It was 1994. I was sitting in the Doctor’s office, with a thin gown covering my shivering body. I was cold and scared, waiting for the doctor to enter the exam room. One week before, I had my first mammogram, prompted by constant breast pain and a lump on my right breast.
I had been having trouble, off and on, with my right breast for the past twenty years. I had pain, swelling and fibrocystic lumps. Several doctors that I had been to over the years had told me that this was “normal” and had to do with hormone levels in my body.
When the doctor entered the room, I burst out crying. I really thought he was going to say, “Let’s cut them off! Your breasts are full of cancer!!” Instead, he told me that the mammogram was clear with no signs of cancer, but he still wanted to do a needle biopsy of the lump. Then I could “watch and wait” for six months to see what would develop.
It was becoming clear to me that he didn’t know what was going on in my breast. I felt that while I did the “watch and wait” routine, my breast was going to develop cancer and then it would be clear what to do. After getting the advice from some of the best doctors in the area, I made the decision that there had to be other options.
My right breast was constantly swollen and red. Due to the pain and discomfort I couldn’t sleep or lay on my right side. I had trouble breathing and was developing asthma. Falling apart at 45 years old! What could I do?
I made the decision to take control of my health and be responsible for my own body. I wanted to find out what alternatives were available for healing.
My husband, Allen, and I started researching alternative methods of healing (we did not have access to the Internet at this time) at the library and local bookstores. We discovered the lymphatic system and what its function is in the body:
- The Lymph System goes all over the body
- Where there is blood, there is lymph (the lymph comes from the blood)
- The Lymph System PARALLELS arteries and veins – The main collection sites are neck, armpitsclick to enlarge and groin. Lymph from all over the body is filtered through these sites
- The Lymph System consists of approximately 600 – 700 lymph nodes or processing centers that filter the cellular waste products, bacteria and other debris
- There is 3 to 5 times more lymph fluid than blood in the body – The Lymphatic System is referred to as the “second circulatory system” and “garbage disposal”
- When the Lymph System is blocked or clogged, it creates a condition of stagnation which promotes fatigue and ill health.
- Some of the most common symptoms include lumps, bumps, pain and swelling.
What moves lymph in the body is muscular contraction and respiration (breathing). Lymph is NOT affected by the beating of the heart. THERE IS NO PUMP. Under the arm there is a group of lymph nodes that process lymph fluid from the upper body, arms, back, chest, and breast.
There is, however, no muscle in the breast. So the breast becomes very inefficient lymphatically. Trapped lymphatic fluid, with toxins, create a breeding ground for pain and disease.
Then, we found books and references to Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, a type of massage. We found a self-help book specifically dealing with this therapy and Allen started applying the techniques to my upper body, breast and neck area.
We found that when Allen performed this therapy as directed, we could get the swelling to go down in my breast. The pain and redness would disappear and stay away for a few days, but then return. We knew that we were on to something.
I told a friend of ours, who is an herbalist, about my breast problem and our experience with the self-directed lymphatic therapy. He recommended us to a Lymphatic Therapist and told us that this type of therapy was the second most prescribed therapy in Western Europe.
Allen accompanied me to my first visit with the Lymphatic Therapist. After discussing my problem and taking a short medical history, the Lymphatic Therapist performed a gentle, manual, non-invasive massage, much like the movements that were in the book that Allen was using, but she also used an instrument called the LymphStar. During this first session, I felt the breast area “drain”. The pain and swelling immediately began to flow away. I had just experienced the most amazing results!
Every time that I had the therapy, which was 2 to 3 times a week in the beginning, I was free of swelling and pain for longer and longer periods of time. My body was healing!! As a side benefit, my allergies cleared and I have been pain and prescription drug free for about twenty years now. I still need occasional Lymphatic Therapy for maintenance, but I have gone up to two months without a session. When I do have Lymphatic Therapy, I regain normal healthy breasts without pain and swelling within a short period of time.
When we saw the results, we were excited to share the experience with others. Allen decided to take the classes and became a Lymphatic Therapist. This has lead to the formation of the Center for Lymphatic Health and a continual expansion of our healing and education center.
We invite you to explore our web-site and learn about the care and maintenance of your fascinating Lymphatic System.