Lymphatic Flow for Breast Cancer – in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Linda Anne Kahn CLT-LANA Internationally certified Dr. Vodder’s Lymphedema Therapist

What is the importance of the lymphatic system?

Lymphatic Flow for Breast Cancer. When the lymphatic system is compromised, chronic inflammation occurs. The lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating wastes and can be described as the garbage system of the body. When the lymphatic system does not function effectively inflammation and stagnation occur. Lymph stagnation is the result of a poor diet, poor elimination, stress, fatigue, and overwork or surgical intervention and the flow of lymph slows down.

What are problems that occur with the lymphatic system?

Lymphedema can occur when there has been a blockage of the lymphatic system due to radiation, lymph node removal, surgeries, or injury.

What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Sometimes both arms or both legs swell or it can be in the breast area or other areas. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment.

Why do these problems happen?

The lymphatic system is capable of functioning up to 12 x its normal function. However, after surgery to remove lymph nodes or radiation to an area, there is a blockage of the flow of the fluids back to the body stream. As fluids and proteins begin to accumulate up in the tissue, the lymphatic system cannot perform its task of removing wastes from the connective tissue. As this lymph load becomes more than the lymphatic system can handle, lymphedema occurs.

Secondary or acquired lymphedema is caused by functionally compromised lymphatics owing to infection, surgery, radiation, or compression. Surgical removal of lymph nodes destroys and obstructs lymphatic flows and thus renders patients at a high increased risk of lymphedema. Studies report that 10 -30% of breast cancer patients develop mild to severe lymphedema after cancer treatment.

How can we treat Lymphedema?

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a gently rhythmical massage performed by a trained and certified lymph therapist to detoxify and cleanse the connective tissue. This therapy flushes toxins and inflammatory wastes from the tissues. MLD can help to reduce inflammation by reducing inflammatory cytokines. Having regular MLD sessions helps to boost immunity and support healthy lymph flow in the skin-associated lymphatic tissue.

Complex Decongestive Therapy combines MLD with compression bandages, remedial exercises, and excellent skincare. MLD lymph drainage can be very helpful in between chemotherapies to help the gut, boost immunity and relax the nerves.

Who can do this treatment?

A certified Lymphedema therapist can effectively treat and manage Lymphedema. We have a team of highly trained and experienced Lymphedema Therapists on staff.

Other therapy options

Varenya Essentials “Flow” essential oil is an excellent blend of essential oils to improve stagnation and induces an uplifting feeling.

Essential oils of Cypress, Grapefruit, Lemon, Rosemary, Orange, and Lime compliment the lymphatic massage. Excellent for drainage to decongest the connective tissue of wastes and thus restore.

Blend 8 drops into a lotion and massage into your legs or arms in upward movements.
Have your lymphatic therapist blend this into a lotion for a full body lymphatic drainage.

Nutrition Plan.

Follow an anti-inflammatory eating plan with reduced sugar and wheat, to reduce inflammation and boost immunity. I am proud of the book I co-authored -Lymphedema and Lipedema Nutrition Guide: Erlich, Herbst, Iker, Kahn et al


Selenium, butcher’s broom and curcumin can be very helpful to help lymphatic pumping and inflammation

Linda Anne Kahn is an Internationally Certified and trained DR Vodder’s Lymphedema Therapist with over 25 years of experience. She is the director of Lymphatic Therapy Services of San Diego and Beauty Kliniek Aromatherapy Day Spa. Lymphatic Flow for Breast Cancer blog 06/10/21.

Book your appointment today! 858-457-0191