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lymphatic drainage and peripheral neuropathy

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

First 90 minute massage for lymphatic drainage and reflexology.

Has anyone else tried this type of massage ?

This is probably just a co-incidence but my peripheral neuropathy in my feet has almost gone, my feet feel almost normal. I just touched them. will try this again soon, best $80 I have spent.

Now the maryann is fantastic experienced wise asian practioner, certified in oncology massage and reflexology.

We talked for the entire 90 minutes about life, cancer, lymph nodes, she showed me how to drain them myself.

It all started as a co-incidence as i went to naturopath to pickup "metagenics inflavonoid intensive care" as a part of my naturopathic program to reduce inflamation, they had a last minute masage cancellation and I took it and came back at 3pm that afternoon. I had been feeling really off with my diarrhea and a bit worried that I'd could end up back at ER if it did not settle soon. I think I lost 3kg in a day, despite drinking fluids.

I had heard that massage was banned for cancer patients, then I heard of specific courses for cancer massage. All I can say is I feel great this morning and am off for a walk.
the course maryann did was designed by "petrea king" who did my life saving "cancer retreat" before Christmas.

Curious if anyone has got more info.

Have a great day,

Pete

@@@@@@@@@@ PLEASE NOTE WARNINGS RE LYMP MASSAGE IF YOU HAVE@@
IF YOU HAVE ACTIVE CANCER
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

With your Onc?

From http://www.lymphnotes.com/article.php/id/151/

Afferent lymphatic vessels carry unfiltered lymph into the node. Here waste products, and some of the fluid, are filtered out.

In another section of the node, lymphocytes, which are specialized white blood cells, kill pathogens that may be present. This causes the swelling commonly swelling known as swollen glands.

Lymph nodes also trap cancer cells and slow the spread of the cancer until they are overwhelmed by it.

Efferent lymphatic vessels carry the filtered lymph out of the node to continue its return to the circulatory system.

As I understand this, the node traps the cancer and tries to contain it, only releasing the cancer when it has been overwhelmed (killed?).

It would seem that draining an infected node could have the effect of spreading the cancer.

I am neither a biologist nor a hematologist, but this does not feel right to me.

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

i will shoot onc an email. Good idea.

I have heard for and against on this, done some reading.
Apparently even exercise gets lymphatic system flowing.
Really not sure.

When i was getting the reflexology on my feet, maryann said
'tell me if it hurts'
i told her my feet are numb and to go for it and its unlikely i will feel anything.
I did actually feel mild pain while she worked my feet.
Pete

John23
Posts: 1832
Joined: Jan 2007

There's been an awful lot of disparaging remarks made here lately,
regarding the value of "alternative" medicine when dealing with cancer.

I find that sort of attitude less than helpful, and well into an actual
harmful direction, for those that can use the help.

Please read at the links provided concerning this topic of
"massage for lymphatic drainage":

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage for Cancer Patients

Standard Treatment of Lymphedema-Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymphatic massage

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Instead of arbitrarily denouncing anything that does not conform to one's
personal beliefs, one should make an honest and earnest attempt to garner
as much knowledge regarding what they are attempting to denounce.

Chemotherapy and radiation are -not- the only ways to fight cancer
successfully, and there are plenty of us out here as living proof of that.

I was finally released from hospital care March 9th after being in
since Jan 28. I have been made aware during that time, that I have
been a stage 4 colon cancer since my initial surgery in 2006.

(In 2006, one oncologist claimed I was a late 3c, the other oncologist
said a 4)

Surgery is not deemed "western medicine", "TCM", or of any
variable of health care; surgery is surgery. They removed all of
what they felt was cancer, but informed me that cancer was
throughout my body and -only chemo- will give me time to live.
The prognosis was bleak; three years, perhaps more, with chemo.
No prognosis if I did not do chemo..

I did not do chemo, nor did I do radiation. I located and used
medicinal strength imported herbs that were known to isolate and
destroy cancer cells without causing any other damage.

That..... was in 2006.

Not all alternatives are folly or "snake oil". Many of the leading
institutions are now embracing alternatives, and attempting to use
them as an adjunct to conventional western medicine practices.

There are indeed other ways to deal with cancer, but you won't
find them by denouncing the mere concept that they are there.

Better health to you.

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

To another post.

Regardless of what you believe, surgery alone on stage 1- 3 cancer can have a curative effect. Adjuvant chemotherapy can improve the odds of that effect.

Under certain conditions (colon cancer with mets to the liver) the same can be true of stage IV.

In my humble opinion, you were cured by your surgeon. I am happy for you, and for the others here that have not had recurrence. I hope you maintain that.

Lifeisajourney
Posts: 217
Joined: Apr 2010

the comments on this subject and finding it informative, but I really got excited when I saw John23 commenting. Welcome back, I don't know if I missed your return on another thread, but so glad to see you back. Hope you are doing ok. Interesting subject. Pat

Lori-S's picture
Lori-S
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sep 2010

Welcome back to the board John. It's good to see you posting. You were in my thoughts and I am so glad that you are finally feeling recovered enough to grace us with your presence. You were missed.

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

Welcome back. I hope you are fully recovered and that the new stoma is working out better than your early experience with the old one.

Got a little rushed on my other reply, my wife really wanted to go to Ikea, and what was I doing that was so important anyway! :)

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

dear graci,

you are so sweet, I am sorry you have to navigate the different agendas of onc and surgeons. I can see why you'd be so frustrated. When we beat this curse, we will certainly earn our survival.

hugs,

Pete

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

hi john,

i appreciated your comments with regard our alternatives.

the massage links are informative, thanks,

"Cancer patients should not receive massage therapy in areas of enlarged lymph nodes or tumors since this may increase risk of spreading cancer cells." for me I guess I am NED and the massage is ok, whereas someone with active tumours the answer is no.

blake's point about cancer cells collecting in the lymph nodes and being killed there is interesting.

it might be to simplistic, but most of our tumours appear in the liver or the lungs, they were not killed in the lymphatic system.

so will the massage and its benefits strengthen the immune system and give us an edge ? I hope so.

yes this is just another straw I am cluthching at.

i really do appreciate everyones comments. please also note I am my own guinea pig and offer these results with no warantee.

the center where I am going was regard as in the top 5 in my state. given how many patients suffer from our curse, the huge number of studies from surgery, oncology and alternatives. I find our humble board the ricest source of opinion and experience.

got to play chess with the kids. bye!

thanks,

pete

1acme
Posts: 77
Joined: Mar 2011

Hello Pete;

I had been getting massage for past few years about 4-5x a year and I always get LYMPH DRAINAGE (when I was healthy). It gets your lymph's get going and work better to removing toxins from your body. It is always like deep tissue massage, very painful , day after you will be soared as they must push in to you to reach the lymph's. Sometimes they also use massage wand made from semi-precious stone. After a "real" Lymph Drainage massage you will be soared day after, your Pee should change color and may even get diarrhea (which you did) showing you that toxins are leaving your body.

Also another great treatment to remove toxins from your body is CUPPING therapy/massage. It is not that easy to find a practitioner, but it is also great to invest in this therapy.

Another treatment I get is ION CLEANSE - you soak your feet in water and after several minutes color of water change color as toxins from your body are removed. Try it first at some clinic. It is about $35/30min, and if you like it you can get your own machine for about $150 for your family use.

You also mention that you have some issues with your feet .... may be you can try traditional chinese acupuncture.

Good luck
Helen

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

helen,

I can get the cupping going at this center, I'll ask about it. thanks for the tip about diarrhea as a possible result from the massage. I tend to think its just my poor chemo ravaged stomach protesting enough is enough. As i approach the end of my 12 cycles folfox my onc mentioned all the side effects will get more intense.

everyone,

the real point I was hoping for comment on was the possible relationship between lymphatic massage and peripheral neuropathy. its possible the most common and worst side effect most of get from folfox due to its persistence. its just my observation but my feet were almost normal after the massage and god that was a great feeling. it could be a co-incidence or the reflexology or the lymphatic drainage.

thanks for commenting and the links.

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

so,
my feet were like they had gloves on, I can feel pressure even light touches, but its different to before, its persistent. After a bath I dry them, I can feel pins and needles if I dry between the toes. My kids try to tickle them and now I can say "Oh stop" rather than kicjk them off instantly. I had very ticklish feet, now they barely respond.

graci, why is the nerve damage so much worse in our feet, then hands or elsewhere ? I think this is a good question, that may leads us to understanding the issues with nerve damage.

My feet still feel almost normal, have done a 90 minute walk in AM and an hour with the kids PM. Maybe slightly less normal than yesterday but its so hard to tell. I could also say no difference. if their is a difference its been very minor over the last day.

I posted about the warm water and alcohol, sometime back with regard to neuropathy. I was told to do this by my naturopathic team. I had no other comments from the board, been meaning to try it, but am worried I will start drinking again. LOL

ravaged with regard to stomach is not pain, but just cumulative chemo damage I suspect. I suspect my diarrhea is not helped by the chemo, but so many things like tumeric even may contribute to it.( thanks blake ). juicing, even the massage itself. still been taking my naturopathic pills and potions for stomach, and have had some success with good solid output. but still feel dehydrated.

getting close to finishing the oxi is a relief, I still goto cross the finish line. I wished my friends here had a better run with it. in the scheme of things we are a small sample. One onc nurse I had dinner with said, most of her paitents make it through, I mentioned our experience here. No possible explanation for the difference except we are so unique physically. its possibly also our strongest point for survival.

Was on standard 46 hour infusion 5fu fanny pack. Definitely did not swim while on it, but almost did by accident once.

I believe all my complimentary supports have helped me so far on this journey, especially this board that patiently listens to my views and comments. how much tcm or supplements or diet or exercise or meditation or hypnotheraphy or juicing or massage or positive thinking or support groups or pschologists or phsiotherapist I cannot say which one. My supports have all felt right at the time they appeared. I struggle to do them all as well, but do try them all as often as the opportunity presents itself.

I would like to think that everyday we are a step closer to better treatments, this board has more potential to help ourselves and others then we appreciate. I would love the idea that one day some major advance in our treatment, our survival will come from a post here and that it will be our job to push our onc's around the world when we have enough evidence for it.

hugs,
pete

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

Feel free to disagree with me anytime!

Let me respond to several points in your post:

"So many women with breast cancer get lymphedema and massage has been the only thing to really help them."

At the time of my original post no one had mentioned lymphodema, nor had Pete mentioned the location of his lymph massage.  Looking it up and there are benefits to those suffering lymphodema, I would still question the wisdom of massaging a cancer infected node.

"Pete the feet deal amazes me! How bad were they and are they still OK a day or two later?"

Pete is just finishing his treatment.  I did not get neuropathy in my feet until the last two treatments.  I hope the massage works, but there is a percentage for which the neurapathy just goes away.

Ion Cleanse:

Total bunk.
http://skepticalsurfer.blogspot.com/2008/04/ioncleanse-aka-rust-machine.html

"Pete sounds like you and Louswift are the only ones that finished the Oxi?
Maybe Bralee made it too?"

I went through the full twelve treatments, as did the guy who sat with me in the chemo room.

"I do not think you would have finished it had you not had all the suppliments and TCM to keep your immune system healthy."

Graci, you know that my WBC stayed normal the whole treatment?  The only supplement I was taking was protein powder.

"I also think if the Americans would be able to finish or go forward if they too had the suppliments and TCM to help them too."

We have the same access as Australia.  Pete pays for these out of pocket, not through insurance.

Graci, 

I know the effects of chemo hit you hard, and, as you know, I am not a fan of chemo with no proven purpose.  We gamble with this disease and with the treatments.  Someone on CNN today (discussing Japan) mentioned that three CT scans a year increases cancer risk by 1%.  That means that one out of every hundred will get cancer, the odds of not getting it are great, but somebody has to be that one.

This works in reverse as well.  Out of every 100 dx'd stage IV 10 will survive, Scouty is an example of that number, Lisa Rose is an example of the 44 with stage 3 who survive.

All my love,

Blake

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

"Blake I don't see where we have all the access as other countries. If we do we don't get it paid for with our insurance, it is out of pocket and unless you find a modern and not God-like Onc he won't even allow you a cup of tea a day?"

Insurance, even National Health in other countries, does not pay for alternative treatments.

Pete pays out of pocket for these things, just like you or I would. The care he has access to is the same as ours.

No oncologist is god-like, we choose to listen to them or to go our own way. I read your experience, and your guy should be disbarred! Mine saw me once a week throughout treatment. Even 2beHealed has an oncologist. I am sorry you have had so many bad experiences.

Your friend,

Blake

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

One of the values of this board is the range of opinion and approaches to surviving cancer it brings together. There has always been a respect for the fact that not all agree but we are all entitled to voice our own experiences and the knowledge we gather on this journey. Sharing it here is powerful and helpful to many of us.

I have always struggled with many aspects of this as I am a medical doctor raised within very mainstream medicine working in the NHS in the UK. My specialty is psychiatry and so it means my own beliefs are set within these frameworks but include the interaction between mind and body. I personally believe in the core of treatment being the mainstream surgeries and chemo/radiotherapy for which there is a scientific evidence base. Beyond this though there is much we don't know and that hasn't been fully evaluated in science. In the realm of unknown undoubtably some things will help and some things will not.

As far as lymphatic massage goes I understand it as a useful treatment for symptomatic relief of lymphoedema which those of us with cancer or who have had treatments that affect lymph drainage (both surgery and radiotherapy cause this problem) can be predisposed to. The question of it increasing cancer spread is uncertain and all such treatments should be discussed with the oncologist to assess the risks in the individual situation. Most good oncologists will accept that treatments include those outside traditonal medicine.

With respect to the neuropathy I can only guess that relieving some of the pressure within the legs by removing the fluid allows the nerves which haven't been damaged by the chemo to function better- a bit like if you sit too long with crossed legs and compress nerves and vessels your leg goes a bit numb; release the pressure and things feel better. I can't see that it repairs nerves that have been damaged in itself.

The bottom line is that if it helps- great. Just keep your docs informed of what treatments you intend to use.

And keep the debate fresh!
steve

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

so well said. its strange but I appreciate all the posts especially those who express contrary opinion. it takes a bit of courage to be different, to express non mainstream beliefs. I like to read everyones comments and assess for myself. your comments re neuropathy is what I was hoping for, it warrants more research personally on my behalf and possibly across the board.

I have asked my naturopath's to research what solutions that may help repair nerve damage. I'll share their results, even and even no result is worth knowing.

lets talk soon about the "biology of belief" a book I have been strugglig to finish for months. I am abit of a positive thinking nut, and as my world collapses around me, I still see the beauty and awe of this life we share.

cheers,
pete

LindaJS
Posts: 20
Joined: Feb 2011

I have no idea about lymphatic massage but I do use reflexology massage for some numb spots on my toes - not cancer related but nerve damage from bunions (I blame high heels!) and swear by it - helps relieve cramping across my feet also.
The other thing that worked really well was Onsen in Japan. After about 5 minutes in an Onsen bath I could feel my numb spots tingling - but I have been wondering if extreme heat would be as difficult to deal with as cold for people having chemo?
Cupping is quite intense - I tried it a couple of times for muscle tension and found it worked well but I gave it up after fainting during a treatment. If you go ahead with it make it on a good day - I would hate to have it done if I was suffering nausea or feeling weak.

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

its so good that reflexology has helped your non cancer numbness. I am just grateful I have found a good quality place to my massage and that feel so good.

The onsen bath also sounds interesting.

maybe relflexology for numbness could be the key and not the lymphatic drainage, I got both at the same time. I am keen to try the cupping and will take your advice re nausea and weakness. I have both at the moment.

hugs,
pete

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

Do you suffer from lymphedema?

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

thanks for asking, i don't think so, but i felt i was carrying some fluid around my gut mainly.
it all seems to have gone with the walking, diarrhea and maybe even the massage.
pete

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

http://www.skepdic.com/cupping.html

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

same result with my feet and the reflexology, probably even more pronounced.

one interesting question came during the massage, is the numbess and pins and needles presenting in my feet a reflection of the bodies organs being damaged by oxi ?

they almost feel normal. Its a shame as now I cannot dance with my wife, as if she
stands on my toes it will hurt. LOL

found this simple to follow explanation of the lymphatic system
http://www.lymphnotes.com/article.php/id/151/

alos did the cupping and they were incredibly relaxing, so in itself a good therapy from my experience.

also had lymph nodes around neck and jaw drained and this relieved the pain I had there.

pete

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