Newsletter 2

Welcome to

JM Remedial Therapy and Lymphoedema Treatment

Newsletter -Issue number 2

August 2, 2007

 

Points of interest

 

 

 

 

From the desk

 

Time flies and here we are already well and truly into the new financial year. I have been very busy at both Samford Clinic and Eatons Hill Clinic. There will be one more newsletter issue after this one for this year and I endeavor to produce one newsletter per quarter next year. Should you have questions, a remedy, or an experience that you would like to share, please drop me a line.

 

I regularly update my website and at the moment, the main interest is with lymphoedema and venous insufficiency, its treatment and prevention. I take advantage of this newsletter to remind everyone that I offer a full measuring service, bandaging and supply of compression garments, and I would like to advise that it is also possible to arrange a brief appointment for any of these services.

 

In conjunction with our heated room I have a new lambswool undercover and a blanket on the massage table in both clinics. You can now brave the winter cold without fear and be snug as a bug while having your massage.

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Combat the winter flu with massage

 

Have you ever wondered why some people never get a cold and others seem to have a predisposition to illness. The answer is simple; stress is the cause for lowering the immune response.

 

After several studies, Tiffany Field et al from The Touch Institute in Miami concluded that massage decreases stress hormones and in turn leads to enhanced immune function. In particular, the NK (Natural Killer cells), which provide protection against viruses and also tumors, increase. They also claim that: “Given that most diseases are exacerbated by stress and given that massage therapy alleviates stress, receiving massages should probably be high on the health priority list along with diet and exercise”.

 

A regular massage session offers benefits that go even beyond just relaxation. When having a massage a chain of events occurs in the body. The glands release hormones such as endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller. The blood circulation is stimulated, which moves these hormones and pumps oxygen into the tissue and organs. It stimulates our lymphatic system, which is so closely related to the immune system, releasing and circulating antibodies to fight cold and viruses. A massage of the abdomen can also help with elimination of wastes and toxins.

 

Massage has been used for thousands of years to prevent sickness and assist with healing. A combination of lymphatic drainage massage and relaxation massage can give you the immunity needed to sail healthily through the winter. The body aches and pains can also be alleviated with the addition of remedial techniques such as stretches, trigger point therapy and others.

 

Increase your immunity to colds and flu and give us a call to make an appointment for a massage.

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Do your ankles and feet swell after a day’s work?

 

If your answer is yes, please read the following summary of studies published in the "Compression Bulletin 12", June 2007. This is an update by Robert Stemmer from his book "Library on Compression Therapy".

 

The term for leg swelling at the end of the day is “evening oedema of the legs”. It is the difference between the fluid volume in the legs in the morning and the evening.

 

 

Study 1:

 

In this study, measurements of the circumference and the volume of leg segments in the morning and in the evening on 5 consecutive days were taken. On the first day the measurements were done without compression, and on the following days stockings with a pressure ranging from 8 to 40mmHg were applied randomly.

 

The results showed an increase in circumference and volume in the foot and ankle in the evening after the first day without wearing the stockings. When individuals were wearing stockings with a compression between 8 and 22mmHg, no increase was observed in the evening; and when individuals were wearing stockings with a compression pressure of 30-40mmHg, the stockings produced a significant volume reduction in comparison with the morning measurements.

 

It concluded that evening oedema develops especially in the foot and ankle and compression garments with a pressure as low as 8mmHg are able to prevent leg swelling. In effect, a light compression stockings should not only be considered for long distance travels but also during daily activity in a sitting or standing position.

 

Hirai M, Nukumizu Y, Kidokoro H, Hayakawa N, Iwata H, Nishikimi N, Sho K, Tsujisaka T, Komoatsubara R, Skin Res Technol 2006; 12(1): 32-35

 

Study 2:

 

The study consisted in measuring the volume of both lower legs in volunteers working in a sitting or standing position in the morning and 7 hours later. The subjects wore knee-high stockings of different compression levels on one leg.

 

The results showed that a significant reduction of evening swelling could be achieved with all stockings in pressure ranging higher than 11mmHg. The highest degree of subjective comfort was reported for the 18mmHg stockings.

 

The study concluded that light calf-length compression stockings are able to reduce or totally prevent evening oedema and may therefore be recommended for people with a profession connected with long periods of sitting or standing.

 

Partsch H, Winiger J, Lun B., Dermatol Surg 2004; 30: 737-43

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Wearing high-compression stockings is difficult

 

Should wearing a high-compression garment be your problem, you will be happy to know that two stockings of lower-compression can be worn. A study conducted by Cornu-Thenard et al confirms that combining two stockings of lower pressure would have the same effect because the total compression represents the sum of the individual pressures of each stocking. In fact, we already know that multilayer bandaging does exactly that.

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Who can benefit from wearing a compression garment?

 

  • Anyone experiencing mild to severe swelling, discomfort or discoloration of the extremity
  • Individuals suffering from “venous insufficiency, i.e. varicose veins, spider veins, venous oedema, deep vein thrombosis, phlebitis, thrombophlebitis
  • People with a family history of venous insufficiency showing signs and symptoms
  • Lymphoedema patients
  • Pregnant mothers
  • Anyone sitting or standing for extended periods of time
  • People frequently traveling by plane or car
  • Patients recovering from surgery

 

 

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FAQs about compression garment

 

Compression stockings have been proven to be an effective and the least invasive treatment for vascular concerns. Even so, most people are reluctant to wear them. Here are the most frequently ask questions about compression garments.

 

Question 1Are they too hot to wear in Queensland?

Answer:        Everyone is different. The best time to start wearing a compression garment is now in winter so you can gradually adapt and feel the benefits of wearing your stockings. For people wearing the stay up (thigh high) and panty, I would suggest wearing the knee high during summer if you find them too hot, unless working in an air conditioning area. Some garments are also available in cotton, which make them cooler and softer to wear. Most people will not stop wearing their stockings after experiencing the benefits such as feeling less tired, more energetic, having no more aching legs, fading signs of venous insufficiency, and more shapely legs.

 

Question 2Should I wear my compression stockings when I exercise?

Answer:        Yes, you should wear your compression stockings when exercising. For an individual with chronic swelling, the skin elasticity is compromised. When exercising, the blood flow increases and so does the amount of fluid in the tissue. The compression garment provides a firm skin barrier for the muscles to contract against and forces the fluid into the veins and lymphatic vessels. Compression stockings promote a quicker recovery because they prevent swelling, and metabolites such as lactic acid are being removed faster.

 

Question 3What does “compression gradient” means?

                   Swelling usually occurs in the limbs extremities, around the ankle or the wrist as a result of gravity. This is why the compression is stronger in the area the furthest away from the heart and is gradually reduced towards the top of the garment.

 

Question 4: Will I become a fashion outcast wearing my stockings?

Answer:        NO!!! Definitively no!

                   The garments are now modern, elegant and stylish, made of high quality textiles. They come in a variety of colors and are designed to combine medical and fashion requirements of both men and women.

 

Question 5I still have a pair of “teddy socks” (white socks) that I have been issued with when I was at the hospital; can I wear them instead?

Answer:        No, these garments are anti-embolism designed to prevent blood clotting while the patient is in bed and they are not graduated.    

 

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Calendar of events

 

 

Lymphoedema Association of Queensland Brisbane support group’s meeting takes place every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 10.00am – 12pm at Toowong Library (Meeting Room), Toowong Village Shopping Centre.

 

  • The guest speaker for August is a representative from the Commonwealth Care Link.
  • An outing to the Port of Brisbane is scheduled for 10th October. To register your interest, please contact Nerida Smith on (07) 3269 1498 (07) 3269 1498 or go to www.lymphqld.org

 

The Lymphoedema Association of Queensland Inc Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Saturday 27th October 2007, 9 – 3pm in the Auditorium at the Cancer Council Queensland, Gregory Terrace, Spring Hill.

  • Come along to the meeting hear the reports of the Association and visit the Mini Expo Of Home Based Lymphoedema Treatments. Learn about the home treatment options and take the opportunity to experience the treatment first hand. Lunch is provided.

 

Dragons Abreast Australia is anticipating approximately 2000 breast cancer survivors from around the world to celebrate life from 28th until 30th September at Kawana Lake, Quad Park, near Caloundra on the Queensland Sunshine Coast.

 

  • A public workshop will be held at the Caloundra Cultural Centre on Sunday 30th September 1.30 – 4pm. Professor Neil Piller will discuss “The MYTHS & REALITIES OF LYMPHOEDEMA”. A donation to help cover costs would be appreciated.

 

For more information, you can visit the website at http://www.dragonsabreast.com.au/index.htm

 

 

 

Do you have a story you wish to share or a question to ask?

 

Please click here

 

Next newsletter issue: December 2, 2007

 

JM Remedial Therapy and Lymphoedema Treatment

Newsletter – Issue number 2

August 2, 2007

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