A recent study published their yoga intervention and guidelines for working with lymphedema, a side affect from treatment for breast cancer that 20% of survivors experience. Currently, there is no cure for lymphedema; instead, we typically work with ways to lower the risk of it developing or progressing. The danger of leaving it unaddressed is that is can impact quality of life, skeletal structure and could play a role in fatal infection.
The authors of this latest study did a great job in laying out the risk factors and prevention guidelines, as well as publishing their actual protocol, in detail. The results of their intervention "did not exacerbate lymphoedema and resulted in the beneficial outcomes of reduced upper arm tissue density, improved QoL for symptoms, increased pelvic stability and strength of shoulder abduction. The yoga group also reduced volume of arm lymphoedema and tissue density at the chest."
I decided to tackle their protocol and recorded a video that follows their guidelines, but presents the movements in my own "style." I have also recorded a relaxation video that is appropriate for use at the completion of any practice, or as a stand-alone method for relaxing. Enjoy!