A large part of your lymphatic system lives just beneath the skin and is easy to manually stimulate to help reduce swelling. I'm always way more ready to start my day after I do this!
I came up with an easy to do shower routine that helps me and my lymphatics get through the day. The most important thing, is order matters! Your lymphatic system is a one-way system like a vacuum cleaner that works from your neck out to the tips of your limbs.
FYI, forgo hot tubs and hot showers. Hot water dilates blood vessels releasing additional fluid into your tissues. Not so hot!
Throughout the shower, I take a few deep belly breaths to help get things moving even more!
Watch exactly what I do in the shower to help my lymphedema.
Here's a brief outline of what I do and the tools I use.*
1. Before you get into the shower, pump the nodes near your collarbone to make sure they're clear. (Don't know how to do this, watch the video!)
2. After I wash my hair, while the conditioner is on, I use this scalp massager starting at the back bottom of my hairline moving the tool back and forth quickly up toward the crown of your head and then to the front hairlines. Wait till you feel how good this is! You should start to feel a little bit of post-nasal drip and a relaxing of your scalp which lets you know your lymph is starting to move.
3. I put a combination of Alba Botanical face wash (so creamy and makes my skin so smooth!) and a mild exfoliator in my hands and apply it in a circular motion on my chest, neck and face, starting at my chin and working up to my forehead. Finally, I rub my hands together. Don't rinse it off, you'll need it for step four.
4. For an extra lift, I use either a soft silicone scrubby or an electric face washer (I love that it has both kneading and vibrating features to help move that lymph) and follow the same pattern I did with my hands. Then I rinse my chest, face and hands.
5. I put soap in my hand and rub the brush on it to create a barrier between my skin and the brush. I use a back scrubber to wash from the bottom of my neck down to my lower back (don't forget the sides!) Then I brush my tush, thighs (starting at the top, working down), and the sides of my calves. I typically start to feel a lighter, hot and cold sensation, which lets me know lymph is really starting to move.
11. To finish it off, I use a dry brush to help my vessels take in any last fluid that it can. Plus, it feels so good, like you're just getting out of the spa!
12. Make sure to follow the same pattern as you dry off with a towel.
13. I put my Active Massage compression garments on after I shower to keep stimulating my lymphatics throughout the rest of the day. Want to learn more about Active Massage compression? Check out this article.
I hope this helps you feel a little better and more productive in your day. <3
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Disclaimer: This blog is for general information purposes only. Furthermore, information contained in this blog is not a substitute for medical advice – always consult a licensed healthcare professional for advice on your specific condition.