Topic: easyTAI CHI BREATHER EXERCISE to move Lymph fluid out

Forum: Lymphedema — Talk with other about how to lower your risk of lymphedema and how to manage it if you've been diagnosed.

Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 10:58PM - edited May 17, 2018 03:30PM by hugz4u

Posted on: Nov 26, 2012 10:58PM - edited May 17, 2018 03:30PM by hugz4u

hugz4u wrote:

Posted this in kick butt thread but thought it would be great for all. Super easy. Pictures at bottom of post

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 seconds. REPEAT 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.

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Nov 28, 2012 03:07AM cowgal wrote:

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

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Nov 28, 2012 05:44PM 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, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/5/2011 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Surgery 8/22/2012 Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Hormonal Therapy 9/5/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/22/2013 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/1/2021 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx IDC: Papillary, Left, <1, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 28, 2012 09:59PM 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!


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Dec 2, 2012 10:44PM - edited Dec 2, 2012 10:45PM 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!
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Dec 3, 2012 12:30AM 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+
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Dec 3, 2012 12:42AM 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.

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Dec 3, 2012 05:24AM 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- Surgery 1/2/2003 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 2/5/2003 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 7/8/2003 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 4/5/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/27/2011 AC Targeted Therapy 5/14/2011 Avastin (bevacizumab) Chemotherapy 7/29/2011 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Surgery 11/30/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 2/11/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 4/10/2012 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 8/2/2012
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Dec 3, 2012 05:59AM LuvLulu07 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, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 3, 2012 08:39AM - edited Dec 3, 2012 09:05AM 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+
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Dec 3, 2012 10:30AM 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!

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