Rules for MLD:
The strokes should be made with arcing motions or half circle motions.
Do not slide over your skin, but rather, keep your fingers in contact with your skin and stretch it gently over the underlying tissues.
You should have NO PAIN.
Each stroke should be done 10-15 times SLOWLY, taking about 2 seconds for each stroke.
If redness occurs, you are pressing too hard.
For lymphedema of BOTH legs, perform all moves on both sides.
The best position to be in for this is seated reclined, or lying down and propped up slightly.
Make sure you can make skin-to-skin contact for all of these strokes. They won't work when done over clothing.
1. Neck: Place the flats of your fingers on your opposite shoulder, in the triangular part just above the collarbone and next to your neck. Move your hand in an arcing motion stretching the skin forward and down towards your chest. Repeat this on the other side.
2. Armpit: Raise your arm (on the same side as the leg in which you have lymphedema), bend you elbow, and place the hand behind your head. Place the flat of your opposite hand in your armpit. Stretch the skin in an arcing motion up towards the neck.
3. Above the waist: Place the flat of your opposite hand on the side of your body (on the side on which you have lymphedema) below the breast, but above the waist. Move your hand upwards in an arcing motion in the direction of your armpit, stretching your skin.
4. Below the waist: Place the flat of your opposite hand on the side of your body (on the side on which you have lymphedema) on or just below the waist, but above your hip. Move your hand upwards in an arcing motion in the direction of your armpit, stretching your skin.
5. Deep (diaphragmatic) breathing: Place both open palms on top of each other below the belly button. Take a slow breath in and feel your belly rise up into your hands as it expands to take in the air. Then breath out and feel your belly sink in as the breath leaves you. As you get better at this you can use your hands to resist your stomach slightly as you breath in, and press in slightly with your hands as you breath out. Don’t get dizzy. Start with only 2 or 3 breaths and work up to 10 as you get stronger.
6. Groin: Place the flat of your hand on the front of your groin, right where your underwear falls. Make a scooping motion in the groin, rolling your hand from the thumb to the little finger. Imagine that your hands are the bottom of a water wheel.
7. Back of knee: Place the flat fingers of both hands behind your knee. Perform a scooping motion up towards the body.
8. Repeat steps 3, 4 and 6 (waist and groin areas)
A very special Thanks to Katy from
LymphedemaTherapists · Lymphedema Therapists