Most of you know that I have lipedema and lymphedema and that I spend a crazy amount of time figuring out how I can reduce the symptoms of these conditions.
Several years ago I had an ICG scan (indocyanine green) which revealed where my lymphatic fluid is pooling and where it is clearing well. It was such a wonderful and emotional experience to see my own lymphatic fluid moving and flowing in real time, and to see and feel the pressure and kinds of movements that were moving the fluid along towards functioning vessels. The red areas are where dermal backflow are happening, and the green lines are where i have well functioning vessels.
This was the best money i’ve ever thrown at my lymphedema because it gave me my own personal map for drainage. Check with your GP, venous specialist, or therapist about where you can have this scan done near you.
I learned three really important things …
1. I’ve always thought that the lymphatic vessels in my legs were symmetrical and that’s clearly not the case for me, nor for anybody according to the professor who did the procedure. Even for people without lymphedema symmetry doesn’t happen in the lymphatic system.
2. I’ve also always thought that lymphatic drainage should be done with a very light touch. And while that MAY be the case for some people, it isn’t the case for most. My operating vessels responded to the lighter touch that i’m used to however the areas of dermal backflow did not respond at all to that kind of touch. It required the kind of pressure and slower movement that you might use to squeeze a tube of toothpaste.
3. I don’t need to clear my upper body or truncal area of lymphatic fluid for the vessels in my legs to flow really well. I was taught that I needed to do a whole body clearance, and then I would be able to clear my legs and feet. Not so for me. All I need to do is go for my regular daily walk with my garments on, then clear my feet manually by pushing the areas of backflow toward the vessels using my own personal map. I have been able to shave a lot of time off my daily drainage time.
I thought you might all want to know that this scan exists and that I found it very helpful. If you know anybody who has lymphedema, or has had treatment for cancer (radiation and / or surgery) they may be interested in this information!