed or trained in this system. The Lymphatic System vital importance for the other systems of the body is shamelessly overlooked. So, we pay for that instructional negligence.
When you get a condition – either damage or malformation of the lymphatics – you can hardly find proper help or information. So, the diseases of this system are grossly ignored or mistreated. However, this is a very high-risk situation because most of the other body systems problems have their origin in a lymphatic deficiency.
The Reality of the Lymph World
The condition of the LS directly affects all other systems of the body. Because physicians are not trained in the lymph landscape, they cannot trace some diseases to their true origin – the Lymphatic System.
Then, some diseases are classified as “unknown etiology” which is the medical term for “unknown cause.” Literally, it simply means “I don’t know!” Therefore some diseases are labeled “not treatable” or “incurable.”
Today, because of this general misinformation, it’s important to know “who is who” in the lymph world.
Hippocrates, the father of Medicine, first called the lymph fluid “white blood.” However, it was only in the 1930’s that the “white blood” began to gain prominence with Dr. Vodder. He developed a method to drain the “white blood” or lymph fluid. Dr Vodder was not a physician. He was a physiotherapist. So, his method, though effective, was not immediately accepted by the medical community.
However, in the 1960s, German physicians Foldi and Asdonk, Australian physician Casley-Smith, and other physicians and researchers began to clinically test Vodder’s method. In 1967 (Germany) Dr. Asdonk conducted a research in 20,000 patients. He established the medical effects, indications and contraindications of Vodder’s method – MLD (manual lymph drainage).
After years of medical and lab research, both physicians Michael Foldi and his wife Ethel Foldi combined the lymph drainage method of Dr. Vodder with other therapies. During the 1980s, the Foldi power couple created the “Complex Decongestive Therapy” (CDT). In 1986 they opened a huge hospital in Hinterzarten (Germany) to treat patients with lymphedema and lymph related diseases from all over the world. Today, CDT is widely used in the treatment of lymphedema.
Lymph World Luminaries: Dr. Vodder and Dr. Foldi
These are the two luminaries in the lymph world: Vodder’s MLD and Foldi’s CDT. After the physician diagnosis, any therapist trained in either method is well equipped to deal with conditions of the Lymphatic System.
Both the Foldi and Vodder schools are well represented in the US.
Vodder School therapists can be found all over the US. Both Kathryn M. Thrift (Texas) and Anne Bramham (Florida) are expert teachers and therapists of this school.
The Foldi Clinic is represented by the “Klose Training” in Colorado. Gunther Klose is the founder and the major teacher and therapist of his renowned school. Gunther came directly from the Foldi Clinic in Germany to the US.
I was fortunate enough to be able to be trained and certified in the headquarters of both methods. At the Foldi Clinic in Hinterzarten (Germany-2011) with Dr. Ethel Foldi and at the Dr. Vodder School in Walchsee (Austria – 2012) with Hildegard Wittlingler (successor to deceased Dr. Vodder). See above, my pictures graduating from both schools.
My intention is to make this powerful information available to all. To share a method that keeps the lymph fluid in a healthy state and can prevent bodily conditions. I’m combining these two powerful methods, Yoga and lymph drainage, in a unique, inexpensive and miraculous technique that can be done at home by anybody – Lymphatic Yoga.
I welcome your questions and concerns. It’s good to hear from you! Let me know how I can better help you.
More to come! Stay tuned!
Much love to all!
Copyright 2013 Edely Wallace
How often do you get a stiff neck? Or sore neck? What do you do about it? Neck tensions impair normal lymph flow and affect body health conditions. Lymphatic Yoga can help!
The Lymphatic System is a transport system. The neck is the bridge between the body and the brain. When there is stiffness, tension or contractions in the neck, the communication between brain and body is partially impaired. Neck tensions do not allow proper lymph fluid motion. So, the bodily transport system is impaired. Lymph fluid becomes sluggish. It hardens. So, neck exercises from Lymphatic Yoga are a must. Neck exercises keep both tensions away from the neck and optimal fluid motion between body and brain.
Most importantly, is the fact that the neck is rich in lymph nodes clusters. The entire body contains around 600-800 lymph nodes. About 1/3 of these lymph nodes are in the neck! Neck tensions will impair and slow down lymph movement not only in the neck but also throughout the entire body.
As the Lymphatic System works all over the body, a clogged neck lymph nodes causes fluid sluggishness which multiplies in other parts of the body. In other words, the opposite, a free lymph motion in the neck area activates lymph fluid transport in the whole body!
Let’s Work With Lymphatic Yoga!
In the Lymphatic Yoga classes at Yogamatrix (Orlando, Florida) we always start with neck motions. Then let’s begin:
1) Rub your hands together until they feel warm. Using both hands gently massage the neck.
2) With your finger tips, gently tap below the collar bones (clavicles). Simultaneously, right hand taps below the right collar bone and left below the left. Tapping back and forth with four finger tips. Continue the gentle shoulder tapping for about 1 minute.
3)Practice your diaphragmatic breathing (deep breathing) for a few minutes before the neck exercises.
4)Now synchronize the diaphragmatic breathing with neck motion.
- Breathing in, gently lift your chin towards the ceiling. Breathing out, gently lower your chin towards the space between the collar bones. There is no forcing, no straining. Do it slowly combined with long inhalation and exhalation.Repeat 3 times.
-Breathing in, gently turn your head to the right. Breathing out return your head to the center. Same to the left. Repeat 3 times.
- Breathing in, lateral motion, bring your right ear towards the right shoulder (no forcing!). Inhale center your head. Same to the left. Repeat 3 times.
Now lie down for a few minutes (5 to 10 min.) still practicing your deep slow breathing. If you have lymphedema you can also elevate either the leg or arm affected. Practice this every day!
Thanks so much to all of you for the tremendous response to my blog! I send my love to all of you! My intention is to make one of the most important systems of the body - the mighty Lymphatic System - known to all. My intention is to assist you to prevent or manage lymphedema. My intention is to show you how Lymphatic Yoga can keep this mighty system healthy. So, we can all have a powerful and inexpensive tool to manage, assist and improve our health conditions.
Love, light and joy to all!
Stay tuned for more lymphatic tips, exercises and news!
For many people, Summer, rather than being a joyful time, is a dreadful time. Hot weather, insect bites and air travel are among those conditions that can trigger lymphedema for those at risk. Are you at risk for Lymphedema?
In the U.S., within the Medicare aged population, the number of persons afflicted with lymphedema, or at risk of developing it, exceeds 6.8 million individuals.
There are two types of lymphedema:
Primary Lymphedema – It occurs when people are born with a malformation of the Lymphatic System. Lymph vessels and/or nodes are absent.
Secondary Lymphedema – It is the most common lymphedema. It results of damage in the Lymphatic System.
Well, lymphedema is a progressive disease. It results from the accumulation of lymph fluid in parts of the body due to partial failure of the Lymphatic System. It initially causes swelling, aching and stiffness. Left untreated lymphedema symptoms worsen slowly and insidiously. Over time, it becomes an irreversible disease w ith debilitating conditions.
What Is Your Risk of Getting Lymphedema?
The combination of two or more of the following conditions, increases the risk for the disease:
- cancer and/or removal of lymph nodes
- radiation treatment
- venous disease (bulging veins or removal of them)
- air travel
- mosquito bite
How Can You Tell If Lymphedema Is Setting In?
Lymphedema has a slow onset that can hardly be noticed during the first stage of its development. So, at first, it’s not really easy to detect this disease. For example, swelling that comes and goes for over a six month period can be a sign of lymphedema in its first stage of development. However, this important sign is often ignored.
- momentary swelling of parts of the body. It comes and goes.
- jewelry, clothing and shoes can feel tighter some times.
- discomfort and heavy sensation in the limbs
- general fatigue
Any of the changes or symptoms described above need to be assessed by a doctor. The combination of these signs may indicate lymphedema in its first stage. There are four stages of Lymphedema. This first one is still reversible.
Real Lymphedema Story!
For instance, one of my yoga students had abdominal surgery due to early stage cancer. She also had some lymph nodes removed from her abdominal area and left groin area. Lymph node removal is a huge risk for lymphedema! However, she was not advised about the possibility of lymphedema. Uninformed, necessary precautions were not taken. She was having a slight swelling in the leg from time to time. She disregarded it. After all, the swelling always disappeared a few days later.
A few years passed after her surgery. Then, she begin to travel consistently back and forth from Florida to California – about a 5 hour flight. She was not informed about using compression stocking during her air travel. Her leg was swelling even more but always reversed to almost normal size.
After two years of this constant air travel, her leg one day “blew up” (according to her own words) and never returned to normal. Rather, her leg began to slowly enlarge even more. The leg lost its shape, it began to harden. It became like a trunk. She went to the same doctor. Diagnosis: lymphedema. Prognosis: incurable and progressive.
So, lymphedema may appear immediately after surgery, or a few years later, or even 15 to 20 years post surgery. Because of lack of information, the first stage of the disease, that is still reversible, passes undetected and untreated. This can lead to unnecessary and irreversible full blown lymphedema.
Lymphedema is an incurable disease that can only be managed and reduced with appropriate measures. It also is a progressive condition that can respond with early intervention. While it cannot be cured, it can be managed. Lymphedema management reduces the possibility of an incapacitating condition that affects the entire body.
Lymphatic Yoga can minimize the effects of an early lymphedema. Stay tuned for more about Lymphatic Yoga, breast cancer with lymph nodes removal and how to prevent or cope with this disease.*
Love, health and light to all!
*If you have or are at risk of developing lymphedema, you should visit your physician to have the condition diagnosed as soon as possible.
Are you gaining weight for no reason? Are you dieting, not loosing weight and even getting anemic? Is sluggish lymph to blame for weight gain? Can we also blame sluggish lymph for our difficulty in loosing weight? Today, research indicates that all of these is true!
Fat, obesity and bloating, the dreadful enemies of many of us, are now associated with an impaired Lymphatic System (LS). Two researches published in 2005 – Dr. Natasha Harvey in Australia and Dr. Martin Schneider in Belgium – point to the fact that impaired or damaged LS can lead to unknown weight gain.
The Lymphatic System is a very delicate system of capillaries, vessels and nodes that can be impaired by several factors including: stress, diseases, infection, flu, surgeries, air travel, extreme cold, medication, dehydration, excessive intake of protein, and sedentary lifestyle.
So, let’s remember that the LS is mainly a transport system. It’s the nourisher, cleanser and defender of the body. The LS carries nutrients to cells and moves away the metabolic waste from them. It also defends the cells, as it’s part of the immune system.
The Link Between Lymph and Weight Gain
Another less known function of the Lymphatic System is its ability to absorb “long-chain fatty acids” or, in simple words, to dissolve fat during digestion!
Fat is mainly divided into two types: short and long-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acid is absorbed by the liver. Long-chain fatty acid is absorbed by the Lymphatic System in the intestinal tract. If the lymph fluid is sluggish it will not be able to optimally perform its task. Fat absorption will be impaired and inevitably, fat accumulates in the tissues.
So, in many cases, sluggish lymph is to blame for weight gain. A poorly functioning lymph flow is the unknown factor in the industry of weight loss that can definitely change the industry!
Conversely, if lymph flow is improved the fat deposit accumulated in the tissues can be cleared! A simple sequence of Lymphatic Yoga and deep breathing can speed up a lazy lymph flow and cause you to loose weight. Without stress and effortlessly! This can really be a game changer in the science of weight loss!
Now, can we conclude that the activation of your lymph flow not only improves overall health but can also make you loose weight? Probably, the answer to this question is a big YES! Another question: does sluggish lymph flow make you fat? The answer is also, Yes!
Stay tuned for more Lymphatic tips and our upcoming video,