A quick reference for Lipoedema and manual lymphatic drainage therapy

09 October 2020

You may have noticed; some women present a relatively small upper body compared to a massive lower? In fact, 11% of all women are affected in New Zealand. Thus, they are not obese but suffer from Lipoedema. Have you heard of this condition? Or perhaps, manual lymphatic drainage therapy? Lipoedema is not the result of high caloric intake and low exercise output. Instead, its a genetic inheritance triggered by hormonal changes.

Aim for early treatment of Lipoedema with manual lymphatic drainage therapy for a better outcome.

Type 3 Lipoedema

Early recognition and treatment may prevent the progression to stage 4. Generally, the condition usually worsens both at late-stage 3 and early-stage 4. Consequently, Lymphoedema is evident at the feet, and Kaposi-Stemmer sign is positive. For those in stage 4 afflicted with Lipo-Lymphoedema, it’s a debilitating condition associated with poor quality of life.

Signs of lipoedema

  • Pain on touch/pressure over fatty tissue areas
  • easy bruising over fatty areas without serious trauma/injuries
  • no resolution with exercise, diets, weight loss.
  • elevation of legs does not reduce swelling and pain
  • skin is cool on touch over fatty areas
  • symmetrical and bilateral fatty tissue deposits on calves, shins, legs, thighs, hips, buttocks waist and arms 30% of the time
  • in early stage, you can pinch the fold between your first and second toes (Kaposi-Stemmer sign is negative)

Have you seen a certified manual lymphatic massage therapist for the treatment of Lipoedema and education in self-care yet? If you haven’t had a massage before, I understand your apprehension. Perhaps, its the fear of the unknown? Please know, you are not only in good hands.

Additionally, let me assure you I do not have the gift of the gap in doing life, let alone for cross-sales! While, as your massage therapist/professional health practitioner, I would like to take you onto the next level of care. From my experience, the subject of medical compression garments appears a prickly one for many. Generally, it evokes some doses of suspicions and reservations. Nevertheless, it is a part of managing Lipoedema.

Some common questions asked are the length and duration of wear, costs, comfort and aesthetic. Your massage therapist can explain and show you samples to meet your needs. Moreover, by taking action while you’re at the early stage of lipoedema would certainly prevent unwanted health complexities in the late stage. Below is a link for further reading at your leisure. Lovely people, that’s a topic for you to sleep on. For me, the next topic would probably be explaining about the importance of medical compression garments better!


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