Feeling swollen and bloated? Welcome to your ageing lymphatic system in menopause!
Lymphedema is swelling in the arms or legs due to a disruption of lymph fluid flow through the lymphatic system. This disruption causes fluid to accumulate under the skin.
The most common cause of lymphedema is the removal of lymph nodes. It can also be caused by an obstruction that blocks lymph fluid movement. About 1 in 5 women are living with or beyond breast cancer and who have had the lymph nodes in their arms or arms removed during breast cancer treatment will develop lymphedema.
Lymphedema generally develops 3 months to 20 years after cancer treatment. Identifying and treating lymphedema early helps to ensure more rapid improved outcomes. If you look at the lymphatic system, the nodes are located in many parts of the body, including the neck, the armpits and chest, the abdomen and the belly, and the groin areas. And these are the main junctures of our limbs, of our body.
So, these are some joint and limb movements you can do everyday to increase the blood and lymph movement through these areas. Unlike the circulatory system where the heart acts as the pump, the lymphatic system only moves one way upward and away from gravity. I call this the Tin man practice, as we move all the joints from the extremities upwards and inward to the core. We will finish with a simple and effective body tapping, again moving from the periphery inward to the center so we can influence the directional lymph flow.