About Cooling

Cooling For Lymphedema Book

What you'll learn:
  1. Cooling reduces inflammation in the breast tissue.
  2. Cooling reduces the risk of lymphedema becoming chronic.
  3. Cooling prevents tissue fibrosis or hardening.
  4. Cooling for lymphedema is scientifically proven to work!
  5. Cooling prevents cellulitis infections.
  6. Cooling softens swollen breast tissue.

Frequently Asked

Questions
What are Cooling Towels?
Cooling Towels are made of a moisture retaining fabric. They are used to cool the skin over any body part with lymphedema. By cooling the skin swelling in the superficial layers of the skin is immediately reduced, and inflammation, pressure and discomfort are relieved. Therapeutic cooling is known to have many benefits and is widely used in the healing arts. In the study I co-authored moderate topical cooling was scientifically shown to improve tissue pressure and to reduce tissue swelling in body parts impacted by lymphedema.
How do Cooling Towels work?
Cooling therapy is commonly used in rehabilitation to aid in decreasing swelling and inflammation. Physiologically, there is a collapse of small vessels in the tissue which allow for an immediate reduction of fluid in the area being cooled. This reduces swelling and also reduces pain and pressure often associated with chronic lymphedema. Skin cooling is proven to reduce tissue pressure and inflammation, and should be a component of any comprehensive lymphedema management program. When cooling over delicate body parts affected by lymphedema, such as breast tissue, it is necessary to observe a modified cooling process to protect the skin. Never use commercially available gel cooling packs directly on the skin over areas affected by lymphedema. These gel packs are frozen in the freezer and achieve sub-freezing temperatures. Using commercially available gel packs can lead to skin burns and might damage the small lymphatic vessels located in the superficial layers of the skin that are associated with lymphedema.
How are Cooling Towels prepared?
Cooling Towels are soaked and hydrated in water, then stored in Ziploc bags in the cooling compartment of the refrigerator, NEVER in the freezer. Due to the increased water content of the material, they will attain an avg cold temperature of 41-44 degrees Fahrenheit. When draped on the skin they will momentarily feel cold. The cold temperature will immediately lessen as the warmer underlying skin is rapidly cooled. This process causes an immediate reduction of swelling in the upper layers of the skin where lymphedema occurs. If the Cooling Towels are placed in the freezer by mistake, they will become hard and useless for use in skin cooling.
How long does cooling take and how often should I cool?

The cold cooling towel should be contoured to the area impacted by lymphedema as soon as it is removed from the Ziplock bag which is stored in the cooling compartment of the refrigerator. Once the towel becomes warm, the process should be repeated as needed. When first starting the cooling protocol I recommend applying the cooling towels twice in a row. When lymphatic fluid is allowed to pool under the skin, the naturally occurring release of body heat through the skin and sweat glands is reduced and body heat becomes trapped leading to a rise in temperature in areas impacted by lymphedema. The first application of the cooling towel will quickly cool the superficial layers of the skin removing trapped body heat. You may notice a rapid warming of the cooling towels the first time they 

are applied. When skin cooling is done on a regular basis, lymphatic fluid will not be allowed to build up and body heat will not be trapped, thereby improving the health of the tissue.

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