LETS TALK LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE. The lymph system protects our body from invaders. It aids us in immunity and healing. When we have an invader such as illness, surgery, or anything foreign, our lymph can become blocked, causing inflammation and preventing the healing to occur.
Lymphatic drainage helps move the lymph so that it can do its job, you can heal, and inflammation can come back down.
The before pictures above here (left) are from 2 days after my egg freezing retrieval surgeries, and the after pictures (right) are 14 days after surgery. Lymphatic drainage is something that needs to be addressed in manyyyy other instances than surgery: swelling, bloat, fluid retention, or inflammation for any reason, whether it be from surgery, gut issues, injury, being sick, chronic illness, etc.
When you support lymphatic drainage you not only reduce inflammation and look and feel more yourself, but you support your immune system and energy levels. Being that I have now completed 5 rounds of egg stimulation and retrieval surgeries, I have picked up some tips that can really help you bounce back, get rid of swelling, and re-balance fluids.
I have found that these same tips work when I have an IBS flare up and am super bloated, too.
In the case of egg freezing, the injections leading up to retrieval tend to cause you to retain water but also make you produce multiple eggs and make your ovaries bigger, which makes you appear bigger in that area, and quite bloated. Unfortunately, post surgery is even worse. Almost all surgeries can cause an inflammatory response due to the trauma to the body, and in this case, because they go in through the vagina with a tiny needle to retrieve the eggs, it causes fluids to leak within the body. This, along with the effect of the hormones they give you to make your body think it's pregnant, gets worse for 7-10 days after surgery before it gets better.
Whatever your need is to support lymphatic drainage, these are the things I have found to help with that, and therefore accelerate the healing process and reduce inflammation.
TRY THESE TIPS:
1. lymphatic drainage massage-- going to a professional is ideal but there's a lot of great, easy videos on youtube. I did self-massage on my abdomen twice a day (light pressure, circular motions clockwise).
2. hot & cold-- HIGHLY EFFECTIVE. This would be sauna, infrared sauna, steam room, cold plunges, ice baths, cryo, and freezing cold showers.
3. diaphragmatic breathing-- Sounds strange but this was one of the most effective things I did. There's a certain technique to it so check out the video we did on diaphragmatic breathing!
4. hydrate-- Drink water with minerals (quinton is the best, we drink it daily as it contains 70+ minerals and trace minerals) to help hydrate, heal, and restore homeostasis (aka balance fluids). Avoid sugary electrolyte supplements/drinks!
5. movement-- In the case of surgery or illness you don't want to be doing anything intense, but a long walk will do the body a lot of good. Some gentle yoga and pilates as your body allows and if you feel up for it is great, too.
6. gua sha-- You can address face & neck with a facial gua sha and a larger tool for the whole body & abdomen. Start with upward motion from the feet, back of the knees, up the thighs to the groin. Downward motion from the center of the stomach down to the lower belly. Upward motion from the wrists to the top of the arms, armpits, and toward the heart.
7. red light therapy-- This is the near infrared light therapy we use daily. Mimicking the light of the sun, red light and near infrared light penetrates the cells and promotes rejuvenation and healing. It helps reduce inflammation and accelerates recovery. You can read about it here and if you decide you want one, use code BARENUTRITION for $80 off!
7. eat anti-inflammatory-- and avoid inflammatory foods. Eat mostly plants, avoid sugar, alcohol, processed foods, and dairy.
8. Try a lymphatic support supplement like this one. This herbal blend helps support the immune system to promote lymphatic drainage.
*for best results do a combination of multiple (or all) of these things!*