Hey gorgeous guys and girls!
So, at this precise moment in time… I am sat in Starbucks, drinking a hazelnut latte. You are probably not bothered why I’m sharing the details. But here’s telling anyway. I’ve just come from a Lymphoedema clinic appointment…
It’s all good news. Firstly, my swelling is stable! WOOOOHOOOOO! This means I’m controlling it fabulously. All my hard work in training, diet, massage and moisturising is paying off. I’m at 18% difference between my two legs (I only suffer unilateral). Secondly, I can book myself in within the next few months for a top up of Lymph-Assist and a course of Multi Layer Lymphoedema Bandaging to keep it all controlled consistently and not spoil my hard work. Thirdly, new garments have been ordered and will be sent to me soon! Can’t wait to feel the strength in the new garments. Must admit I love new garments. They always feel so secure, like they are actually doing some good. Shame that after 3-4 weeks the elasticity starts wearing thin and they don’t feel that brilliant.
How do I do it?
I train. I don’t exercise and diet. I train and eat. This is one of the more important parts. The training keeps the lymphatic fluid moving. The lymphatic system doesn’t have its own pump the way the blood circulatory system does (it has the heart doing its hard work); the lymphatic system uses the muscles to push fluid around the body. So the more effectively you train, the better your results for the affected limb. I stick to low impact cardio and weight training to maintain my body. The reason I state ‘low impact’ in front of ‘cardio’ is due to the way cardio can affect your limb (please note this is personal experience based and what I have been told by various therapists, everyone is different!). Low impact cardio covers swimming, cycling etc. High impact covers running etc. Low impact is less likely to cause brittle lymphatic vessels to break down. If vessels crumble then obviously it’ll affect your swelling. Also, I keep cardio to a minimum, try not to go over 10-15 minutes (enough to warm up and keep you fit, low enough to not over heat and cause your limb to swell from being too warm). The weight training is purely for strength and toning, it is also more effective for weight loss than constant cardio.
Diet/ Eating. I eat a particular way as I have found my body responds better in both training and day to day activities from doing so. I drink as little caffeine and alcohol as possible (I drink caffeine and alcohol, but I don’t overindulge), I drink as much water as possible and drink as much green/ herbal tea as I can manage. I eat Vegan twice a week, Vegetarian three times a week, Carnivore twice a week. I also allow myself a ‘cheat day’ on one of my Carnivore days (I’m just as happy to eat a Big Mac meal with full fat coke followed by a family sized bar of Galaxy as everyone else!).
Massage and Moisturising. I have never liked the feel or smell of the moisturisers I’ve tried from the medical profession. I’m not saying they aren’t very good. I’m saying they are just not for me. If I’m going to make sure I look after my limb, I need a moisturiser that is a beauty product rather than a clinical product. I do however, try to stick to more ‘natural’ products. The store LUSH stocks ‘lush’ products from all natural ingredients. It’s is literally like walking into a candy store- the colours and smells are divine! I adore ‘Dream Cream’, it hydrates so well (and smells delicious), I feel like I’m doing good by using it for its hydrating qualities (Lymphies keep dry skin at bay remember!), and as though I’m doing it for aesthetic purpose too. I’m also a lover of the good old The Body Shop. You can never go wrong with this place. If I’ve ever run out of my Dream Cream, I swear by Body Butter in HEMP (doesn’t smell as great, better than clinical though). Also, great if you are off on holidays. Use it all over as an after sun moisturiser. Also it comes with full labelling, useful if you are travelling. It is a thick consistency but it sinks into the skin for hours after application- super hydration, great for avoiding dry skin.
Massage, I SLD (Self Lymphatic Drainage). My Lymphoedema Clinic taught me how. Ask next time you go for correct instructions and so they can check your technique. The last thing you want is to massage too hard!
Hope this has been informative and helpful.
Love you lots! xoxo
Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2014
Hey gorgeous guys and girls!