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lymphatic system


The Lymphatic System, Part 1 - Video


Published on May 31, 2012
This is part 1 of the VHSG Advanced Biology course presentation on the lymphatic system. The Virtual Homeschool Group (VHSG) project is created and run by volunteers so that free online courses can be offered to families that home school their children. It is freely available for use in other projects and schools as a Creative Commons Licensed resource (CC-BY-NC-SA). See the last slide for details.


The Lymphatic System, Part 2 - Video


Published on Feb 21, 2013
In part two, we will be examining the immune system.




MD Anderson Cancer Center

Head and neck cancer patients sometimes develop lymphedema, or chronic swelling, after surgery. This can affect speaking, swallowing, vision, breathing and self-image.

To address these side effects, Jan Lewin, Ph.D., and her team are using decongestive therapy to help manage lymphedema symptoms.

WATCH her discuss this lymphedema therapy:



self Massage for Lymph drainage


We have had many of our members talk of the heavy fluid build up in the neck area.

My Massage Therapist suggested these videos on Youtube.com for help in Lymph drainage. It is very light touch and if you watch and learn how, please remember that deep or heavy touch does not, in this case, do the good that light touch does.

Lots of reading material in the blog section of this website: http://www.massagebyheather.com


Learn to drain your own head! Use these lymphatic drainage massage techniques from Louisville massage therapist Heather Wibbels, LMT on yourself to reduce congestion and sinus pressure in the head. This is great for allergy sufferers and people with head colds. Read important information at the blog post. http://blog.massagebyheather.com


1. Self Lymph Drainage Massage

2. Lymph Drainage for the Ears


3. Self Lymphatic Drainage for the Arm

4. Self Lymphatic Drainage for Abdomen & Trunk (part 1)

5. Self Lymphatic Drainage for Abdomen & Trunk (part 2)

6. Self Lymphatic Drainage for the Legs


Hints from our membership


The following tips can help reduce your chances of experiencing head and neck lymphedema or decrease the severity if it does occur.

1. Exercise helps lymph drainage. However, in some people, strenuous exercise can cause or worsen swelling. Ask your doctor or therapist when you can start exercising, which exercises are right for you, and whether you should wear a compression garment during exercise.

2. Sleep sitting up. Prop yourself up with pillows in bed. An upright position improves lymph drainage.

3. Prevent skin infection. Avoid cuts, burns, needle sticks, or other injury to the affected area. If you shave, use an electric razor to reduce the chance of cutting the skin. When you are outside, wear sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). If you do cut or burn yourself, wash it with soap and water and use an antibiotic cream as directed by your doctor or nurse.

4. Wear loose fitting clothes. Don’t wear tops with a tight neckline.

5. Limit time in extreme heat or cold. Avoid hot tubs or saunas, and limit hot showers to less than 15 minutes. Also, don't apply a heating pad or ice to the swollen area.

6. Know when to seek medical care. Call your doctor or nurse if you have any signs of infection: a fever (temperature over 100ºF); skin that is hot to the touch; or skin redness, swelling, or pain.



National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute treatment guide suggests the following to help treatments:

• The goal of treatment is to control the swelling and other problems caused by lymphedema.
• Treatment of lymphedema may include the following:
• Pressure garments
• Exercise
• Bandages
• Skin care
• Combined therapy
• Compression device
• Weight loss
• Laser therapy
• Drug therapy
• Surgery
• Massage therapy
• When lymphedema is severe and does not get better with treatment, other problems may be the cause.




National Cancer Institute - General Information About Lymphedema http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/lymphedema/patient


American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) - Head & Neck swelling http://www.cancer.net/all-about-cancer/cancernet-feature-articles/side-effects/head-and-neck-lymphedema-swelling-after-cancer-treatment


There are so many that have had treatments to the head and neck that end up with lymphedema. This site might be helpful for those who have this problem.
The website is www.lymphnet.org

Rita in NJ



Head & Neck Lymphedema: What is it? How to do self-massage for lymph drainage.
http://www.webwhispers.org/news/feb2012.asp Brad Smith, CCC-SLP, CLT


Neck & Shoulder Pain after Head & Neck Surgery

http://webwhispers.org/news/April2013.asp   Sarah C Soluren, PT - MD Anderson




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