Course in France and Washington DC Conference

After teaching the Lymphatic Yoga course in France, I went to the National Lymphedema Network (NLN) Conference in  Washington D.C. I sincerely apologize that lately I haven’t posted in the blog. I’ve been traveling so much teaching about Lymphatic Yoga and for while I will write in the blog more sparsely. In addition, I’m writing the second book of the trilogy Lymphatic Yoga! It will be ready soon!

Of course, it was my honor to be talking in London, May 10-11,  at the “20th anniversary MLD Conference” for all seasoned Manual Lymph Drainage therapists, physiotherapists and physicians. Thanks Sherry Fetzer for your support to the Lymphatic Yoga.

Lots of you have asked me about my second book of Lymphatic Yoga. Yes, it’s on the way! It includes several Lymphatic Yoga practical sessions (CD included) not only for those with fully functional Lymphatic System but also for those people with Lymphedema, Lipedema and auto-immune conditions.

 

COURSE IN FRANCE / JULY-201410378096_807511495960932_8530818259757608705_n

Summer was so busy!  In July, I was in France teaching a weeklong Lymphatic    Yoga course. We all had a blast over there! How magical was the experience in the Pyrenees! People from the US and England participated and came out not only with innovative knowledge but also refreshed in body, mind, and spirit! Some of the comments were:

 

 

“It was perfect”

“This course literally changes the perspective of Yoga and your body. It brings you hope!”

“I’ll go next year again! I want do everything again!”

“It was everything I was looking for!”

“My body was different, it was lighter. My skin was silky, almost shining! how different I felt after a week, I’m surprised and amazed.”

“Can’t wait for the next book”

“When will you do the next one?”

“Perfect mix of knowledge, health improvement and vacation. I loved it!

Here are some pictures of our magical experience :

 

 

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Lunch and dinner at Marcevol. Delicious meals in an amazing place!

 

 

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Pure fresh air at Marcevol in the Pyrenees!

 

 

WASHINGTON DC CONFERENCE – NATIONAL LYMPHEDEMA NETWORK CONFERENCE: Sept 3-7

Yes, the capital is beautiful! I’m now in the NLN conference to help bring more awareness to the diseases of the Lymphatic System. If you’re here please introduce yourself to me. I love to meet my readers.  I’ll be posting some pictures from NLN Conference soon!

Have fun!

Love, light and lymph,

Edely Wallace

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I was picking up some apricots at Marcevol!

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This was our Lymphatic Yoga classroom.

 

 

Lipoedema? What is Lipoedema?

 

 

What is lipoedema? Lipoedema is commonly known as the syndrome of the fat legs. Lipoedema is a fat disorder in which, for unknown reasons fat cells grow and multiply abnormally. Today, lipoedema is under diagnosed and has not received attention from research experts.  It’s considered a genetic or hereditary condition. It runs in families. It affects about 15% of women, though this number can be larger due to undiagnosed cases.

 

Dr. Foldi (Foldi’s Textbook of Lymphology) defines Lipoedema as a chronic disease primarily affecting women, which accompanies a symmetrical increase in adipose (fat cells) tissue in the legs. This pathological fat tissue begins in the hips and extends to the ankles. It also involves a hormonal disorder of pituitary-thyroid or pituitary-ovary, according to this iconic pioneer of the Lymphatic System.

 

Lipoedema is like having disproportionally larger legs and buttocks as compared to the trunk. Both legs look heavy and swollen and they keep swelling throughout the day. They also are very sensitive to touch. They hurt. The flesh feels very soft with a rubbery like texture. There is a tendency to have bruises and bleeding from minimal traumas. The skin has a nodular appearance and feeling. Usually feet and arms are not affected. During my training with Dr. Foldi, she also mentioned that depression is another characteristic of lipoedema.

 

Today, lipoedema is understood as a progressive disorder of fatty tissues. It generates an accumulation of fat deposits that also are resistant to any type of diet! So diet or even fast barely affects this pathological fat.

 

Studies show that fatty tissues are not irrigated by lymphatic vessels. However, the accumulation of fat caused by lipoedema progressively compresses the lymphatic vessels. This abnormal deposit of fat reduces the transport capacity of the lymphatic fluid. Over time, there is alteration of the initial lymphatic vessels and the lymph fluid formation is reduced. As a result of lipoedema, swollen tissues, fibrosis and, in later stages necrosis may occur,

 

Untreated or undiagnosed lipoedema usually evolves to lymphedema.

 

How to Deal With Lipoedema?

 

Though diet barely affects lipoedema fat, a controlled diet is important to prevent  gaining additional weight.

 

Up to now there is no cure for Lipoedema. MLD and compression stockings are recommended. Liposuction can be a palliative.The best approach is to exercise and keep moving. For Lipoedema, gentle exercise and breathing techniques are  recommended.

 

Today, pool exercises, gentle walking and, Yoga are recommended for this condition. Yoga is the only form of exercise that involves both gentle exercises and deep breathing techniques.

 

Lymphatic Yoga, however, has superior additional results. Rather than moving the lymph in a random way – as in a general yoga class – Lymphatic Yoga motions and breathings are designed to obey the anatomic sequence of lymphatic flow! This makes all the difference. Try it!

 

Lymphatic Yoga Exercise for Lipoedema

 

I have bellow a simple and effective Lymphatic Yoga exercise you can do everyday, as you wake up. It’s going to help your lymph motion. Remember be gentle with yourself, no forcing or quick motions. Make sure to use the proper diaphragmatic breathing. Please, also let me know the results you have. Go ahead and begin now!

 

a) Breathe in, slowly open your arms at shoulder height, bring your shoulder blades close to each other and lift your chin progressively towards the ceiling. Also place your hands back as far as you comfortably can.  Keep your arms open for 2-3 seconds while you hold your breath.

 

b) Breathe out, slowly and hug yourself as you separate your shoulder blades and simultaneously gently lower your head – chin in towards the space between the collar bones (clavicles). No forcing, do a little less. Keep the position without air for about 2-3 seconds. The motion should be conscious and slowly coordinated with your breathing. The entire exercise should take about 15 seconds. Repeat from 5 to 10 times.

 

London Conference – MLD UK Conference Celebrating 20 years – May 10-11, 2014

I was kindly invited by Sharie Fetzer  – Research Coordinator for Lipoedema UK – to participate in the MLD UK Conference in London this weekend (May 10-11).

 

For this conference, I also just shot a short video with Paige Roberts, in Orlando FL at Yogamatrix Studio! The video contains a short and special sequence of Lymphatic Yoga for those with Lipoedema, as my friend Sharie asked me to do.  The Lymphatic Yoga for Lipoedema video should be available soon, to all members of Lipoedema UK. YAY!

 

Hope to chat with you and answer your questions this weekend in the Lipoedema UK stand, in London. I’m so excited about the growing interest in and awareness of Lymphatic System and its misunderstood conditions – lipoedema and lymphedema. It’s great! Going to the airport now! Love you all!

Love, life and lymph,

Edely

* In the US, lipedema is the term commonly used, in the UK it is referred as lipoedema.

My Trip to the Symposium in Frankfurt & Foeldi Clinic!

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After the Symposium in Frankfurt we were at Foeldi Clinic – (left to right, back row then front) Dr Karen Louise Herbst, Dr Mark Smith, Mike Decker (camera person), Dr Joe Dayan, Sharie Fetzer, Catherine Seo, Prof Dr Foeldi, and I in Hinterzarten, Germany.

 

In the 25 years that I have been researching the Lymphatic System, I have met some wonderful people. Last week I was invited  to a Symposium in Frankfurt (Germany), to discuss Lipedema and the Lymphatic System with some of the world most renowned doctors and researchers from Europe.

Despite my very busy schedule in Florida, I realized I had to go. Yes, for support and also to be part of a wave of change. Change that will benefit those of you who are directly affected by the widespread lack of knowledge that plagues the world of the Lymphatic System, Lipedema and Lymphedema.

Symposium in Frankfurt and Lymphatic Yoga

I was invited to speak about Lymphatic Yoga at the Symposium. I explained how to move the lymph fluid since the heart does not pump it and guided attendees through a short Lymphatic Yoga practice. It was a big success! Thank you to all the physicians, researchers, physical therapists and bloggers for your amazing reception to my Lymphatic Yoga presentation!

I was also blown away by the level of passion this group had for bringing awareness and resolution to the diseases caused by a compromised Lymphatic System.  I am so grateful to be a part of the beginning of something so profound and important!

Foeldi Clinic and Pioneer Dr. FoeldiDr Foeldi offering lunch to us

After the symposium, some of us traveled to see Prof Dr Foeldi at the Foeldi Clinic in Hinterzarten, in the middle of the Black Forest. Beautiful place!

It is always so inspiring to visit Prof Dr Foeldi! She is a pioneer in her area and we couldn’t be this far without her knowledge, dedication and life long work. I’m so moved every time I see Prof Dr Foeldi! She is a living icon in our field! So precious! At the same time, so humble and generous with all. I love her! She spent about six hours of her invaluable time with our group. It was wonderful!

 

The American Doctors in the Forefront of Lymphatic Research

Dr Foeldi, Dr Joe Dayan and Dr Mark Smith

Dr Joseph Dayan, Dr. Mark Smitn and Dr Foeldi after the Symposium in Frankfurt

Also moved by Prof Dr Foeldi presence and stature, Dr. Mark Smith (Chief of Plastic Surgery at Beth Israel Medical Center and Director of Plastic Surgery for Continuum Cancer Centers of New York ) and his colleague Dr. Joseph Dayan  introduced to Prof Dr Foeldi their cutting-edge work with lymph nodes. At the Beth Israel Medical Center both surgeons transfer vascularized lymph nodes from an healthy area of the body to the area affected with lymphedema. This is a dream work for those with lymphedema! At the end, Prof Dr Foeldi showered them with compliments for their work. It was a big deal!

 

We also were fortunate to have Dr. Karen Herbst – endocrinologist in fat disorder and   lipedema – who brought light to this misunderstood disease, in which diets are not effective. Great work Dr. Karen!

Prof Dr Foldi and Dr. Karen Herbst

Prof Dr Foeldi and Dr. Karen Herbst

 

Visiting Lymphedema / Lipedema Patients with Prof Dr Foeldi

At the end of the day, both Sharie Fetzer (Lipoedema UK, Research Co-ordinator) and I were invited to accompany Prof Dr Foeldi, the next day, in her morning visit to lipedema and lymphedema patients at the Foeldi Klinik.

After that, Prof Dr Foeldi suggested that I do a research about the benefits of Lymphatic Yoga for those with lymphedema. Great idea Prof Foeldi! Thank you!  Such research  is on the horizon with the help of my friend Sharie Fetzer from Lipoedema UK.

It was an honor to meet with Prof Dr. Foeldi and to meet many other dedicated souls, last week.  Thank you Catherine Seo for putting together and organizing these meetings! You’re changing history!

Our mission has grown legs and we can all feel something big is on the horizon.  We each brought something so incredible to the table and together we lit a torch to move faster.

See you soon,

Love, Light and Lymph,

Edely

Sharie Fetzer (Lipoedema UK, research coordinator) and Edely

Sharie Fetzer (Lipoedema UK, research coordinator) and I, after spending the morning seeing patients with Prof Dr Foeldi.

 

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

 

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