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Lymphedema-animal touch

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:51 pm
by LouiseS
I am from South-Africa. When lymph-edema was first diagnosed in my right dominant arm,I felt very sorry for myself. As being an Occupational Therapist myself having learnt about lymphedema, but actually knowing nothing and struggling to find a lymphedema therapist I was down in the dumps.However having said that and still going through some "sorry for myself spells" it is going better psychologically.

However in the last 2 weeks I decided enough is enough life goes on and I am not going to sit arouns and let it pass me. I want to continue with the things I love. Besides my 4 children and very loving husband we have a horse we absolutely adore. I started going to him more regularly again. However when I get to him he nibbles only with his lips my right arm, he rubs his head against my right arm. In the beginning I pushed him away nervous for my "fat" arm. However he refused and kept going at that arm. I then also started stroking him more with my right arm, because it eased the pain.

Yesterday I saw a friend and she replied that my arm looks so much better. I started realising about a week ago that the pain is much better, and I though the swelling was going down, but I thought it is just my imagination. I went to get photo's of my arm previously and I was surprised to see the amount that my arm's swelling went down. I then measured my arm again and it the wrist went down almost 2cm.

Did anybody do any research on the effect of gentle touch involving an animal on lymph-edema patients? Has anybody also experienced something similar? Is it just a co-incidence or can it really happen?

Kind regards
Louise Stadler :D

Re: Lymphedema-animal touch

PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:01 am
by patoco
Hi Louise

Super welcome to the family. :)

As far as I know, there has been no research on this. having had lymphedema every day of my life for 57 years, I have come to realize that everything can and does effect our health and subsequently our LE. BTW, I just saw your post on the Lighthouse site.

Diet, over all physical health, exercise, stress, emotions and even the amount of sleep we have can effect the swelling. Studies have been done though on the effects of being around animals that we love and care for and it actually is documented that they really do help not only our emotional health, but our physical health too. I suspect that what happened is the inner joy and comfort (love) that comes from being around your horse. It also probably relieves the stress you feel.

It therefore would (my personal opinion here) help your swelling and the pain as well.

This is really cool and I appreciate you posting and sharing this :!: :!: :D