Lipoedema UK Conference 2015

Greetings to my loyal readers!  I am so excited to be in to London. I got here yesterday  for the LIPOEDEMA UK CONFERENCE 2015!  I’m going to speak about Lymphatic Yoga for those with Lipoedema.  Lipoedema is a fat and lymphatic disorder mainly ignored by the medical establishment. It’s time to change it! Tomorrow, we’re also going to initiate a trial study for those with Lipoedema  and Lymphatic Yoga.  We’ll share the results of this study in the 2015 World Lymphology Conference in S. Francisco next September.

Thank you to Sharie Fetzer (Lipoedema Uk president) for organizing this Conference with the presence of other lymph therapists, Prof. Dr. Mortimer and lipoedema patients.

There will be “conversation and Lymphatic Yoga practice” with me.  During this talk I will be discussing these points:

  •  What is Lymphatic Yoga
  •  Why we should practice it
  •  How it can affect Lipoedema conditions
  •  Lymphatic Yoga practice
  •  Q & A
To my friends who cannot attend this conference, be EXCITED!  I am committed to bringing you this information.
I will be sharing the questions and answers with you on my blog and Facebook page.
I will be back by the end of the month and will be sharing every piece of pertinent information I hear and know.
We are all in this together and we all deserve to learn.
Stay tuned because this is only getting better.
Dinner picture with Sharie Fetzer, Dr Foldi, Dr.Mark Smith and Catherine Seo in New York. I spoke about Lymphatic Yoga in the next day in the Conference at Beth Israel Hospital April/2015
Sharie Fetzer, Dr.Mark Smith, Edely Wallace, Dr. Foldi, Catherine Seo and Rodney Fetzer

Sharie Fetzer, Dr.Mark Smith, Edely Wallace, Dr. Foldi, Catherine Seo and Rodney Fetzer. Dinner in New York before the Conference at Beth Israel Hospital last April

All my love,

The New Era of the Lymphatic System Arrived!

Great News!!! The new era of the Lymphatic System just arrived! And it was my birthday! Last week, this stunning news about the previously unknown connection between the Lymphatic System function and the brain (Nervous System) came out! IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY GIFT FROM THE UNIVERSE!!! For the first time, neuroscientists found lymph vessels in the brain area! This incredible system is finally getting some of the credit it deserves for connecting us to our health. This is quite a serendipitous moment in my life and life work!

I am beyond thrilled to say that we now scientifically know that brain diseases (Alzheimer’s, MS, and also Auto Immune Diseases) may be connected to a poor function of the Lymphatic System!!  Recently discovered lymph vessels in the brain area are pointed out as responsible for not effectively removing protein particles from the brain. Protein accumulation in the brain causes Alzheimer’s and possibly auto-immune conditions, according to the research at the University of Virginia.

But, let’s see the exciting news that came out last week to understand better what is going on in our scientific world and Lymphatic System function!

Excerpts of  The Guardian Article Based on the Research Published by Nature last week

“Newly discovered vessels beneath skull could link brain and nervous system. Decades of textbook teaching could be overturned by discovery…  Scientists have discovered a previously unknown link between the brain and the immune system that could help explain links between poor physical health and brain disorders including Alzheimer’s and depression.

The discovery of vessels, nestled just beneath the skull, overturns decades of textbook teaching and could pave the way for new approaches to treating brain diseases. The scientists behind the discovery described their surprise at having uncovered a major anatomical structure that until now had been entirely overlooked.

“These vessels were just not supposed to be there based on what we know,” said Jonathan Kipnis, who led the work at the University of Virginia. “I thought the body was mapped and that these discoveries ended somewhere around the middle of the last century. But apparently they have not.”

Kevin Lee, a neuroscientist at the University of Virginia and a co-author of the paper, said: “The first time these guys showed me the basic result, I just said one sentence: ‘They’ll have to change the textbooks.’ There has never been a lymphatic system for the central nervous system, and it was very clear from that first singular observation.”


The green color represents the new discovered lymphatic vessels in the skull area! What a great discovery! Thank you to the neuroscientists at the University of Virginia (USA)!



Also See Excerpts from the Business Insider Article based on the Lymphatic System Function:

Antoine Louveau was looking through his microscope at thin membranes that protect the brain when he saw something that absolutely shouldn’t be there: a lymphatic vessel.

“All the textbooks said there were not supposed to be any lymphatic vessels in that area,” said Louveau, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Virginia. But after he and UVA neuroscientist Jonathan Kipnis ran a battery of tests, they discovered Louveau had been right. “It was exactly what we thought it couldn’t be,” Louveau said.

The elusive lymphatic vessel hid in plain sight, throughout decades of research, because it was very small and tucked behind a major blood vessel.

Experts greeted the resulting study, published Monday in the journal Nature, with a mixture of excitement and caution. The main hurdles: Other researchers must replicate the work and confirm the vessel exists in humans, since the study primarily examined mouse brains.

lymphatic system discoveryCourtesy University of VirginiaThe old map of the lymphatic system, left, which didn’t connect to the brain, and the updated map based on the new discovery.


Staci Bilbo, a Duke University neuroscientist who studies connections between the brain and the immune system, wasn’t involved in the study but quickly heard about it when several colleagues emailed her. “It’s generating quite a bit of excitement in the field,” she said.

Maiken Nedergaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who discovered a related system in the brain in 2012 (and also wasn’t involved in the work) said she was “pretty excited” but “not awfully surprised.”

Still, Nedergaard said the implications for diseases involving the brain and the immune system — not only Alzheimer’s and MS, but also meningitis — could be significant. “It gives us a new tool,” she said. “In biology and medicine, if you understand something, you [can start to] find new targets for treatments.”

Scientists used to think that the brain was totally cut off from the immune system and that if immune cells were found there, “something was going wrong,” Kipnis told the Scientist.

Work by Nedergaard and others has changed that in recent years, but a lot of confusion about how the brain and the immune system communicated remained, since there seemed to be no direct access. How did immune cells get in, and how did they leave? No one knew.

The new study stands to resolve this and lead to new understanding of and treatments for vexing diseases.

Take multiple sclerosis (MS), for example, a mysterious ailment that affects about 2.3 million people worldwide. Many researchers believe whatever triggers its attacks on nerves in the spine, brain, and eye starts in the body and somehow moves to the brain, Bilbo said. “This [discovery] suggests MS might actually start in the brain,” she said. “It reverses our understanding of that pathology.”

Then there are neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. The new vessel might be a good place to look for something going wrong. “In Alzheimer’s, there are accumulations of big protein chunks in the brain,” Kipnis said in a statement. “We think they may be accumulating in the brain because they’re not being efficiently removed by these vessels.”

Read more:

Conclusion of this Astonishing Discovery: I Can’t Wait!

I am so happy with the new era of the Lymphatic System!  ”Kipnis also noted that these vessels look different with age, so the role they play in aging is another avenue to explore.”

There is so much more to be “scientifically” discovered about the Lymphatic System function that I can’t wait! 

In fact, through our Lymphatic Yoga practice, many practitioners have reported considerable or total improvement of their auto-immune conditions. As an example, I, myself was plagued with several auto-immune conditions in the past, including lupus. Today, I don’t have any symptoms, what baffles my doctors!

Also rejuvenation, a better state of mind, and wide spread weight loss are  the results of  those who regularly participate in our Lymphatic Yoga classes. Because the Lymphatic System was minimally studied before, even in the Medical Schools , we know that there is so much more hidden at plain sight.

So, Lymphatic Yoga becomes the safe form of exercise to drain the proteins and debris of the brain. As we know the Lymphatic System function tends to sluggish because our hearts do not pump the lymph fluid. The lymph fluid , which is very rich in protein, is mainly pumped by correct breathing and muscle motion. So, if you are not both breathing properly and doing a physical exercise based on the physiology of the LS – like Lymphatic Yoga – chances are that you are accumulating protein in the body and brain. Over the years the accumulation of debris, metabolic waste and protein will age the body and create an array of diseases, including Alzheimer’s,

The Lymphatic System, up to now,  was so totally ignored!

Though this system cleanses, nourishes and defends (immune function) all the other body’s systems, the LS went unnoticed and as a result of it, completely neglected. So, I can’t wait! This is just the beginning of a new era of a less invasive health care system. A health care system based on the Lymphatic System (LS) functions and the quality of the lymphatic fluid motion.  A health care system less dependent on drugs, chemistry and unnecessary surgeries.

Now, it’s the time for the “Cinderella” system of the body to be crowned as the most precious system of the body. I can’t wait for our scientists to discover all the other amazing functions of the Lymphatic System. Of course, when it is moving properly. Today, we know that Lymphatic Yoga does the job that heart does not do to renew and move the LS.

I want to send a heartfelt thank you to all the neuroscientists at the University of Virginia for their pioneering and game changing work! You’re creating conditions for people to take care of their own health with less drugs, chemistry and sometimes devastating side effects. You are helping people to realize how important it is to keep the lymph fluid flowing to prevent Alzheimer’s and many auto-immune/neurological conditions. You are my heroes! I’m praying for you to keep up your amazing work that now creates the new medicine for our future.

Much love to all!





Symposium on Lipedema

It is so great to connect again! I’m preparing to go to the Symposium on Lipedema next week! I am also working on finishing the second Lymphatic Yoga book right now.

I’m so glad to  be speaking and demonstrating Lymphatic Yoga at the “1st International Symposium on Lipedema” in New York (NY) at the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital. The conference is held on April 17 & 18 and I speak on Saturday April 18th, 2015. The Symposium is sponsored by the “Friedman Center for Lymphedema Research & Treatment” and his Director Dr. Mark L. Smith, MD, FACS.

You are invited!! If you’re in the area, please join us. We would love to see you!

A selfie, Catherine Seo, Dr. Mark Smith and Edely Wallace during the NLN conference last Sept in Washington DC

A selfie, Catherine Seo, Dr. Mark Smith and Edely Wallace during the NLN Conference last September in Washington DC


Thank you to Catherine Seo and Dr. Mark Smith for putting on this amazing symposium to further awareness and research about Lipedema. And of course a special appreciation to be sharing the stage with our keynote speaker, Dr. Földi from the Földi Clinic in Germany and also Dr. Stanley Rockson MD from Stanford University. Sharie Fetzer from Lipedema UK is also co-sharing the event. I’m so happy to see all our friends!

Hope you are also connecting with our Facebook! We have new quotes and gentle reminders for you to take care of your mighty Lymphatic System.  Stay tuned!

Much love to all,


Please click in the flyer below to learn more about the Symposium on Lipedema in New York.



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 :



photo 3

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




Pure fresh air at Marcevol in the Pyrenees!




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


I was picking up some apricots at Marcevol!


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,


* 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!


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,


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:




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.




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!