Lymphedema

Lymphedema Oils & Blends:  Cypress, Grapefruit, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Melaleuca, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary

Also consider:  Thyme, Wild Orange

Suggested protocols:

The lymph system is the major tool the body has to collect and rid itself of toxins.  If lymphedema or local swelling of lymph nodes is present it often is an indication of a disease or distress in the body.  It is important to identify this root cause of the problem.  To reduce the immediate discomforts of lymphedema a number of techniques that have been suggested and are listed below.  The severity of lymphedema can vary widely so one or more of these protocols may apply to any situation.

Strengthening protocols:

Life Long Vitality supplements – Take these consistently to build a foundation of body strength.

Massage Blend Technique – Periodically apply the Massage Blend Technique because this protocol, with the essential oils used, is designed to strengthen the immune system and bring the body to homeostasis.

Individual Essential Oils – Helichrysum, Lemon, and other oils not only cleanse but help to strengthen the lymph system.

Internal cleansing protocols:

Lemon essential oil – Drink ample water each day, at least 4 – 6 cups, with 1-3 drops of Lemon added.

Detoxification Blend cleanse – Use Detoxification Blend Detoxification Complex and Detoxification Blend Blend as described on a daily basis to facilitate a more efficient lymphatic system. This is a mild cleanse for the liver and the other cleansing organs of the body.

Individual Essential Oils – A number of suggested protocols are included in the experiences of others.  The following is one of those:

•  2T carrier oil (originally I used EVOO and it worked well for me)

•  10 drops Lemongrass

•  6 drops Lavender

•  5 drops Roman Chamomile

•  1 drop Cinnamon (because it increases the effectiveness of other oils)

Topical cleansing protocols:

Direct topical –

•  For mild local swelling apply Lavender or Lime directly to the swollen area

•  1 or 2 drops of Peppermint to bottoms of feet stimulates lymphatic flow

MLD or Manual Lymph Drainage – This is spoken of as the first protocol for difficult lymphedema.  It is best done by a professional massage therapist. This is a gentle touch massage designed to assist the lymphatic system eliminate toxins by unblocking any obstructed vessels.  At the same time it strengthens  the lymph system.

Lymphatic massage or self massage – This uses the same principles as MLD but allows those that require this help often to care for themselves at home.  Again it is best to receive assistance and training from a professional.

Essential Oils – Use essential oils with lymphatic massage by topically applying 1-5 drops (depending on area involved) and gently dispersing over the area and allowing to absorb before massaging.  Cypress, Grapefruit, Lavender, and Peppermint are all mentioned as beneficial.  Massage Blend blend contains all these oils and is an excellent choice.

Also noted is the benefit of using FCO with the massage to increase absorption.  Also Detoxification Blend added on the lower legs improved results.

Differences – MLD or any lymphatic massage differs from muscle or deep tissue massage in the following ways:

•    Gentle with very little pressure. Primary motion moves the skin, rather than a sliding action over the skin.  This stimulates lymph vessels that lie just below the surface of the skin.

•    No massage oil is used or if essential oils are used let them absorb for a few minutes so the gentle movement of the skin is achieved.

•    Lymph flow is from the extremities to the trunk (heart) of the body.  The massage movements are always towards the trunk but clearing of blockage needs to start at the trunk and move to the extremities.  Therefore, the massage stimulation starts near the truck of the body and moves to the extremities but the motions are generally from the extremity to the trunk.

Motions that may be used:

•  Gently press fingers, move skin in circular motion, release.

•  Fingers tight together, gently press, stretch skin by moving fingers apart, twist and release.

•  Gentle sweeping motion toward the trunk.  Usually the final strokes of the procedure.

Baths or soaking protocols:

Full bath – Here is one Lymph Detoxification Bath found successful:

•  1c Epsom salts

•  4 drops Lemongrass

•  4 drops Lavender

•  4 drops Roman Chamomile

•  1 drop Cinnamon

•  Mix salt and oils together thoroughly then add to hot water, soak till warm. Hydrate often with 1-2 drops of Lemon essential oil in water

Foot bath – Using the same oils as the full bath or consider:

•  1/4 cup of Epsom salt

•  5 drops Lemon or Lime

•  5 drops of Melaleuca

•  Add to hot water, soak feet until water cools

Lymphedema is characterized by swelling of one of the limbs of the body caused by an accumulation of lymph fluids as the lymph system is unable to properly transport and dispose of them.  Although both arms or both legs may be affected more commonly it is in just one.  Lymphedema differs from edema (see more below) in that the fluid causing the swelling is from the lymph system rather than the circulatory system.  A number of factors may cause this build up of lymphatic fluid.

Primary lymphedema is the term used to describe a fundamental flaw in the functioning of the lymphatic system.  This may be from birth (congenital lymphedema) or from disease (lymphedema praecox, Meige disease, Milroy disease).

Much more common is secondary lymphedema.  In these situations the lymph system has been damaged or partly removed in some area of the body.  The swelling will occur in the area of the body serviced by this non-functioning part of the lymph system.  Most commonly today this damage comes from medical procedures related to cancer treatment.  This can include lymph gland removal, direct radiation, collateral radiation, or other procedures.  Vascular surgery and scar excisions may also damage the lymph system.

Outside the US a parasite, Wuchereria bancrofti, transmitted by mosquitoes near and in tropical areas, causes a form of lymphedema termed filariasis.  Severe swelling of the leg, arm, or genital area may occur.

see the Lymphatic System tab above for more detailed information about the lymphatic system.

Edema, Lymphedema, and Lipedema

Edema is caused by excessive fluids from the circulatory system accumulating in the tissues of the body.  This may be the body’s normal response to an injury that causes temporary swelling or a problem with the heart or circulatory system that results in longer term swelling.  If the swollen area is pressed with the finger and removed the mark will soon disappear.  This is known as nonpitting edema.  A diuretic may help nonpitting edema.

Lymphedema is caused by excessive lymphatic fluids in an area of the body.  This is usually because the lymphatic system is impaired and unable to handle the amount of fluid present thus causing swelling.  These areas may be subject to infection or slow healing.  In the early stages if the swollen area is pressed with the finger and removed a mark will remain for an extended period of time.  This is known as pitting edema.  Lymphedema will not respond to a diuretic.

Lipedema affects primarily women and may be associated with genetics and hormones.  The symptoms are enlarged legs and buttocks as fat is abnormally deposited in the layer below the skin.  These fat accumulations do to not respond directly to normal dieting and exercise.

Note * – The information on this website is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have used essential oils and has not been reviewed by those that have used essential oils and has not been reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious Medical Concerns consult your doctor. Please treat this website for reference purpose only.