Linda Anne Kahn, founder of Lymphatic Therapy Services, specializes in the treatment of Lipedema and Dercum’s disease. She is an internationally-trained Lymphedema Therapist, Clinical Aromatherapist and Integrative Health coach who helps people manage their lipedema and also achieve balance of the body, mind and spirit. Learn more and follow Linda Anne
Lipedema (also known as painful fat syndrome) is an autosomal dominant chronic disease that occurs mostly in women. It is characterized by bilateral, symmetrical limb swelling and a buildup of fatty tissue in the subcutaneous adipose tissue.
Women with lipedema report a spontaneous feeling of tension or swelling, as well as a noticeable hypersensitivity to touch and pressure in the thighs and lower legs when resting, walking or when touched. They also report chronic pain and easy bruising. Various studies have found that depression, anxiety and stress are associated with this chronic pain and lack of mobility.
Therapies to reduce pain include compression therapy and Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD). Compression therapy helps reduce swelling and provides support to the tissue. MLD stimulates the lymphatic system to reduce edema, which helps control pain by increasing lymph flow and reducing inflammation.
Aromatherapy blends also have a positive role to play in pain management. Certain essential oils help to reduce existing pain while preventing or reducing anticipated pain.
Aromatherapy enhances the parasympathetic response through the effects of touch and smell—encouraging relaxation at a deep level. Deep relaxation has been shown to alter perceptions of pain. Aromatherapy also balances the nervous, endocrine and immune systems to help with pain, inflammation and infection. Lymphatic massage with essential oils can help reduce stress and improve a variety of psychological assessments.
The following essential oils have helped my patients reduce swelling and pain, combat depression and increase lymph flow.
Oils That Reduce Inflammation and Diminish Pain:
- Peppermint, sweet birch, plai, copaiba can help with inflammation, muscle pain and joint aches.
- Yarrow has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties.
- Angelica, helichrysum, copaiba have anti-inflammatory effects and calm the mind.
- Frankincense has anti-inflammatory properties and also acts as a mild sedative.
- Ginger, yarrow and blue cypress can be helpful for neuralgia.
- Rosemary and peppermint have analgesic and antispasmodic properties that improve blood circulation and relieve pain.
- Neroli (orange blossom) is known for its anti- inflammatory, analgesic and pain reducing effects.
Oil That Lift Depression
- Clary sage has been found to stimulate the thalamus into releasing encephalin, a neurochemical that creates a sense of euphoria and also gives pain relief.
- Neroli creates a feeling of euphoria and is excellent in the treatment of mild depression.
Oils that Increase Lymphatic Flow
- Angelica root is also spiritually uplifting.
- Ginger increases circulation.
- Citrus oils, like lemon and grapefruit, in addition to peppermint and cypress are great for increasing lymphatic flow.
It is important to consult with a professional aromatherapist, who can make up individualized blends for your unique situation.
Learn other ways to manage lipedema and browse Juzo’s collection of compression stockings, which are an essential part of managing the condition and associated symptoms.
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