We are 145,000 members in 73 forums discussing 114,819 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

All TopicsForum: Lymphedema → Topic: easyTAI CHI BREATHER EXERCISE to move Lymph fluid out

Topic: easyTAI CHI BREATHER EXERCISE to move Lymph fluid out

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 07:58PM

hugz4u wrote:

Posted this in kick butt thread but thought it would be great for all. Super easy.

Ok girls, This could be done if you can't get exercise in. You probably could even do it in a public washroom,well, maybe not the small stall,but the big wheelchair stall! My MLD girl said TAI CHI exercises have been studied with lymphedema and are excellent to stimulate Lymphatics. This is the exercise she gave to me but I forgot about it. I think I will try to incorperate it into my busy schedule. On the bottom of the sheet is says PILLER, NB(2007) Lymphoedema Assemssment clinic- Flinders Medical Centre: Based on Clinical trial outcomes, Lymphology 2004 So the exercise given was studied in a trial. YEAH!

Starting here I will type word for word from the sheet she gave me: 

This exercise will help improve lymph flow from your arms and help reduce the size of your arms. 

Perform this exercise 5 times on each of 5 occasions per day (when you wake up, at lunch time, at aafternooon tea, after dinner and just before you go to bed).

It works best if you leave your sleeve on if you wear one.

The most important ones are when you wake up and when you go to bed as this will help clear accumlated fluids from your tummy and chest area and allow the lymph fluid to better drain from your arms.

How to perform the exercise

(it's a little like how you would welcome a friend-but slower)

1) Point your fingers towards your chest (breast bone)

2)Slowly open your arms out ( as you would welcome a friend)

3)While still breathing in open your arms out as much as possible and put your hands back as far as you can-ensuring that you stretch and tighten your muscle in your hands and forearms and upper arms. 

4)Hold your arms like this (while still holding your breath) for 3-4 seconds

5) Relax your muscles of your hands and arms and while slowly breathing OUT as much as you can, return your arms to the postion as in point 1 where your fingers are again pointing towards your chest

6) The whole exercise shoud be done SLOWLY and each one should take about 10 secondsREPEAT 5 times.

That was the  instruction sheet she gave me. I might add that when you breathe out you could bend over and make your back like a letter "C." This would compress the air out and pump the lymphatic system deeper. Just like when Sherry Lebed hugs a beach ball and bends over and breathes out.

This exercise should be easy enough for those with limited abilities. Let me know if you are going to try it. Lets call it the TAI CHI BREATHER seeing that it had no formal name on the exercise sheet. Out of curiousity, I would like to know if it bothers anyones LE or improves flow.

I could see how this could be very relaxing and calm the nervous system if done slowly.

Log in to post a reply

Posts 1 - 19 (19 total)

Log in to post a reply

Nov 28, 2012 12:07AM cowgal wrote:

Thanks for posting this.  I will give it a try! Smile

Log in to post a reply

Nov 28, 2012 02:44PM Blessings2011 wrote:

hugz4u - I learned to do deep breathing techniques in my Pain Management program. If you are a chronic shallow breather, you are not getting enough oxygenated blood to the muscles and tissues, which causes them to hurt more.

This "Tai Chi Breathing Technique" sounds like a nice addition!!! Thanks for posting...I'm printing it up now!

Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/05/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/22/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 09/05/2012 ArimidexHormonal Therapy 10/22/2013 Femara
Log in to post a reply

Nov 28, 2012 06:59PM hugz4u wrote:

Blessings, That's me, shallow breather, got to practice more breathing. I have done tai chi breather 3 times today so far and two more sets to go but am extending too far back and am getting sore shoulders, Must remind myself that it is a gentle exercise and that my arm flexibility will come down the road. Off to do lebed opening now!


Log in to post a reply

Dec 2, 2012 07:44PM, edited Dec 2, 2012 07:45PM by hugz4u

Reporting in on the tai chi breather. I feel more relaxed and have been able to extend my arms back farther. It is a great chest opener too. Since some of us have no breasts or have had reconstruction this exercise will help you from having caving shoulders as it stretches your tight chest area out. Also it wakes up the sluggish lymph system.

So easy to do, did a set while waiting for DH to get into car.

Bonus it is a exercise that was studied to help with lymph!
Log in to post a reply

Dec 2, 2012 09:30PM Nitocris wrote:


Here is a video from the Haven (UK) with a Tai Chi sequence specially designed for breast cancer patients/survivors.  The whole sequence takes about 15mn, but one can choose only one or two moves at a time, always accompanied with deep, relaxed breathing.  Towards the end of the video, there is a move that looks like the one you described in your thread, except, the position is not held.  It is a slow, continuous flow which helps relax body and mind. Feels so good...Smile


Diagnosis 04.12.2009. Multifocale ILC & ISDC Stage 1 - 1/11 nodes - ER+/PR+

Log in to post a reply

Dec 2, 2012 09:42PM hugz4u wrote:

Nitocris, Thanks for info, I can't seem to find the video to view.Where is it on the link?
I did a bit of qi gong a few years ago and loved how it made me feel so peaceful.This coming from a hyper person that I am is quite a thing to be said.

That website looks interesting, I'll poke around in it.

Log in to post a reply

Dec 3, 2012 02:24AM bak94 wrote:

Another shallow breather here! I am going to try this~! Thank you for posting!

Not really sure what stage I am-Some docs say 3C, others say stage 4. I had no auxillary nodes positive but had internal mammary nodes positive and possibly mediastinal node positive. It's just a number anyways, right?

Dx 12/15/2002, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 2/40 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Dx 4/5/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 01/02/2003 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 02/05/2003 Adriamycin, TaxolRadiation Therapy 07/08/2003 ExternalChemotherapy 04/27/2011 Adriamycin, CytoxanTargeted Therapy 05/14/2011 AvastinChemotherapy 07/29/2011 AbraxaneSurgery 11/30/2011 Mastectomy (Both)Radiation Therapy 02/11/2012 ExternalHormonal Therapy 04/10/2012 AromasinHormonal Therapy 08/02/2012 Tamoxifen
Log in to post a reply

Dec 3, 2012 02:59AM joyh1109 wrote:

hugz4u and Nitocris   Do you mind if I share this with the exercise thread?  There are several of us there that are dealing with LE and it would be good to share this with them.  

Nov. 2011 NSS BMX direct to implants Tamoxifen, Zoladex

Dx 9/27/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Dec 3, 2012 05:39AM, edited Dec 3, 2012 06:05AM by Nitocris

Hugz4u,  the link takes you directly on the page where the video is, then, just click on the arrow in the little window.

Joyh1109,  of course you can post it in the exercise thread.  Actually, I posted a thread last October about the Haven and their various vidoes.  Here it is:


Have a good day

Diagnosis 04.12.2009. Multifocale ILC & ISDC Stage 1 - 1/11 nodes - ER+/PR+

Log in to post a reply

Dec 3, 2012 07:30AM carol57 wrote:

Nitocris, hello!!  It's good to 'see' you in here, and thanks as always for sharing your amazing resources.  You are the most talented lymphedema-resource Internet sleuth!

Log in to post a reply

Dec 3, 2012 10:24AM, edited Dec 3, 2012 10:32AM by hugz4u

Joyh1109,Of course you can post in our threads. :)Us Lymphers are more than happy to have breast cancers survivors learn how to cope with and prevent LE. The more we can learn and contribute about this condition the more the medical field will be forced to deal with it. ( Were tired of being put on ignore). So please do drop in and of course we are always recruiting!

May I suggest, The Kick Butt thread. It is great for learning how to watch out for LE signs or manage them if you are a new or a experienced exerciser. I just might pop over to your thread to! I figure the more support we have the healthier we will be. Which thread are you on? Hopefully not the Marathon thread! I'm not quite there yet, maybe in 20 years! Oh.....but by then I'll be ancient and will have to crawl all 26 miles! :)

Oh and do let us know how the Tai chi breather goes! Getting out of bed now to do some and then the Lebed exercise opening ( helps drain lymph fluid) for15 minutes later. Walkies today to so no more lounging for me!

Nitocris, I couldn't load the video from my iPad, will get out the big guns (mac desktop)and try there.

Log in to post a reply

Dec 3, 2012 12:13PM joyh1109 wrote:

hugz4u and Nitocris   Thanks!  I will let the exercise thread know of these LE exercises.  The thread is "Let's Post Our Daily Exercise" - a  positive group of us that stay motivated and encourage each other to get out there and do what we can.  We would love to see you there!  

I've so far managed my mild LE through MLD technique.  I was super lucky to learn this from a physical therapist trained in this technique, right after I had my BMX.  But I had to beg my BS for a prescription for PT, he said that I really didn't need it!  Although he is a fantastic BS, his knowledge of LE was sorely lacking, at least it was a year ago.  

Also couldn't access thehaven video, will keep trying!  

Nov. 2011 NSS BMX direct to implants Tamoxifen, Zoladex

Dx 9/27/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Dec 3, 2012 03:18PM carol57 wrote:

Joy, your BS has plenty of company, as most of his colleagues are sorely lacking in LE knowledge!  That's a near-universal experience in this forum, sadly.

Log in to post a reply

Dec 3, 2012 11:30PM hugz4u wrote:

Am progressing with the tai chi breather, more flexible, Can't tell if it is helping LE as I have about zero swelling and no pain in arms or hand although I am classified stage 2. My back stings behind armpit and swells so we will see if it eliminates it. Yah it's truncal.

Log in to post a reply

Dec 4, 2012 06:14AM Nitocris wrote:

Carol, thank you. I am glad if these resources can help.

Hugz4u and Joy, I tried with my iphone too and I can't access the Tai Chi video either.  Text and pictures are alright, but can't access any of the videos.  No problem with my Mac.

Here is another breathing video: The Three-Part Breath - It is one among several Yoga breathing technics and works really well to stimulate movements in the trunk and thus promote lymphatic flow in that area.


Diagnosis 04.12.2009. Multifocale ILC & ISDC Stage 1 - 1/11 nodes - ER+/PR+

Log in to post a reply

Apr 12, 2013 11:31PM hugz4u wrote:

Bumping this thread up for curveball, She is needing some tips as she is flying soon. She is not able to get sleeve and gloves due to time restrictions.

Log in to post a reply

Apr 18, 2013 01:39PM comingtoterms wrote:

This is glorious! Thank you!

Dx 1/9/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 1/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 28, 2014 03:05PM hugz4u wrote:

Bumping this for GMA and newcomers. This is simple and not time consuming.

Log in to post a reply

Feb 28, 2014 04:04PM GmaFoley wrote:

Thank you I found it.

Imagine God in His HUGE rocking chair, rocking you and saying, "It will be ok, you can do it. I will be right here for you". Oncotype score: 8, Rads 28, Bilateral arm, truncal LE and now Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Dx 4/19/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-