I should have written this post more than one week ago, to document the progress since that I have introduced a few changes in the beginning of August. Here it is now; I hope you will get something useful and inspiring out of it, because I am experiencing amazing results.
Results between August 5-September 5:
1. I lost serious inches from my waist down to knees. Normally I am slim but since August 2014, with the beginning of my lymphedema adventure, not only my legs became thick but other places as well. And now:
2. No more itching on my legs: that was one very unpleasant accompanying symptom of lymphedema;
3. No tingling either: before, seconds after that I took off my compression garments for the evening shower, they came, all those pins and needles, ouch! It took a good while resting in the bed when it stopped, but sometimes it was so bad that the tingling made it difficult for me to sleep;
4. The skin color on the lower legs improved a LOT: before, it used to be often reddish, and purple by the end of the shower – now it hardly ever has some strange color;
5. No more hot feeling and tender skin on lower legs
6. I feel much more fresh, had only a very few sluggish days – maybe 2, in 4 weeks, including very hot summer days;
7. I have more energy, I can climb up the hill on the way home in the night much easier – before it happened often that by the end of the day, I could hardly drag myself up there;
8. My skin is overall better, on my face and on my body, too;
9. The edema in my knees is hardly detectable any more!!!! They are smaller, bend MUCH easier and it’s only mostly just some fat;
10. Both of my legs reduced a little bit in size: I didn’t measure it, but there are significant differences in how my pants look and feel on them.
11. Pelvic lymphedema disappeared: the lymphedema from my legs apparently has spread higher and I used to have “cushions” and “half swimming rings” popping up here and there in the pelvic area and belly up to my waist, randomly and with a light, pitting edema – now I am again close to my normal almost-six-pack (mind you: I am a singer, that’s why those stone muscles).
12. No more pain in my feet – gosh, I am so happy about this!!! Before, I couldn’t walk or stand without some sharp pain shooting from my soles, especially the balls of my feet for more than maybe 20 minutes, sometimes even much shorter! Even in comfy trainer shoes, I had to stop, lift one foot after the other up to give them a rest, while almost screaming from pain. How is that for a dancer?
But now, I didn’t even notice since how many days, I can walk or stand around with no problem, in the same shoes. About one week ago, I was out walking for 6 hours, with a break of let’s say 40 minutes – and my feet were alright! Tired, but I could still climb the hill back to my place okay.
13. A chronically enlarged lymph node reduced to normal size. In April, one lymph node in my left groin almost exploded: it blew up overnight to 2.8cm (1 inch). Then within the next few weeks, it reduced to its original size. It had been always bigger than all the others, I remember I could already feel it when I was a little girl. Now I can’t find it!
14. Since the onset of lymphedema, in the course of one year some more ugliness has developed: warts on the right foot (my original lymphedema side), and seven of them! Now they are either smaller or even have disappeared! i can only find five of them.
Isn’t this a terrific improvement? I am so excited to see how it goes further! And if I will be able to make more healthy changes, yay, I can already see those mini skirts, heels and sandals!
“Andrea, what have you been doing, please, please share your secrets!” – I can hear you begging. Okay, here it is:
This is what I was (and am) doing that brought these results:
- I started to drink 2 liters of water a day with SALT. Yes you read it right. Salt. One small pinch of pink Himalayan salt to a cup (2.5dl=8oz) water. I will write another post about this, so just shortly now, why did I get crayh-zy to have extra salt when everyone says and everyone knows that salt is bad for you! Especially with edema, you need to lower your sodium intake. Right.However: a) if you only drink lots of water without the right amount of salt, the fluids in your body will go out of balance. One doesn’t need to be a big scientist to observe that when a patient cannot intake food and water, in the hospital they give him saline solution intravenously and not only water, to keep the body functioning. b) Not every salt is the same, and while it is true that the white crystal sold as table salt, will not do too much good for you, more complex salts such as Himalayan salt or Celtic salt, contain an array of minerals that the body needs, in the proportion it needs.The 2 liters of water is not a strict amount: when I sing for longer hours or when it is really hot or when I drink coffee, I will have more water. And this is what I have calculated as to how much water I would need: a rule that I have read about in several places is that you need to drink half of your body weight, in ounces. How to calculate?I started with about 60kg=132. something pounds => half of that is 66 => 66oz is about 2 liters or 2 US quart.You can order it through this link or you can see in your local health store if they have it.
- I also drink 2 or sometimes 3 cups of Ahmad Detox Tea. Before, I used to be a huge green or sometimes black tea drinker, but now I find this one even better than white tea. On the days when I don’t have all my 2 liters of salt water, I would have 1 bag of this this detox tea in half liter water, instead of just a normal cup.I picked up this tea “by chance”: they are selling it here in the Czech Republic in a few grocery stores and the clean look of the box was calling me to take it from the shelf. The ingredients list sounded good to me: Dandelion, Fennel, Birch leaves, Ginger, Rosemary, Peppermint, Nettle, Sweet blackberry leaves. No caffeine, which is said to be bad for lymphedema.
- Dry brushing my skin before the shower, at least once a day. There will be another post about that too, for now briefly; I brush my entire body with a small brush, before taking a shower. Starting from the toes and move upward; on my arms start from my fingertips; on my neck with downward motions.The rule is simple: toward the heart. I do this every day at least once. It takes 5-10 minutes, depends on how much time I want to spend on it.
- EFT tapping: this is something that I have not heard much of, in connection with lymphedema. But I have been using tapping sporadically for the past almost 4 years, for different stress related issues, and it is wonderful. Without a lecture on EFT (=Emotional Field Therapy; you might want to watch this video first to see what is it about, if you are not familiar with the subject), this is the procedure I started with and am still doing sometimes:
Watch this video on YouTube and see the Description for more info
I did this a few times, and I take up with the same method other topics, issues that apparently have nothing to do with my lymphedema at all – yet I feel each time that something has changed just a little bit, either physically or emotionally. I like these videos and writings from Brad Yates, I only discovered his channel in the beginning of the period I am writing about here, and I started doing this right away.
That’s basically it, this is all what I have been doing, beside wearing the compression stockings daytime. I have not done any other, standard treatment which is recommended by the doctors or therapists (I don’t have insurance and as my life is nowadays, I could not fit the wrappings, massages and other procedures into my budget yet).
Because I started with these four things about the same time, I can’t tell which one of them had the biggest impact. This seems to be working for me so far, in combination.
Oh and this I must admit, I have these results despite of that:
a) on many of these days, I am eating quite bad: lots of carbs. Not big amounts and I generally don’t eat much, but an entire piece of my favorite chocolate goes down within minutes, almost every day… mmm… yummy…
But also lots of fresh fruits, surely more than 1 kilogram per day; of watermelon it was 2 or 3kg and ahh, my legs were grateful for it!
Overall though, there is plenty of space for improving my diet 😉
b) I am not doing basically any exercise at all… Most of my days I am spending in front of a desktop computer, which means ordinary sitting on a chair, which is quasi forbidden for lymphedema legs! (That’s the only device I have access to in the hostel where I am staying, my laptop is practically dead – warning, here is a pitch: if you know someone who is in the position of throwing a workable laptop on me, please let me know, my legs and I would be absolutely grateful!)
Other than sitting, I sing 1 to 2 hours most nights, that means standing – again, not good for lymphie legs. And I walk to and back home from my gigs. Sometimes I would go for a walk, plus I am going up and down the stairs here in the hostel all the time, staying on the 3rd or 4th floor.
c) My sleep pattern is horrible – I don’t even dare to tell about that… I do sleep 6-7-8 hours per day, but… let me rather don’t talk about it.
You see, even without doing almost anything of the standard treatment options for lymphedema (except for the compression garment), a tremendous betterment can be achieved with “alternative methods” only. And for sure, it will be even much better when I can combine the two, plus when I will have a really healthy diet, good sleep and sufficient exercise.
I think I am achieving these great improvements because I am not only trying to treat my legs, meaning: trying to deal with only some symptom in an affected body part – but these four things that I am doing (1. drinking plenty of water with a little pink salt, 2. drinking a herbal tea mix, 3. dry brushing my whole body and 4. EFT tapping to release energy blocks created by emotions, wherever they might be in my body), are targeting my entire system. And if I as a whole, am healing in body, mind and soul, obviously my individual body parts must be healing, too.
I am not trying to be smarter than the medical profession; in fact, I have no any education in the field (except for whatever I have been learning by myself from books, lectures, articles and such), therefore let’s Plato speak:
“The cure of many diseases is unknown to physicians because they are ignorant of the whole… For the part can never be well unless the whole is well.”
I hope you found this helpful. Have you tried any of these steps? What were your experiences? Please tell us in a comment.
Be happy and healthy,
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