A Breath of Fresh Air! The Benefits of Deep Breathing Exercises for Lipedema Symptoms


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Did you know the simple practice of mindful, deep breathing not only nixes nerves but can greatly make a difference in alleviating your painful lipedema symptoms?  Relax!  This isn’t a bunch of hot air.  

When we think of deep breathing exercises, one of the first things that come to mind is sitting on a mat cross-legged, eyes closed, palms turned up, and uttering “om” over and over.  While deep breathing is usually associated with the ancient practice of mindful meditation, it has also been shown to have a powerful, positive impact on the painful, chronic symptoms of lipedema and other lymphatic disorders.  Lymphatic fluid is unable to circulate or “flow” with a ‘pump” like our blood does from the heart.  Instead, lymph flow relies on the stimulation of our joints and muscles using soft movements, such as low, deep breathing. Source

What Are Deep Breathing Exercises?
Deep breathing exercises are targeted abdominal or diaphragmatic movements that trigger the body’s lymphatic response.  These exercises have been proven to clear lymphatic streams by creating a space of negative pressure that helps flush out fluid into the body’s venous circulation from the lymph system.  Whenever lymph fluid from our lower extremities passes through our lymphatic structures, drainage is boosted.  Both inhalation as well as exhalation produce a natural, internal massage-like effect on your organs, greatly enhancing the functionality of the abdominal organs and acting as a “pumping” mechanism for optimal lymphatic flow.  

Benefits of Deep Breathing Exercises
Besides encouraging lymphatic flow, which helps reduce pain and swelling in the legs of lipedema sufferers, you may find these other benefits a breath of fresh air:

  • Eliminates/flushes toxins from the body
  • Fires up metabolism
  • Helps intestinal lymph nodes to absorb fat
  • Supports immune system
  • Provides overall health, healing, and harmony due to the reduction of lymphatic stasis  

Getting Started
All deep breathing exercises can be modified if you experience or have limited shoulder or motion range.  The great thing about deep breathing exercises is you can do them almost anywhere, at any time, and they’re free!  All that is needed is a set of lungs and a limitless supply of fresh, body-benefitting oxygen.  Let’s get started:

  • Start by leaning against a sturdy object/wall for balance and support, if needed.
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and simply relax arms at your sides with palms facing toward your sides (inward).
  • Inhale deeply as you gently and slowly raise your arms the towards ceiling. Pause at the top.
  • Exhale slowly as you bring your arms back down to starting position.  That’s one breath.  


Repeat ten times for a total of ten, controlled breaths.  The key is to not rush through the ten breaths.  Take your time and completely relax.  There is no race to the finishing line. This basic, deep breathing exercise can also be performed lying down with legs stretched out before you.  Tip:  Deep breathing exercises that help alleviate painful, day-to-day symptoms of lipedema are free, easy, and can be performed almost anywhere and at any time, especially when you feel the anxiety beginning to kick into high gear.  The goal is to learn to use deep breathing as a “pump” for your lymphatic system while concentrating more on the exhalation.  Slow, controlled exhalation is the best way to breathe out, as it remarkably clears, centers, cleanses and comforts mind, body, and soul.  

Have you tried deep breathing exercises to help ease the pain of lipedema?  Our Total Lipedema Care community we’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please share your experience, tips, tricks, or other need-to-know’s in the comment section below.

To learn more, please contact our Beverly Hills, California office to schedule a consultation with any of our highly trained specialists