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Published on Dec 10, 2013
The lymphatic system is part of our immune system and consists of tiny vessels, smaller than arteries and veins, which produce, store and carry white blood cells that fight infection and disease. So problems with the lymphatic system can impair the body's ability to fight infections. We all should be aware of maintaining a healthy lymphatic system.
Lymphedema occurs when there is an impairment and the lymphatic fluids collect in the tissues and pool, causing swelling. Lymphedema is a common side-effect of breast cancer surgery, and so maintaining a healthy flow is even more important for breast cancer survivors. Exercise is very important in keeping the flow of the lymphatic system healthy because the movements of the muscles stimulate the flow of the lymph. However, not ALL exercise is appropriate.
For about 15 years I was the Executive Director of a nonprofit that worked to improve the quality of life for breast cancer survivors. During that time I created a Lymphatic Flow Series that is gentle and can be done seated. I have been teaching it to all my cancer students, as well as all of my basic yoga students and at workshops ever since. Before you begin this series, you should consult with your health practitioner about your own personal situation. For those at risk for, or who already have lymphedema, you might need to wear a sleeve when exercising, so make sure you check before you begin.
You will not need any special equipment fro this series. Wear comfortable clothes and the entire routine will be done seated, so make sure your chair is stable and solid.