Swelling in Feet and Legs
I have had some clients have remarkable improvement in reducing ankle
and lower leg swelling by using the body's own natural lymph pump and
gravity. I would like to tell you about this for yourself and any friends
with whom you would like to share this info.
The lymph system really has
one main pump ...
one thing that really facilitates circulation of interstitial fluids
that is movement.
But how the heck can you move with all this swelling?
Try this: Lay down on the couch (sounds doable already) with your head
on the arm rest or a pillow. Think about your leg closest to the back
of the couch. Lift that leg (I recommend that you use a long scarf or
the belt off from a robe to wrap around your leg and help you lift it)
so that you leg is resting on the back of the couch.
So now you are on the couch, with you leg resting on the back of the
couch. Notice that your foot, ankle, and leg are much higher than your
torso and heart. Good. Now gravity will help send fluids back to your
torso where the lymph nodes in your groin can process it. But you need
more than just gravity. You need the BIG pump. You need movement.
See that foot resting up there on the back of the couch. Think about
the toes on that foot. Now, slowly trace the alphabet with your big
toe. I client asked me if she should trace the capitol letters or the
lower case letters. I said: "Both". You can also point and flex your
foot, or do half circles to the outside.
Once you have done one leg, take your time and move over so that your
head is on the other arm rest or pillow. This will allow your other
leg to be next to the back of the couch and you can enjoy repeating
the exercise all over again. If doing this relaxing exercise for 5 minutes
helps a little, then try doing it for 10 or 15 minutes on each leg.
All these movements cause your ankle and calf muscles to contract and
release. These contractions ARE your best lymph pump.
Gravity and movement are both helping to send the fluid back to your
torso and lymph nodes. (Also, any blood that may have pooled in your
lower legs is pumped back to your heart and lungs too.)
Drawbacks: "This takes too long." ... Well, if you were to be so lucky
as to find a massage therapist who does manual lymph drainage (a comfortable
and gentle massage technique, not a scary medical procedure), and if
you had insurance to pay for it, and if you went to all the trouble
to get dressed and to the office for treatment ... you would feel better
... but just plopping down on the couch and wiggling your foot is MUCH
less time and effort!
Your own gravity and movement fluid pump is the most convenient least
expensive treatment you can find. You DESERVE the relief. You are WORTH
the time. TAKE CARE of yourself ... and just lay down for a bit and
wiggle your foot.
Your Appetite Can be
(An Excerpt from Don't Weight)
I used to travel with my husband on business trips. I functioned as
the hostess for wives who were also on the trip. We called these trips
"vacations". Indeed we traveled to Hawaii, Spain, and resorts all over
the country. I had the unique experience of traveling both when I was
a compulsive eater and when I had made peace with food.
Traveling as a compulsive eater was an interesting experience. There
was food everywhere. And there was permission to eat. After all, this
was vacation. At breakfast there was a display of pastries, and I could
have all that I wanted. I wanted a lot. Midmorning we were stopping
at a little shop for candies. And it was perfectly acceptable to have
candy on vacation. After all, I would go back to dieting when I returned.
This went on all day and all night, eating every two or three hours.
The first day I really enjoyed myself. The second day, the food had
lost its wonder. By the third day, I felt kind of sick. But I was on
vacation. How could I turn down these delicious treats that I would
never have again? The vacation became a roller coaster ride of eating
and nausea. I still enjoyed the eating, briefly. I spent most of the
vacation waiting for that sick feeling to go away ? so I could eat again.
Traveling only a few years later, when I had made peace with food,
was a completely different experience. I wanted to enjoy what I ate
and how I felt after I ate. I learned from experience that a good breakfast
helped me feel better all day. It was easy to choose a lower fat breakfast
and fresh fruits. I also enjoyed some pastry. This time, when the next
bite did not taste as delicious as the last, I
choose to stop eating so that I could enjoy myself more.
I was seeking that delightful balance between eating for pleasure and
feeling comfortable afterward. Midmorning, when we were at the shops
full of candies or treats, I had two questions to ask myself: Do I want
to be hungry for lunch so that I can enjoy lunch more? Or do I want
to enjoy some of this food now? I could answer yes to either question.
I could answer yes to both questions. What I would not do was to eat
until I felt sick. I was on vacation. I deserved to enjoy myself. I
would not spoil my vacation by overeating to discomfort.
I remembered a saying I had learned in Spanish class:
"Hunger is the best seasoning."
(Unfortunately, I remember it only in English because we learned by
When I was in the middle of compulsive eating and bulimia, I had not
experienced hunger for years. When I recovered from my eating disorders,
I paid attention to eating, enjoyment, and satisfaction. I learned that
hunger was truly the best seasoning. Everything tasted better when I
was hungry. So, when I was on vacation, getting hungry was a good thing.
It meant that I would enjoy my next meal even more. I would eat healthy
food at meals and enjoy tastes of desert. I would have bits of delicious
snacks between meals so that I would not spoil my appetite. My appetite
became something that I cultivated. I wanted to be hungry when it was
time to eat. I paced my eating for maximum enjoyment. After all, I was
This is a complete change from the familiar idea of "controlling your
appetite". This is really different from the idea that your appetite
is "the problem", or the feeling of being "at war with your appetite".
Your appetite can be an asset
to healthy eating, not an enemy!
When your appetite is an asset that enhances enjoyment in eating, you
have no need for control. You will eat comfortable amounts of food,
because it is more pleasurable. You will find yourself saying "No, thank
you" because you are looking forward to your next meal and you want
to feel your appetite for the next meal. The only effort you need is
the effort to keep your focus on truly enjoying yourself both now and
later. The only willpower you need is the willpower
to keep looking at the broader picture so that you can enjoy yourself
both now and later. What a difference!