bandagingLymphoedema first of all needs to be diagnosed correctly by a medical practitioner who has knowledge in this area. 

The diagnosis of Lymphoedema is simply overwhelming. There is a lot to take in and many questions to ask. What is it? Why is bandaging important? Should I wear a garment and when should I start wearing one? What can I do myself to manage it? Can I exercise and will that help? What about diet?  How does compression actually work?

This is where a Lymphoedema therapist comes in. At Hills Natural Health Centre we offer an appointment to help you answer those questions and learn more about lymphoedema and how to manage it long term, cost effectively.

Maintenance and Prevention

The biggest challenge the medical and allied health practitioners are facing is compliancy and that most of the time Lymphoedema needs to be managed indefinitely as it can get progressively worse if not cared for. By learning the same bandaging techniques used in German and Austrian Lymphoedema clinics today, everyone can learn to self-bandage or can get a family member or friend who is willing to help.
 
"The biggest challenge the medical and allied health practitioners are facing is compliancy"
 
Also there is the question of prevention….’After a mastectomy and axillary lymph nodes have been removed... what preventative measures should I take, if any? Research often does not look at prevention and then there is even conflicting research about garments and Lymphatic Drainage. It’s a mine field!

 

Lymphoedema in Other Countries

Take Austria and Germany for instance. People with lymphoedema can have access to a one week per year medicare funded stay at a lymphoedema clinic to reduce the volume of their limb. This includes bandaging and Manual Lymphatic Drainage twice daily, decongestive exercises and skin care. At the end of the week, and once the volume has been reduced, they are measured for a compression garment. And only then. Garments only maintain the volume (they do not reduce the size of the limb).

Here in Australia we do not have that luxury and ongoing self care for Lymphoedema is very important. Learning how to treat yourself to a certain degree is essential. It empowers the person. It is effective long term management and with a bandaging kit where the bandages can be washed up to 50 times it can be quite cost effective. Autofit garments (which are adjustable) can also be of great help.

Treatment protocols for Lymphoedema are very individual and different management options suit different people. In Indonesia, for instance, people usually don’t wear compression garments as they are too expensive. Manual Lymphatic Drainage is their option and it seems to work quite well for them and is covered by medicare. Not so in Australia.

Find out what works for you

Feel in charge of your long term health by learning more about your individual diagnosis and how to manage it effectively.

Learn how to bandage your arm or leg. Self-bandaging is easy after a few goes and incredibly effective in reducing the size of a limb with lymphoedema!

The international consensus for best practice for Lymphoedema management is CDT or Complex Decongestive Therapy and includes.

  • Compression bandaging and Garments
  • Decongestive Exercises
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage
  • Self Care, including skin care and risk reduction

Make an appointment today and give us a call on 9 298 8332 or book online

Food-for-Thought

Raising awareness and removing the stigma surrounding mental health is an important part of supporting the mental health aspect within ourselves and for those around us. It is also important for creating a healthy society.

However, to look at mental health on its own or as a single part, without factoring in the whole person, would be bonkers!

Mental cognition is our thoughts, ideas, opinions, beliefs, perspective and attitudes. It can be the thing that has us to say the things we say, do the things we do. We repeat this process over and over again until it becomes automatic and we are no longer conscious of why we do what we do. We find ourselves with a pattern or habit. Some habits work for us, some habits are destructive.

How these habits came to stick or not is part of our programming or conditioning (we will go into this more next time).

You might be wondering what chooses our thoughts, ideas, opinions etc in any given moment?

What triggers them?

It could be any number of the billion things around us that we respond to that can trigger a physical (chemical) response within us. This physical/chemical response can cause an emotional reaction, we are not aware of that leads to us making a meaning out of (thought) in order to understand and survive the situation. We are meaning making machines, day and night.

Emotions, thoughts and physical/chemical reactions are intertwined. Our actions can be the result of a trigger from our thoughts, emotions or a chemical response and it could start with any one of these parts of ourselves.

Knowing thoughts, feelings and physical responses are connected can help to give us some control around our mental health and behaviour. Mindful practises, meditation and hypnosis are great for helping with over active thoughts and overwhelming emotions but what about the physical part, how can you control the physical or chemical part?

One way is to start with understanding how the physical part leading to the mental and emotional response works within you. The chemicals produced travel through our body via pathways between our gut and out brain. These pathways send the information to and from our “meaning making” part so we can decide what to do, think and feel.

One of the key chemicals for feeling good is serotonin which is produced in our gut. It helps us to regulate our social behaviour, our sleep, our appetite and our moods and it can also help inhabit pain. Unfortunately, if our gut health, our chemical production isn’t working so well then it can lead to an imbalance in our emotional health or our mental health as well. It is difficult to separate our parts. Working with the body as a whole for mental health can bring better results.

There is a lot of new research available that supports the idea that anxiety and depression may be linked to gut health. The state of our gut and the food we put into it can be the key in bringing a more balanced, regulated mental state.

Food for thought anyway 😊

For further information on the conditioning and habits please contact reception at Hills Natural Heatlh to book a session.  To explore your physical health further speak to reception about it and they will help you consider which practitioner is right for you.

I wish you well on your journey to good health 😊.

Jo-Anne Barrett
Clinical Hypnotherapist

Winter-aches

Winter has well and truly arrived here in Glen Forrest. The foggy mornings are becoming more frequent and its getting harder to get out of bed when it is cold. For many reading this, you have already been spending many days chopping wood for your fires, clearing property breaks and tending to horses.  You may feel that this is becoming more difficult as the weather gets colder.

On these colder days muscles are forced to work harder to complete the same tasks compared to milder weather. This can cause more damage to the muscle tissue which is what you are feeling when your muscles are sore. Prolonged periods of increased repetitive movements like swinging an axe, weeding and lifting/moving heavy objects can lead to your joints seizing up and can progress to acute back and/or neck pain.

You may be asking yourself what can you do to stay healthy this winter. We have some suggestions: