It has been 3 years since the surgery that removed my sentinel lymph nodes (2 nodes). My arm and lymph nodes are not the same. I don’t think you would say I have lymphodemia but it is clear that my arm, my under arm and lymph nodes in that area are not quite right.
I have one hard node that popped up almost a year after the surgery and have one very painful (almost feels like I am inserting a pin into my arm when I touch it) raised node. I notice that they are more raised when I am fighting something or haven’t been exercising. (The radiation poisoning that I had at the end of the summer really made this problem worse. It has improved a lot but still not back to where I was prior to this incident.) I have had one Thermogram which came back normal. I will get another one this year. I also had an MRI and ultrasound which were both inconclusive. The recommendation was biopsies which I refused. (That is another story). That was when I checked with my alternative doctors and did the Thermogram. My main focus now is to stay healthy and centered in my mind so I will know intuitively if I need to take action.
What I am feeling is that my lymphatic drainage has been disrupted since the operation. My arm gets very sore and is painful to stretch when I am not on doing my usual exercise routine which includes weights, cardio, rebounding and sauna. I try to rebound every day that I am not exercising and try to do 2 good workouts with the sauna each week. When I follow this regime my arm doesn’t hurt and the nodes seem to smaller and less painful.
The more I read about rebounding the more I understand why it is so important for people, like myself, with lymphatic issues. It helps to move lymphatic fluid and detoxes the body. I have had my mini rebounder for years. I bought it for about $100 and I used it for exercising but then it became a child toy for my step-daughter and her friends. Starting it again lately I notice that I have had to work up to the 10 minutes as it is easy to become dizzy and tired afterwards. (Now I read where 15 minutes is optimal.) It is starting to really click now in my head that my lymph system needs some help. When I stop my routine (exercise, rebounding, sauna) my lymph nodes become clogged and painful. Starting up again makes me exhausted as I imagine the detox takes a toll on my system. If I do it regularly it is easy and I feel energized afterwards.
How it works
The lymphatic system, commonly summarized as the “garbage disposal of the body,” relies completely on our conscious movement. Unlike the cardiovascular system with the heart automatically pumping fluid, the lymph system relies on our body movements as a pump.
Movement turns on the garbage disposal – without movement that forces the lymphatic fluid to drain, toxins collect stagnantly in the lymph instead of leaving the body. Any type of exercise, such as walking, weight lifting or swimming, helps flush toxins in the lymph.
But rebounding is by far the most effective movement therapy for increasing lymph flow and draining toxins from the body. Many natural health practitioners recommend daily rebounding as a gentle detox technique or weight loss aid (more on that below). Due to the up-down movement, lymphatic fluid is forced to flow and flush toxins.
- Strengthens the heart
- Improves circulation
- Stimulates the flow of the lymphatic system
- Helps slow the effects of aging
- Revitalizes vision
- Reduces stress
- Supports bone health and bone strength
- Helps with cellulite
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The sauna is also very important as sweating out the toxins is essential to a clean lymph system. I have always had a problem sweating so I find the sauna to be amazing. I seem to be able to withstand a lot of exercise and heat before I begin to sweat so I can sit in the sauna for about 10 minutes before I begin to drip. For that reason I stay in for about 15 minutes and then shower off the releases toxins when I am done.
There is also infrared saunas which have additional health benefits. I would love to use one on a regular basis but that is not feasible for me. I have done some sessions in an infrared sauna (POD) years ago to help speed the cancer detox and it really helped with the horrible rashes I had. I really wanted to buy one – but again not feasible for me so I found a gym with a traditional sauna and use it regularly.
I also tried hot yoga to sweat and I did sweat! After 90 minutes in a hot hot room you are bound to start dripping. It really felt good. What I didn’t like was not being able to take a shower right afterward, the price and the lack of childcare as I have my son with me most of the time (now 3).
I LOVE the way I feel after exercise and 15 minutes in the sauna! I leave the gym feeling like I just got a full body massage. I feel so relaxed and awesome. Generally I am full of energy EXCEPT the times when I am starting my routine after a long break – then I feel kind of drained. Not many people at my gym have discovered how amazing the sauna is as I am usually in there by myself. Occasionally people come in fully clothed or after their shower to let their lotion sink into their skin (???) Obviously most people don’t know the health benefits of a sauna and that it is used for detoxing and that it is best to shower AFTER your visit (not before).
How it works
Using a sauna to raise your body’s temperature has a cascading effect, including
- creating an artificial fever, which…
- activates your immune system, and this
- increases white blood cell activity, thus
- killing bacteria in the process.
Heat therapy, also known as fever therapy or hypothermia, is an effective way to help your body kill bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses.
In his book Sauna Therapy for Detoxification and Healing, sauna expert Dr. Lawrence Wilson wrote:
“Heating the body several degrees causes greatly increased circulation as the body attempts to maintain its basal temperature. This helps to dislodge toxins, especially from hard-to-reach areas such as teeth, bones and sinuses.”
He went on to say that many pathological organisms (virus, bacteria) are heat-sensitive, and a sauna’s heat may weaken or kill them altogether.
- Relieves stress
- Relaxes muscles, soothe aches & pain in the muscles and the joints
- Flushes toxins
- Cleanses skin
- Induces a deeper sleep
- Improves cardiovascular performance
- Burns calories
- Fights illness
I had been told repeatedly that my lymphatic system needed support (from my nutrition center – Advance Nutrition which uses the Bodyscan Spectravision technology). Patricia at Advance Nutrition would tell me at each visit that I needed to sweat and rebound. I think I am finally getting the message and realize how much better I feel when I do these things regularly. Sometimes it takes a while to start a new habit and it is always easier to make changes little by little. Healing is a lifelong process.