Tami Arthur LMT, C-MLD, CLT

Surgery/ Lymphedema Stretches

(all exercises can be done sitting down) Lower leg exercises should be done sitting on chair with no arm rests. Not all exercises will apply to your situation, however it is good to do all of them to stimulate your whole lymphatic system to help it work to get rid of any swelling and to improve your immune system response.

-Deep breathing- ( Ballerina breathing)

1. Bend slightly with arms straight in front. Slowly take a deep breath and as you raise your arms straight up. In front of you. Reach above you. Flip your hands. Slowly blow breath out as you push out like painting the walls to the sides. Repeat three more times.

-Shoulder shrugs-

1. Shoulders to your ears.  2.  Shoulders in your pants pockets

-Head and neck -

1. Head tilts. Chin to chest (4x) 2. Head turns. Left and right.. (2x each side)

-Deep breathing -repeat-

-Side reaches-

1. Shoulders, hips, and feet in line with one another.  2.  Reach out to the side with hand at a 90 degree angle from the arm.  (stretch with intension) 

-Slow hand wave-

Slow reach forward 1. Hands to chest. Fist closed   2.  Push hand out in front as you slowly open fingers. Pinky first.        3.   Reach like you cannot quite reach something. (with hand at that 90 degree angle)   4. Feel the stretch                          5.   Slowly bring hand back to close position using pinky first.

-Deep Breathing -repeat-

-Large arm circles- 

 1. Put one foot forward slightly. 2. take opposite arm and swing it to the outstretched leg 3. follow your arm all the way up and around to put back in its place.

-Arm twists -

1. Raise one arm straight up  2. Slowly turn to look under you arm pit as you twist to look back.  3. Return to front          4. Slowly twist to the other side.  5.  Then lift other arm and repeat.

-Marching in place-

1. Lift one knee to 90 degrees slowly to a count of 4   2.  Return to a count of 4.  3.  Repeat with other leg

-Knee turn out -

1. Lift to 90 degrees.   2. Turn out slowly   3. Turn in slowly.

-Leg lifts-

1. While sitting, alternate legs lifting straight out

-Ball squeeze-

1. Place soft medium sized ball between legs and squeeze

-Ankle rotations-

1. Rotate ankles in circles backwards and forwards

-Finish with deep breathing-

-All exercises should be done slowly with purpose. No more than (7x) each. It’s important to breath with each exercise. Stop when there is pain or out of breath. Recover and go slower. You can feel tugging and stretch, but no pain.

-Drink plenty of water. Alternate with electrolytes. Protein shakes at least once a day

-Dry brush after exercises.

-Remember any exercise can be done sitting or standing. Deep breathing and pointing and flexing of ankles can be done lying down in morning and at night. If you were finding it hard to do the deep breathing, then you can use the cat cow from yoga. Exaggerate the breathing in and arching down like a cow and then push the breath out when you curl up into cat.

-Stand up on your toes and back on your heels.. Just enough to reach a stretched state then stop. No overuse.


-Below is a video of another peddler.   This serves as a guide for using your peddler.  Above is a less expensive alternative.