Flexibility and Lymphatic Drainage Sequences in Sitting or Lying
These flexibility routines are designed to stretch the body from head to toe and includes circulatory exercises and movements that can assist the flow of lymph fluid in the body. Lymph is a fluid that contains infection fighting cells. Combining breathing and movement encourages lymph flow through the lymph nodes. If you have been prescribed a compression garment for lymphoedema management please ensure that you wear it when completing this sequence of exercises. The lymphatic system relies on muscle contraction to move the lymph fluid throughout the body. It is a one way system. With lymphoedema the fluid gets congested or backed up. Gentle repetitive movements of the involved area help to get that fluid moving, the more you move the better for your lymphatic system.
This flexibility routine can also help address joint stiffness and muscle tightness during and after cancer treatment. Tissues continue to tighten for up to 2 years following completion of radiation therapy so for cancer survivors and people living with secondary cancer it is recommended and important to continue a daily stretching routine.
Build up to 10 repetitions of each exercise. You can practice one arm at a time or both arms together to make the exercise harder. Always practice the leg exercises one side at a time. This sequence can be practiced up to 3 times per day.