Why It’s Important to Find a Qualified Lymphedema Therapist

Why It’s Important to Find a Qualified Lymphedema Therapist

Why It’s Important to Find a Qualified Lymphedema Therapist

If you are at risk for lymphedema or are already experiencing swelling it is important to establish a relationship with a qualified lymphedema therapist. The gold standard for treating lymphedema when swelling is present is called Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). Since every body is different and the lymphatic system is complete, CDT will vary for each individual. CDT often includes Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), wrapping in bandages, compression garments, lymphatic breathing/exercises, skin care, and an introduction to lymphedema self-care routines. Treatments are generally three times a week for six to 8 weeks. The goal is to enter a maintenance phase, where compression garments are worn instead of bandaging, and patients can maintain their wellness with at home self-care routine. 

Look for Credentials

Licensed massage therapists, physical therapists and physicians are eligible to receive training to become a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, which is a 135 hour program including a written and hands on exam, that leads to certification. It is important to note that lymphatic massage or MLD alone, is not the same as CDT. To be effective, lymphedema treatment should include MLD and compression. That’s why it’s called complete decongestive care. Many massage therapists receive training in their initial massage training in lymphatic drainage, but it is not the same as lymphedema treatment. Please check the credentials of the healthcare provider you select; as their training will have a big impact on your wellness, along with your safety and effectiveness of your sessions. 

How to Screen your Candidates

To find a qualified lymphedema therapist that’s a good fit for you, I suggest calling at least three therapists and asking these questions on the phone before scheduling an appointment:

  • Where did you receive your training?
  • What is your background? (PT? LMT? MD?)
  • What would a typical session look like? 
  • Why did you become a lymphedema therapist?

Resources for You

My alma mater is Academy of Lymphatic Studies, but there are several reputable educational institutions that certify therapists to treat lymphedema patients. Not all graduates of these programs chose to become a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. To find a qualified lymphedema therapist near you from any of these reputable schools, use the school directories listed below.

Dr. Vodder School International

Dr. Vodder School International therapists have been trained in CDT and MLD and have either updated or completed their training within the past two years. To find a Vodder School therapist scroll below Courses then Find A Professional. https://vodderschool.com/ 

Klose Training

Klose offers a 135 hour course that teaches the skills and knowledge necessary to safely and effectively treat patients with lymphedema using MLD and CDT. To find a therapist near you visit: https://klosetraining.com/therapist-directory/

Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS)

ACOLS offers a 135 hour certification training for healthcare professionals to safely and effectively treat and manage lymphedema using MLD and CDT. To find a qualified therapist near you visit: https://www.acols.com/find-therapist/

MLD Institute International 

The MLD Institute International provides certification and continuing education to massage and medical professionals in MLD only, not CDT. This would be appropriate if you are in maintenance phase and only require MLD. Find a graduate here: http://www.mldinstitute.org/find-a-mld-therapist-directory/

Healing Kneads Massage

At Healing Kneads Massage our therapists have received training from the Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS), in both MLD and Lymphedema Management. We have the skills to provide expert care, and the compassion to provide the care in a safe, compassionate way. We offer free phone consults as well, to answer any questions you may have about your treatment or our credentials

Want to learn more about how massage therapy can help with lymphedema treatment?

Book a call with Laura today!

We can’t wait to meet you and help you recover!

Laura is the founder of Healing Kneads. She graduated from Florida College of Natural Health in 2012 and is passionate about helping people find rejuvenation and renewal amidst the stresses of life, and relief from the pains that show up in their bodies because of that stress. She believes in the mind-body connection and believes every body has the potential for wellness and balance. Laura has helped clients with various issues, including neck and jaw pain, headaches, Lipedema, and Lymphedema.

She is licensed by the Florida Department of Health, and holds certifications in Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Sports Massage, cupping, and neuromuscular massage.

Skin Care Do’s and Don’ts for Lymphedema of the Arm

Skin Care Do’s and Don’ts for Lymphedema of the Arm

Skin Care Do’s and Don’ts for Lymphedema of the Arm

For breast cancer survivors and others affected by lymphedema, my bottom line advice for self-care is this: avoid skin injury and irritation to the affected arm. 

The human body reacts to injury by producing fluid. We’ve all experienced edema or swelling of some type in our lives. It’s a healthy and natural response as our body promptly jumps into action to protect us, and to start the healing process. We swell up, and may even develop bruises. This edema is temporary and we usually see it dissipate after a week. However, for someone whose lymphatic system has been compromised by surgery or radiation, this fluid is impeded and stays put in surrounding tissue. The end result is lymphedema, not edema. Since this fluid contains protein, the skin is especially susceptible to serious infection. 

As a Lymphedema Therapist, I spend a lot of time educating clients about the importance of skin care, as a slight irritation to the skin could cause a serious infection. A minor cut, scrape, or insect bite is insignificant to those with healthy lymphatic and immune systems, but those with lymphedema should pay special attention to protecting your skin. I’ve compiled this list of dos and do nots that I hope you will find helpful. 

Skin Care

  • Keep your skin meticulously clean and check frequently for any cracks, infections or rashes
  • Moisturize your skin daily
  • Use a low pH lotions only, such as Eucerin and Aquaphor
  • Dry your skin gently with a soft towel; pat dry, do not scrub
  • Avoid cosmetics that irritate your skin
  • If you are undergoing radiation, apply the ointments recommended by your physician to any radiation redness

Clothing-Jewelry-Compression Sleeve

  • Avoid clothing that is too tight or restrictive. Wear comfortable bras with wide shoulder straps
  • Do not wear tight jewelry and avoid elastic bands around your wrist
  • Wear your compression sleeve or bandages all day

Avoid Injuries to the Skin

  • Shaving: use an electric shaver instead of razor blades to shave your armpit
  • Nail care: keep your nails short, do not cut cuticles, avoid fake nails 
  • Wear gloves when gardening or playing with your pet (to avoid scratches)
  • Mosquito bites: wear insect repellant and avoid mosquito infested areas
  • Injections and blood draws: whenever possible, have these done on the non-affected limb. If both arms are affected, request blood to be drawn on the leg or foot (outside of emergencies)
  • Avoid blood pressure to be taken on the affected arm. 
  • To care for minor injuries, always carry an alcohol swab, an antibiotic, and Band-Aid
  • No piercing or tattoos on the arm, back or chest.

See your Doctor is you:

  • see any signs of infection, such as red or hot skin, fever and chills
  • notice any itching, rash, infections, or any other unusual changes on the skin
  • experience pain or increased swelling that will not go down

At Healing Kneads Massage we are proud to provide expert, compassionate, and professional massage therapy services to our community. Our approach to wellness is a holistic one, and we treat each client as they truly are: unique. We are unique ourselves in that we value our clients very much, and are extremely results and client-focused. We listen to our clients, customize each and every session to meet YOUR wellness goals, and perform full 60 or 90-minute sessions. 

Want to learn more about how massage therapy can help with lymphedema treatment?

Book a call with Laura today!

We can’t wait to meet you and help you recover!

Laura is the founder of Healing Kneads. She graduated from Florida College of Natural Health in 2012 and is passionate about helping people find rejuvenation and renewal amidst the stresses of life, and relief from the pains that show up in their bodies because of that stress. She believes in the mind-body connection and believes every body has the potential for wellness and balance. Laura has helped clients with various issues, including neck and jaw pain, headaches, Lipedema, and Lymphedema.

She is licensed by the Florida Department of Health, and holds certifications in Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Sports Massage, cupping, and neuromuscular massage.  

 

How Lymphedema is Treated

How Lymphedema is Treated

How Lymphedema is Treated

COMPLETE DECONGESTIVE THERAPY (CDT) 

Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is considered to be the gold standard of lymphedema treatment, and is in two phases.

PHASE 1

Phase 1 is known as intensive treatment. During this phase, the patient is seen daily by a lymphedema therapist, and usually wears bandages, or wrapping for 23 hours a day, 7 days a week. This phase typically lasts 2-4 weeks, with the primary goal of this phase to reduce swelling in the affected limb. 

PHASE 2

Phase 2 is known as the maintenance phase. During this phase, the patient takes over the responsibility of performing the daily tasks performed in phase 1, that are necessary to control the lymphedema. These treatments include self massage to move the stagnant lymph out of the tissues, wearing compression garments to prevent the swelling from returning again, skin care to maintain the health and prevent infections, and exercise to maintain lymph flow. 

MASSAGE TECHNIQUES

The purpose of gentle massage performed on the skin is to gently guide excess fluid out of the swollen area, so that it can return to the bloodstream. This technique is Manual Lymph Drainage, and should only be performed by a MLD therapist certified in the Vodder Method of MLD. 

COMPRESSION METHODS

The use of compression, at all times, is an important factor in the successful management of Lymphedema. The goals of compression are to:

  • Maintain the progress made during your massage (MLD) sessions
  • Prevent additional swelling
  • Support natural draining of lymph from the tissues.

CARE OF SKIN, NAILS AND FEET

Proper daily skin care is essential, to prevent infections, as Lymphedema patients are more susceptible to skin infections. 

EXERCISES

  • Daily exercise is essential to: 
  • Maintain the flow of lymph
  • Increase the mobility of joints and muscles
  • Maintain general health
  • Control weight, and to 
  • Improve the patient’s sense of well-being.

All these components are important in successfully managing lymphedema, and a Lymphedema Therapist can expertly help. 

At Healing Kneads Massage we are proud to provide expert, compassionate, and professional massage therapy services to our community. Our approach to wellness is a holistic one, and we treat each client as they truly are: unique. We are unique ourselves in that we value our clients very much, and are extremely results and client-focused. We listen to our clients, customize each and every session to meet YOUR wellness goals, and perform full 60 or 90-minute sessions. 

Want to learn more about how massage therapy can help with lymphedema treatment?

Book a call with Laura today!

We can’t wait to meet you and help you recover!

Laura is the founder of Healing Kneads. She graduated from Florida College of Natural Health in 2012 and is passionate about helping people find rejuvenation and renewal amidst the stresses of life, and relief from the pains that show up in their bodies because of that stress. She believes in the mind-body connection and believes every body has the potential for wellness and balance. Laura has helped clients with various issues, including neck and jaw pain, headaches, Lipedema, and Lymphedema.

She is licensed by the Florida Department of Health, and holds certifications in Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Sports Massage, cupping, and neuromuscular massage.  

When Can I Have Sex After Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery?

When Can I Have Sex After Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery?

When Can I Have Sex After Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery?

It’s time to talk about SEX!

When can I have sex again is a very common concern after having a Brazilian Butt Lift surgery. Of course the answer is very personal and different for everyone, but the bottom line is: you can have sex when it’s right for you, doesn’t hurt, and you and your partner are both comfortable with it. Some of my clients have been intimate with their partners as soon as 4 days, while others didn’t until 1-2 months later. Do (or not) what is right for you.

Do keep in mind that your plastic surgeon will most likely suggest you stay off your back and butt, so sexy time with your special person will require some creativity and communication, but it can be done. Although making love to your partner after surgery will feel different than before, I’ve heard many creative and interesting techniques through the years from clients. It may be different, but you might find the changes new and exciting even. For example, some ladies have shared with me that they’ve made love to their partner while wearing their Faja! Another interesting technique is what was referred to as The Ramp Method. With Ramp Method ladies simply put pillows underneath their tummies without laying on the bed, hence the ramp. No pressure on your booty or back, so great adaptation!

Just because you are healing and your body is going through things it’s not used to, it isn’t a reason not to enjoy intimacy with people who matter the most.

Feeling close and connected to the people we love is important, so I don’t think it’s something that should be avoided entirely as you recover from your surgery. Remember to have fun, be creative, and be safe! Good luck!

At Healing Kneads Massage we are proud to provide expert, compassionate, and professional massage therapy services to our community. Our approach to wellness is a holistic one, and we treat each client as they truly are: unique. We are unique ourselves in that we value our clients very much, and are extremely results and client-focused. We listen to our clients, customize each and every session to meet YOUR wellness goals, and perform full 60 or 90-minute sessions. 

Want to learn more about how to ease your pain post-surgery?

Book a call with Laura today!

We can’t wait to meet you and help you recover!

Laura is the founder of Healing Kneads. She graduated from Florida College of Natural Health in 2012 and is passionate about helping people find rejuvenation and renewal amidst the stresses of life, and relief from the pains that show up in their bodies because of that stress. She believes in the mind-body connection and believes every body has the potential for wellness and balance. Laura has helped clients with various issues, including neck and jaw pain, headaches, Lipedema, and Lymphedema.

She is licensed by the Florida Department of Health, and holds certifications in Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Sports Massage, cupping, and neuromuscular massage.  

4 Simple Ways to Ease Your Brazilian Butt Lift Pain

4 Simple Ways to Ease Your Brazilian Butt Lift Pain

4 Simple Ways to Ease Your Brazilian Butt Lift Pain 

*When you purchase any items mentioned below we receive a small commission

Hello lovely ladies. Today I wanted to talk about things you can do to make your Brazilian Butt Lift recovery go a little bit smoother. Please understand that recovery is never easy, and sometimes healing can be messy. My biggest suggestion is to prepare beforehand! Your recovery from cosmetic surgery will last several weeks, and even months. There will be different stages, with different milestones along the way. Because you will experience discomfort and pain, I suggest getting a few items before your surgery, so you will not have to worry about them afterwards. A little preparation before your procedure will make your life, and also those close to you, much easier, and you can focus on you!

  1. Antiseptic Skin Cleanser

You may have drains and/or incisions on your body, and you want to keep them clean and free of germs, so you do not risk infection. The last thing you want is an infection that requires you seeing your surgeon again, especially if you travelled away from home for your procedure…or God forbid you have to visit the ER. No infections! I suggest Hibiclens, which you can get at Amazon. Hibiclens is an antiseptic and antimicrobial skin cleanser that is used in hospitals, and will help reduce any cross infection from happening. I keep a 8 oz bottle in my shower, because it’s helped me in the past with infected hairs and boils that have developed in my personal areas. I trust the product, and my clients have had success as well with acne and other skin issues. It’s something simple you can do to make sure your recovery goes well.

  1.  BBL Pillow

Of all the suggestions I’m making today, this is the most important one. You will not be able to put any pressure on your buttocks for several weeks after your BBL. While you may not be able to sit directly on your butt, a BBL pillow will allow you rest while taking the pressure off your butt, and puts the pressure more on your thighs. Please resist the urge to sit on your butt, as you do not want you to compromise your results. A good after care program will ensure you get the results you want. You can get a BBL pillow from Amazon for under $30. 

  1.  Lavender Essential Oil

At first glance, I know that essential oil doesn’t seem like a necessary part of a post-surgical recovery program. Trust me, it is. During your discomfort and swelling, there will be times when you doubt your decision to get plastic surgery. I’ve heard it many times. Lavender has relaxing properties and will help to put you at ease, and will slow down your nervous system. Additionally, the act of taking a deep breath by itself is calming and also very beneficial to your lymphatic system. I use lavender in my lymphatic drainage sessions, by placing a few drops on your head rest, and also in my hands. Taking deep abdominal breaths is also used to encourage your lymphatics to get moving. My hope is that you’ll be able to use lavender long after your recovery is done. It’s always good to be relaxed and in a good mood. I recommend Healing Solutions 100% Organic Lavender Essential Oil.

  1. Schedule your lymphatic massages ahead of time

I’m always impressed when people schedule their sessions ahead of time. It shows me that they care about their well-being. Don’t you want to find the therapist and facility that is a good fit for you? You’ll be seeing the therapist you select once or twice a week for about a month or more. Their level of expertise will have a huge impact on the results you get from your surgery. Do your research, and do it ahead of time. Don’t you want to feel you made the right decision? Another reason for doing this ahead of time is that sometimes lymphatic drainage therapists are booked for weeks at a time. Set up your appointments ahead of time so that you are certain you’ll have your appointments exactly when you’ll need them. The last thing you want is to undergo surgery, go home and swell up, and not be able to find a qualified therapist to help you get to where you want to be.

At Healing Kneads Massage we are proud to provide expert, compassionate, and professional massage therapy services to our community. Our approach to wellness is a holistic one, and we treat each client as they truly are: unique. We are unique ourselves in that we value our clients very much, and are extremely results and client-focused. We listen to our clients, customize each and every session to meet YOUR wellness goals, and perform full 60 or 90-minute sessions. 

Want to learn more about how to ease your pain post-surgery?

Book a call with Laura today!

We can’t wait to meet you and help you recover!

Laura is the founder of Healing Kneads. She graduated from Florida College of Natural Health in 2012 and is passionate about helping people find rejuvenation and renewal amidst the stresses of life, and relief from the pains that show up in their bodies because of that stress. She believes in the mind-body connection and believes every body has the potential for wellness and balance. Laura has helped clients with various issues, including neck and jaw pain, headaches, Lipedema, and Lymphedema.

She is licensed by the Florida Department of Health, and holds certifications in Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Sports Massage, cupping, and neuromuscular massage.