Holistic treatment for Lymphedema and Lipedema

Lymphedema and lipedema are both lifelong chronic conditions, the most important part of a treatment plan is finding a qualified health care provider who is well trained in treating these chronic diseases. 


There are several training schools that specialize in training healthcare providers on how to treat lymphedema and lipedema.  Most clinical training at universities does not include any detailed information on lymphedema or lipedema, so it is very important to research that your health care provider has had special training on your condition. You can look for a CLT which is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and other certifications like LANA which is a comprehensive exam and certification from the Lymphology Association of North America. 

However, it’s very important for you to be involved and learn all elements of the treatment plan, as well as becoming knowledgeable in your condition.  As you can see from the diagram, there is overlap in treatment with both conditions.  Skin care, compression therapy, exercise and self-management are important to treating both conditions. Meeting with a health care provider to discuss what options are best for you, those plans should be designed around your individual presentation, needs, abilities, location, and other medical conditions.

A support network is also very important, having a community that understands your condition and challenges will help you to not feel isolated or alone in this. Many people with lymphedema and lipedema don’t like to talk about it, and that’s OK!  But if you have questions or do want to talk about it, there are options.  Best advice is to educate yourself, ask questions, and stay up to date.

There is ongoing research to understand these conditions and the best ways to provide treatment.  Organizations like Lymphedema Education and Research Network (LE&RN) provide a list of Centers of Excellence. The goal of the LE&RN Centers of Excellence (COE) program is to increase access to the best possible multi-disciplinary clinical care and services for individuals affected by Lymphatic diseases (LD) and their families through a geographically diverse network of local and/or regional clinical centers.   

Find out more about the LE&RN.

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