CHHC’s Holistic Management of Lymphoedema and Lipoedema

Colchester Holistic Health Clinic fosters a holistic approach to management providing advice and support to enable patients to live a full and active life. In addition to providing Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatment and Compression Garments we strongly support and encourage patients with self management and maintaining the cornerstones of care.   We provide appropriate and effective education about their condition and psychosocial support.  This is a non rushed environment, where patients are listened to and given time to ask as many questions as they need. Benefit from our vast experience and get support with your self management plan which incorporates your cornerstones of care:

■ Skin care

■ Exercise/movement

■ Compression – compression garments application

■ Simple Lymphatic Drainage SLD performed by the patient


Holistic management goals can help achieve the following 1-2:

Reduction in size and volume

Improved lymph flow

Improved skin condition

Improved subcutaneous tissue consistency with loosening of hard fibrotic tissue

Improved limb shape

Improved limb function and mobility

Improved symptom control for lipoedema with reduction in pain and haematoma

Improved emotional state

Enhanced patient/family/carer involvement

Increased independence and self-management skills


Lymphoedema has a physical and psychosocial impact so we think it is important to have a holistic approach to care.  Education, psychosocial support, pain management are the foundations of care of which Manual Lymphatic Draining (MLD) and Self Lymphatic Drainage (SLD) forms a part.   The objectives of treatment are to reduce excess volume so that compression hosiery can be applied and to support patients/carers in their self-management 3.


Lymphoedema treatment generally has three different phases 4-5:

First phase Initial management 1 – 4 weeks intensive phase treatment + education/cornerstones/ psychosocial supportSite, stage, severity andcomplexity
Second phase Transition management 1-3 months Reduced treatment phase/Monitoreducation/cornerstones/ psychosocial support
Third phase Long-term management 6 months then yearly adjust to living with a long-term condition/maximise self mx/empowerment/sense of control

relapse management start back at phase one



1             Kwan M, Cohn JC, Armer JM, Steward BR and Cormier JN (2011). Exercise in patients with lymphedema: a systematic review of the contemporary literature. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. December 2011, Volume 5, Issue 4, (320-336)


2             NHS Choices Information (2019) Lymphoedema – Treatment [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from:


3             International Lymphoedema Framework (ILF) (2019) Annual Report June 2019 [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from:


4             International Society of Lymphology Executive Committee (2013). The Diagnosis and Treatment of Peripheral Lymphedema. Consensus Document of the International Society of Lymphology. [Online] [Accessed 030120] Available from:


5             Bjork, R. and Hettrick, H., 2019. Lymphedema: New Concepts in Diagnosis and Treatment. Current Dermatology Reports8(4), pp.190-198.