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Self-Care for Lymphedema Eat Drink and Be Healthy, Exercise, Aquatic Therapy, Journaling: Writing Your Way to Better Health, Preventive Foot Care, Self-Massage, plus Skin Care and Lymphedema. View articles.

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Old Jun 6, 2007, 04:25 PM
Anastasia Anastasia is offline
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Location: Washington, DC
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Question Epson Salt: Does it work?

My mother strongly suggests that I soak my feet in warm water and Epson Salt to combat the swelling. At the very least she doesn't think it can do any harm or worsen the condition.

I'm curious if there's any support or proof on one side or the other? Or am I just wasting my time?

The Aqua exercises sound like a good idea. Anyone have experience with just dealing with the feet? Will kicking with just my legs (while supporting my core with a flotation "noodle") help?
Washington, DC
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Old Jun 16, 2007, 02:31 PM
Wanda Wanda is offline
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Location: Wide open spaces
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Hi Anastasia,

Your question about epson salts is interesting and I did some Internet seaching on the topic. I could not find any references to the use of this product specificially for lymphedema.

Apparently it is used to ease sore feet and to help one relax. None of the descriptions of how it works describe ways that would help lymphedema.

If you give in to parental pressure and try the foot soaking, be sure to rinse your feet thoroughly when you are finished. Then dry very carefully -- particularly between your toes. (Mositure here encourages Athlete's foot and you really don't want to get that.) Lotion after all this would be helpful too to keep your skin soft.

Wishing your well, Wanda

P.S. Just kicking your legs isn't the best way to benefit from water exercise. Water exercises are great and working with group exercises are probably your best wet. If you can't find an exercise class, try walking back and forth in the water -- you might even try a flotation belt so you can "walk" in deeper water.

Last edited by Wanda; Jun 16, 2007 at 02:34 PM.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 04:50 PM
analei14 analei14 is offline
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Hi Anastasia,
your post on Epsom salts actually grabbed my attention, as this is something that a massage therapist once suggested that I should try to reduce swelling in the body. She suggested pouring two cups of epsom salts in the hottest bath water that I could comfortable handle, and soaking in it for half an hour or so. Truth be told, I did not think that her suggestion would work, but I tried it anyway. To my surprise, it actually worked! I noticed a reduction in swelling in my abdomen/thigh areas. I would highly recommend that you give this a try
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Old Sep 3, 2010, 01:46 PM
Marguerite Marguerite is offline
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Location: mid-west
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Too Hot to Handle

Epson salts sounds like an interesting idea; however I'm concerned about soaking in HOT water. All of the recommendations I've seen on treating lymphedema mention staying away from hot water because it could increase swelling.

If you want to try epson salts, limit your use of them to warm, NOT HOT, water!

Probably the very best action would be to ask your lymphedema therapist or your physician before using any new treatment on your own.

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Old Sep 6, 2010, 02:32 AM
LymphedemaGirl LymphedemaGirl is offline
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I am in touch with a girl who claims to have brought her Lymphedema down a lot with Epsom baths among other things. I have tried myself, and I felt more circulation afterwards, and perhaps brought the swelling down a little. What the salt does is draw out toxins. Some say that it takes quite big amounts, so I have been using 1 kg per bath, which makes it quite pricey with a couple of baths per week. Because of the price it has been a while now since I did it, but will take it up again when I have the funds, will try and do it religiously for a while.

VERY IMPORTANT: Be very careful with the temperature!! I can't stress this enough, as I personally passed out upon getting out of a very hot bath once. Apparently all the toxins suddenly cut loose can make a mess and make you feel sick or even pass out. It was most uncomfortable, and as I landed on the kettle I had used for heating a little extra water (the hot water system can't keep up for large amounts of water) I cut myself quite badly on the metal spout and it took weeks to heal.
Some say not to use water above 40, some even say 34 degrees. I go for 40, and now I measure the temp every time! Let us know how you go, please.

My blog about living with Lymphedema: LymphedemaGirl
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