lymphodoema I’ve just been diagnosed with lymphodoema and want to try to manage it without using a pressure sleeve. I already do arm exercises and use moisturiser, and I’ve now launched a daily swimming routine. I’m also going to learn lymph drainage self-massage. Does anyone have any other tips?

Sorry to hear you’ve been diagnosed with lymphodoema. Did that happen quite quickly? Presumably your arm has become swollen?

I find that when I’m poorly with the chemo and not using my arm much, its pretty much ok. But when I’m busy and using my arm normally, it very quickly feels bruised and tender and aches and I have to spend time lying on my back with my arm in the air, very gently brushing downwards. Is this this self-massage you refer to or is there some other technique you could let us know about?

I go to sleep with my arm on a pillow to try and keep it slightly raised. Don’t know if that will help?

Good luck with the treatment.

self-massage Hi Ravinia
My lymphodoema came up about seven months after my treatment had finished. And the swelling appeared overnight, during the summer heatwave.

What you’re doing for your swelling sounds very effective. I do put my arm above my head raised on four pillows for a while when I’m lying down for an hour or so before sleeping. What I was referring to, though, is called simple lymphatic drainage, which you need to be trained to do for yourself. It lasts about 20 minutes and you have to do it every day. It drains the lymph away from the swollen areas. My alternative practitioner is going to teach me to do it next week.

There’s a useful booklet from BCC called Living with Lymphodoema after cancer treatment.


self-help video/dvd You can get the above video/dvd from The Lymphoedema Support Network 020 7351 4480. The price of the dvd is £12. There is a demonstration of SLD (simple lymphatic drainage) technique, exercises, application of compression garments and skin care routine.


MLD I looked at your profile, how often do you go for MLD? Do you get it on the NHS?