Woman's World

Quick relief

- — Cynthia Mcvey

For more than a decade, Deeanna Nagel suffered from a lung condition that left her gasping for breath. Prescribed treatments weren’t helping, but then, a surprising­ly simple at-home technique worked a miracle!

Deeanna Nagel, sighed as she waited in yet another doctor’s office. For decades, she’d experience­d painful, chronic swelling in her left foot and ankle and she’d been going from doctor to doctor, searching for a cause. “You have primary lymphedema, a condition in which there is a buildup of lymph fluid under the skin,” a vascular specialist finally told her. “There’s no cure, but there’s a treatment that can ease your symptoms.”

There was a time when Deeanna would have been overjoyed to finally know the cause but, sadly, she already had another, even more debilitati­ng, illness to contend with. In her 30s, Deeanna had been diagnosed with advanced pulmonary sarcoidosi­s, an autoimmune disorder that caused the lymph nodes in her lungs to become inflamed and stiff, making it hard to expel mucus. Even with

medication and percussion therapy (which involves clapping on the chest and back to loosen the mucus) she still struggled to breathe. Having to add another treatment for her lymphedema was upsetting, but Deeanna hoped it would relieve her pain.

Unexpected healing

Deeanna began going to a clinic a couple of times a week for lymphatic drainage massage (LDM). During her sessions, a trained physical therapist worked her way up from Deeanna’s legs through her torso, each arm and even her neck and face, lightly pressing on the skin in an upward motion to get the lymph fluid flowing.

After just a couple of sessions, the swelling in Deeanna’s foot and ankle went down, relieving her pain. But she noticed something else astonishin­g: She had a lot of sinus drainage and productive coughing. This is

“Lymphatic drainage reduces fluid buildup around the lungs, improving oxygen distributi­on.”

— Brittany Ferri, occupation­al therapist

loosening all the fluid in my body, even in my lungs, she realized.

But the sessions were costly and not covered by insurance, so Deeanna worried she wouldn’t be able to continue. Then she learned she could do LDM herself at home and all she needed was a natural bristle hairbrush or body brush.

Using a baby’s brush, Deeanna began giving herself home lymphatic massages each morning. Starting at her feet, using slow and gentle strokes on dry skin, Deeanna brushes up each leg to the top of her thigh, then up her torso along the sternum. She then works her way up each arm, from hand to armpit.

Moving on to her face, she brushes outward from her chin along the jaw and from nose to cheek to ear. Finally, she sweeps down her neck to the right and the left to the lymphatic ducts located above the collarbone.

With each passing week, Deeanna’s swelling and breathing markedly improved. Today, she no longer takes any medication and hasn’t needed to be percussed for more than five years.

Even her doctor was amazed. “Keep doing what you’re doing,” he told her enthusiast­ically.

Deeanna, who is now a licensed therapist, a certified aromathera­pist and wellness coach, has no intention of stopping her massages. “At 57, I feel better than ever!” she beams. “I’m finally able to live and enjoy my life—and breathe freely!”

 ??  ?? “It was a fluke that my lymphedema treatment helped clear my lungs too. It’s truly amazing,” says Deeanna
“It was a fluke that my lymphedema treatment helped clear my lungs too. It’s truly amazing,” says Deeanna

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