Whether it's called oedema, swelling or water retention, the effects of this condition can be anything from annoying to devastating.
On this page you will find information on how to recognise the symptoms, how you "get" oedema, how to treat the condition, and services we offer here at The Wise Woman Natural Therapies for the treatment of oedema.
Oedema is a build up of 'fluid', or lymph, in the body, due to the poor functioning of the body's lymphatic system.
For many people, the legs are the first body part that they notice has a tendency to "swell up". Either when the weather is hot or humid, or after standing or sitting for an extended period.
Although oedema is most commonly associated with the limbs, it can be present in any part of the body.
There are 3 types of oedema:
and each has its own symptoms:
If the condition is left untreated, it is usual for the person to develop 2 or all of the above types of oedema.
The honest answer is: we don't know yet.
But it is known how the condition develops, what it reacts to, and how to control it.
The lymphatic system is a complex network of fluid collectors, vessels and cleaners (lymph nodes), its main function being to take up all 'extra' fluid from the body's tissues, clean it and return it to the blood. It also plays a big part in keeping the immune system functioning at peak level.
Oedema develops when the lymphatic system has become compromised and cannot do its job properly. So instead of transporting fluid around the body, the fluid begins collecting in the tissues, thus causing swelling.
Oedema may be present in newborn babies, but will most often remain latent in the system until the teen-years or twenties.
Lymphoedema will be triggered by stress, extremes in temperature, a minor accident (eg sprain or bruising), or even sunburn, in those with a predilection for the condition. Even for those with a completely healthy lymphatic system, lymphoedema can develop after surgery or accidents where the lymphatic system has been harmed or broken.
In Lipoedema, the fatty tissue is also not 'normal'. Basically, the fat storage cells become overgrown and the lymphatic system is not coping with taking the extra load of liquid 'fat' away.
Phleboedema, or more accurately, Phlebolymphoeda, is actually two conditions in one: chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) and a compromised lymphatic system. CVI is responsible for varicose veins and broken capillaries, along with other major conditions which are beyond the scope of this short information section. The main theme here is the overproduction of fluids (this time from the blood vessels) and the inability of the lymphatic system to deal with it.
All of these conditions seem to be to a large extent hereditary.
Let me spoil you with a holistic treatment including light swedish massage, lymph drainage, reflexology and aromatherapy, designed not only to help your body, but also your mind and spirit. Together we will work on how you can help yourself to give your lymphatic system a boost, or help it to start functioning at an improved level.
Lymph Drainage is the perfect treatment:
With specialist training in lymph drainage from the Vodder Akademie in Austria, I am also qualified to offer you a COMBINED DECONGESTIVE THERAPY, a special 4-part therapy to help with lymphoedema, lipoedema and post-operative swelling and discomfort.
So whether you are after something for the body or the mind/body/spirit, book an appointment today and feel the difference it makes to your quality of life.
(Please note that for combined decongestive therapy you must first book a lymph drainage initial consultation.)