Traditional Massage vs Lymphatic Massage

Traditional Massage vs Lymphatic Massage

At Healing Kneads, we’re constantly looking for alternative ways of alleviating pain and bringing relief to our clients. As such, we often carry out therapies that people may not have heard of or are less familiar with. 

One of these therapies is manual lymph drainage (MLD), commonly known as lymphatic massage. 

Since debuting this therapy, we’ve had several queries from our community about what exactly this massage form looks like, how it helps, and what it can be used for. It is, as it happens, very different from traditional massage therapy, so it’s definitely worth understanding in a little more detail!

What is Lymphatic Massage?

The first thing to note about lymphatic massage, or MLD, is that it isn’t really massage at all. It is a gentle skin technique used to help the lymphatic system remove waste and move lymph that may be stagnant after trauma to the body, such as surgery. Manual lymph drainage works by applying gentle pressure to the lymph vessels located just under the skin. This can stimulate these vessels to work better and help lymph fluid move and to help the body eliminate waste. 

What Is the Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic system is a network of lymph vessels acting as the body’s cleaning and refuse service. Lymph vessels help eliminate waste products, excess proteins, and toxins or impurities like bacteria, excess cells. The clear fluid that we describe as lymph is the conduit for the body’s white blood cells, responsible for carrying out the cleaning. 

How Can Lymphatic Massage Help?

MLD is usually used to get rid of build-ups of excess lymph fluid that occur due to trauma, accidents, injuries, or surgery. We see many post-op clients who have developed swelling, bruising or lumpy fibrosis after surgery, and MLD can have a real impact on reducing these symptoms and relieving pain caused by the initial surgery or trauma. MLD can also benefit the body’s immune system by stimulating the lymphatic system and helping it work better, faster, or more effectively. 

Traditional vs Lymphatic Massage

Lymphatic massage is a very different prospect to traditional massage. When we think of conventional massage, we usually think of the Swedish and deep tissue form, using long, kneading strokes to apply pressure to muscles. You might also have deep tissue in mind, focusing on specific areas of tension or pain and getting down to a deeper layer in the body.

Lymphatic massage is far gentler and uses far less pressure. We don’t use oil or lotion, and MLD isn’t targeting muscles at all, but rather engaging, moving, and stimulating the lymphatic network.

While traditional massage can be excellent for relieving muscle tension and encouraging oxygen flow in the blood, MLD is a better option for reducing swelling or recovering from trauma. MLD is also effective at improving the immune system and promoting overall bodily health. 

Healing Kneads Massage

To find out more about what massage is in general and MLD, in particular, might be able to do for you, give us a call!

If you are ready to make an appointment, book an appointment here with one of our therapists. We love helping out anyone interested in knowing more about massage therapy.

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.

 

Father’s Day and the Power of Intention

Father’s Day and the Power of Intention

As Father’s Day comes around, I’ve been remembering a lot about my dad, and also about the power of intention. About whether what we do is more important than why we do it. And about whether the intentions behind our actions can sometimes change how those actions are perceived.

A lot of these thoughts were prompted by this photo. 

Obviously, at first glance, it is hilarious – a lovely joke that touches on the innocence of children and how they don’t necessarily see the world in the same way we do. 

This little girl just wanted to show her dad how much she loved him. She found what might well be one of his favorite things and wanted to get involved. She put her own stamp on it, and tried to get closer to him by being a part of something meaningful in his life – with hilarious and extremely awkward results!

This is quite clearly not a gift that anyone would want, but the intention behind it is lovely, and the gift of this girl’s feelings towards her dad is precious.

I hope her father wasn’t too angry!

But going beyond the obvious hilarity, this photo is a powerful demonstration of the importance of intention in our interactions with others.

People who love us don’t always get it right. We’re all human, and we certainly aren’t perfect. And sometimes things that we think are great, or just don’t even consider, can be seen as something else entirely by our loved ones.

People we love and who love us often say or do things that we don’t like. I’m sure that I’ve done things in my life to people I care about that they haven’t appreciated, even with the best intentions. 

Sometimes actions and words are hurtful or annoying and can leave us confused, angry, or just sad. But just like this little girl, when we are dealing with people we love and care for, it is always super important to consider intention.

Her intention was not to cause harm. In fact, quite the opposite, she was doing something she thought her dad would love. She was doing the best she could at this time of her life. 

So this Father’s Day, keep intention in mind. Even if you feel disappointed or let down by someone else, remember that they are likely to be trying their hardest and doing their best. Being less harsh on ourselves, and on others, might just be the best gift you can give this holiday.

Give Dad something special this Father’s Day, grab Dad a Healing Kneads Massage gift card!

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.

 

If You are a Female Leader in Your Organization, Use Your Powers for Good

If You are a Female Leader in Your Organization, Use Your Powers for Good

As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s common to remember Mom. This year, when I think of all the lessons I’ve learned from mine, I realized that much of what I’ve learned from her also helped to shape the type of woman leader and business owner I am as well. 

These are the lessons from Mom that carry over to Healing Kneads Massage:

  1. Set a good example. If you’ve have several jobs in your life, you most likely have had one boss in your mind that you’d consider a “bad boss”. This might be the boss that micromanaged, who didn’t trust you with projects and assignments, or who even belittled you in front of others during meetings. When I’ve experienced this as a teacher from administrators, I made a silent promise to myself to never abuse a leadership role if ever I had a chance. 

2. If you are a female leader in your organization, use your powers for good. Using your powers for good means to be kind and thoughtful to everyone, on and off your team. Work hard and be committed to your role as leader, but be open to feedback and encourage creativity and new ideas. You never know how many people will be helped by your words and actions! 

3. Maintain perspective. From publicly disagreeing with someone, or taking a text or email personally, just about anyone can succumb to letting their emotions get the upper hand. However, rather than letting frustrating moments push you over the edge, realize that people have different experiences, different points of reference, and different triggers. Their behavior doesn’t reflect upon you, and nothing should be taken personally. Focus on your response, rather than your impulsive reaction. 

Realize what the priority is and what is not, then handle it smoothly and calmly, with consideration for everyone involved. If you practice this, you’ll soon come to realize that what initially seemed infuriating was nothing at all to get worked up about. Continue this practice, set a good example for your team, and be seen positively as a result. This will allow you to be seen as a true professional, and empower others to emulate your behavior.

4. Be yourself, and don’t try to be what others want you to be. You don’t need to be quiet when you know you should speak up, or act a certain way to blend in and be liked. You should not have to hide your unique attributes, that make up your personality, to do well in business. Beyond being yourself, you shouldn’t try to fit the mold of what others want you to be. Embrace what makes you different in this world, and realize those qualities as strengths, not weaknesses. Let those differences, quirks, whatever you want to call it, guide you forward. Do that, and soon you’ll see others empowered to do the same, to think outside of the box. Chase your passions and the things that bring you joy in life, beyond work. By focusing on yourself and your own growth, you’ll be better equipped to help others who need your support and guidance.

5. Find the support you need, and ask for help when you need it. Nothing about running a business is easy. Part of running a sustainable business is surrounding yourself with people who  you can lean on for inspiration, guidance, and education. Understanding your weaknesses and where you need help is a sign of strength in business. There are lots of things I’m not good at, and luckily, I have the right people around me to fill in those gaps. The right business coaches, marketing experts, financial advisors,  teachers, and great staff  have made a huge difference in my business. 

Thank you Mom for your love, comfort, and encouragement, for helping to make me the woman, and business owner I am today. 

Give Mom something special this Mother’s Day, grab Mom a Healing Kneads Massage gift card!

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.

 

Breast Cancer and Lymphedema

Breast Cancer and Lymphedema

 

Breast Cancer and Lymphedema

 

What’s lymphedema? That’s the question I most commonly get when I tell people that I’m a Lymphedema Therapist. After seeing their perplexed expressions, I explain what lymphedema is, then I explain why I’m so passionate about helping breast cancer survivors manage their lymphedema. 

 

Lymphedema is an abnormal swelling and accumulation of fluid that can develop in the arm, hand, breast, or torso as a side effect of breast cancer surgery and/or radiation treatment. Some women can develop lymphedema months or even years following their surgeries. 

 

Lymph is a thin, clear fluid that circulates throughout the body to remove waste, bacteria, and other substances from tissues. Lymphedema occurs when too much lymph accumulates in one area of the body. When people are treated for breast cancer, the treatment often damages their lymphatic system, and it starts to become damaged, and does not filter waste efficiently. When cancer patients undergo mastectomies, lymph nodes are commonly removed. Likewise, radiation can damage a healthy lymphatic system. Breast cancer survivors often see lymphedema develop in the arm and hand, since many of our lymph nodes are located in the armpit area. However, sometimes I see it develop in the breast, underarm, chest, trunk, and/or back. 

 

Lymphedema usually develops gradually, but you can feel unusual sensations – like tingling or numbness, that comes and goes before any visible swelling happens. Other early signs of lymphedema are feeling of fullness, tightness, and less flexibility in the hand, arm, chest, and breast. Lymphedema has no cure but can be managed. Early treatment is important, so you should tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms after cancer treatment. 

 

If you already have lymphedema, but do not remember being told about it during your breast cancer treatment, you are not alone. As a lymphedema therapist, I hear clients say quite often that they don’t remember the doctor mentioning lymphedema as a possible side effect. I’ve lost close family members to breast cancer, so I can say from personal experience that the time right after hearing that you have the C word is a blur. After hearing you have cancer, you start considering and planning treatment. You feel anxious and overwhelmed, and it may be hard to hear everything being said. I remember seeing the doctor’s mouth moving, but not hearing him. I could only hear my internal conversations, my bargaining with God. If lymphedema is mentioned, you may not remember it, or you first want to focus on getting well and surviving. Accepting the fact that you have cancer, undergoing the necessary treatments, can feel unsurmountable at times. There is a lot of emotional and physical pain that goes along with it. Then, after finishing all that, hearing that you now have lymphedema, may seem like another insult to your body… one that you are not prepared for. “Here we go again”, you may think. The good news is that lymphedema can be managed, and you can lead a rewarding, normal life. Finding a qualified and compassionate lymphedema therapist is your first step towards proper management of your lymphedema. Your treatment with your lymphedema therapist will include manual lymph drainage (MLD), compression and/or bandaging, exercise and skin care…and it’s definitely possible to lead the normal life you deserve. 

 

Personally, it’s very rewarding to see clients’ feel better, and gain confidence as we get their swelling down. When they first come in, they seem worn, tired, and in a lot of pain. The pain they feel is not always in their limbs, but in their hearts and minds. I understand the battles they’ve fought, and I love seeing the difference we’ve made together. It’s not really about lymphedema. It’s not about the boring definition of lymphedema. It’s about feeling and living well. For one memorable client of mine, it was about being able to wear her wedding ring for the first time in years. It’s about having dignity and being honored as a human being. 

 

Helping breast cancer survivors and lymphedema warriors is personal to me. I’ve loved and lost people to the disease, and now I get the chance to make a difference in the lives of other cancer survivors. I love what I do. 

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.

 

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.