You Have Lipedema, and It Hurts.
What the Heck Are You Supposed To Do Now?
AKA: Massage Tips for People with Lipedema (VIDEOS)
By Kathleen Lisson, CLT
Author, Lipedema Treatment Guide
Are you looking for ways to reduce the painful symptoms of your lipedema? One treatment that can help might be right under your nose — massage therapy!
Check out the list of Treatments and Therapies from the Univesity of Arizona Treatments, Research and Education of Adipose Tissue Program here: https://treat.medicine.arizona.edu/treatments-therapies
There are two main types of massage that can help reduce the symptoms of lipedema, a painful adipose tissue disorder — lymphatic massage and deeper massage techniques.
First, let’s look at lymphatic massage:
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) performed by a Certified Lymphedema Therapist can help reduce swelling and edema by using our body’s lymphatic system. Find a therapist at the Lipedema Provider Directory: http://lipedemaproject.org/lipedema-lipoedema-lipodem-provider-directory/
What if you cannot afford MLD massage? I offer more tips on increasing lymphatic flow in my book Swollen, Bloated and Puffy starting on page 7. My tips on dry brushing are on page 94 of Swollen, Bloated and Puffy (Amazon). http://a.co/cWOkAb8
Now, let’s find out about deeper types of massage.
Hint: It’s not just any old session of ‘deep tissue’ massage. It’s WAY more focused than that.
These specialized deeper types of massage and self-massage can help to loosen contracted fascia and reduce fibrosis.
WARNING: This type of massage may hurt. Check out what Tom Myers has to say about pain during massage in the video Thomas Myers — Why does Massage Hurt. https://youtu.be/XG1A-Ct69ug
WARNING: this may result in bruising and other side effects. One type of deeper massage technique called Quadrivas was used on people with lipedema. Check out the results of ‘Pilot study: whole body manual subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) therapy improved pain and SAT structure in women with lipedema’ here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28930626
What does Quadrivas Massage look like? Check out the video here: https://youtu.be/j8IzweESelo
Let’s look at the two ways that people with lipedema can use deep massage to reduce lipedema symptoms — with a massage therapist and by themselves.
A massage therapist may use Gua Sha, IASTM, Tui Na and/or other techniques to reduce fibrosis in the body.
Find out how Gua Sha may use microtrauma to reduce fibrosis here: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320397.php
Find out more about how IASTM helps with fibrosis in the study, ‘Therapeutic effectiveness of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization for soft tissue injury: mechanisms and practical application.’ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5331993/
Here is a video that may inspire you to work with your massage therapist or a friend and your foam roller: TigerTail — Soleus https://youtu.be/askW2qyndWk
A person with lipedema can use rollers and self-massagers to reduce fibrosis in their own body.
Let’s look at a few videos to get a sense of how to self-massage with these devices.
What tools should you buy? I share my list of recommended tools in Lipedema Treatment Guide starting on page 75.
Using a Muscle Roller Stick to Relieve Tight or Sore Muscles https://youtu.be/OsvKUnTqe5I
SPRI Recovery Tiger Tail Muscle Massage Roller https://youtu.be/k097C_TLrZQ
What is the best lotion for self-massage? I share information about Essential Oils and recipes for oil blends that balance the body’s lymphatic system on page 14 of my book Swollen, Bloated and Puffy (Amazon) http://a.co/cWOkAb8
Scar Massage for People with Lipedema (and everyone else with scars)
Here are two great videos on scar massage:
Heather Wibbels has some fantastic lymphatic drainage videos on YouTube. She shares advice on scar massage in the video ‘Massage Away a Scar — Adhesion release from MassageByHeather.com’ https://youtu.be/1vMvAJYikxo
My favorite “famous” physical therapists Bob and Brad show their top scar massage techniques in ‘How to Get Rid of Scar Tissue After Surgery or Injury (Hardened?)’ https://youtu.be/ZTloNUJ3rdY
BONUS: Thomas Myers also has a great video on fascia here: https://youtu.be/-uzQMn87Hg0
Find out more tips for Massage Therapists here: https://lipedematreatmentguide.com/index.php/documents-and-handouts/