Oct 19, 2007

News Flash: Lymphedema Sucks!

Here's an article I ran across recently regarding aromatherapy and lymphedema. Right now I'm willing to believe almost anything. I know I haven't really discussed my own struggle with Lymphedema, mainly because I can sum it up in two words: IT SUCKS! I have primary lymphedema in both legs. I have gone for physical therapy and had the Manual Lymph Drainage massages (as much as my all knowing insurance would allow, but that's a story for another day). I currently use both the compression wrapping and I have CircAid Leggings

I've had this problem all my life, and it's slowly worsened over time. I have asked doctors about it MANY times, all of them either prescribed diuretics, which do nothing, or they have not really done anything because I don't think they've known what to do. I don't think most doctors know what lymphedema is. Anyway, I finally found a doctor who recognized it, and sent me to physical therapy this past summer.

I've now been in treatment for about 3 or 4 months and I don't feel I've made any permanent progress. The bandages help my legs to reduce, but when I take them off to shower, my legs swell right back up. I swell up so quickly that it's just discouraging. I know they tell you that you can't cure lymphedema, you can only manage it - well I guess I just don't feel that I'm managing.

The CircAids are not comfortable; the foot wrappings make my feet too big to fit into my regular shoes. I was wearing larger shoes, but they're hard to walk in and I'm always tripping and walking funny. I feel even more like a circus freak. They're hot, they're a pain in the butt to put on and take off, I had to pay almost a thousand dollars for them because my insurance doesn't cover their cost - because Lymphedema isn't recognized as a problem I guess. I don't know. I'm just feeling discouraged, miserable, and wishing that I could just sniff some tangerines and be all-better! whee...

Anyone have any better ideas?

October 17, 2007 - Irene Spedaliere usually comes out smelling like a rose — literally. The Streetsville businesswoman owns Mohani Bay, an aromatherapy store and custom blending bar that offers her customers a wide range of body washes, soaps, shampoos and scrubs made from pure essential oils extracted from plants and known for their healing properties.
An aromatherapist with a pharmaceutical background, Spedaliere recently came up with a novel way to contribute to breast cancer research. She concocted a blend of essential oils to make shampoos and conditioners, body washes and scrubs, all in support of Rethink, a Toronto-based breast cancer support group. October is national breast cancer awareness month.

The products made from that blend, also named Rethink, are available only until the end of October. Proceeds from sales go towards breast cancer research. Spedaliere said she took four blends along with some 40 essential oils to be tested by women at Rethink, and asked them to select one. She tweaked the formula a little. The final blend, chosen by the women, most of whom have been touched by cancer, was a winner. “It so happens, the blend they chose contained sweet orange and tangerine, both of which are good for the lymphatic system,”

Spedaliere said. “A lot of breast cancer patients have lymphedema, which is swelling of the lymph nodes, and these oils help with that. The blend they selected also had lavender, which is a natural anti-depressant, along with cinnamon and clove, which aid circulation and are antiseptic, so it all works well together.

“I want to promote natural, healthy living for everyone,” she added.
Spedaliere said aromatherapy can help combat both physical and mental conditions to alleviate stress.

Having spent most of her career as a pharmacy technician at Toronto's Bayview Clinic, Spedaliere saw first-hand the effects of cancer on women.

For more details, visit www.mohanibay.com.
from: The Mississauga News, written by: Radhika Panjwani

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