Yoga for lymphedema is no longer new. Besides, the practice of yoga, which is believed to originate in Northern India, has been around for decades. While many of us are aware of the benefits of yoga in improving flexibility and muscle strength, not too many knows that yoga can also benefit those with lymphedema.
About 140 million people all over the globe are affected by lymphedema. Characterized by the accumulation of fluid in certain parts of the body, lymphedema can be due to heredity or trauma. In many cases, it is caused by obstruction of the lymphatic flow.
Although lymphedema is not life-threatening, it can cause disability and discomfort especially as the swelling progresses. It can lead to severe fatigue and when left untreated, it can lead to more serious conditions like elephantiasis.
How Yoga Can Help
Yoga for lymphedema involves gentle body movements that can promote the free flow of body fluids. It is important to keep on breathing while practicing yoga for lymphedema as it strengthens the diaphragm which also facilitates the free flow of the lymph.
Wearing of compression garments is also highly recommended while doing the yoga for lymphedema to ensure better flow of the lymph in the body.
Yoga Poses For Lymphedema
If you’ve been considering yoga to deal with your lymphedema, then here are some poses that can highly benefit you:
Legs Up The Wall Pose
As its name implies, this pose involves lying on the floor and raising the legs against the wall. Doing this pose regularly for about 60 to 120 seconds can help in relieving the swelling especially on the feet.
Modified Cat Pose
Performed by standing on the hands and feet in a tabletop pose with an inward stretch (this would look like someone’s pulling your torso), the modified cat pose can help in improving the flow of accumulated fluid in your arms.
Standing Half Forward Bend Pose
If the swelling affects your neck, head, and limbs, then the standing half forward bend pose can help. In performing this pose, you begin with your feet slightly apart. You then slowly bend your body forward in a horizontal position and stretch your hands in front of you.
It may take some time for you to notice the effects of yoga for lymphedema but it’s definitely worth a shot.