Our Services

 

We offer the following services:
  • Manual Lymph Drainage Massage (MLD)
  • Lymphedema Therapy, aka Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT)
  • Registered Massage Therapy
  • Kinesiotaping
  • Craniosacral Therapy


Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy (MLD):

  • Manual Lymph Drainage therapy is a gentle, effective form of massage that helps to stimulate the lymph circulation and decongests the skin and connective tissues of the body. It is useful for conditions that include some form of swelling or inflammation. Any condition ending in an "itis" like tendinitis, bursitis, colitis, sinusitis, arthritis are some examples. Chronic problematic conditions like auto-immune diseases have shown promise. I have also seen good results with lyme disease.
  • Manual lymph drainage techniques stimulate the immune system as the lymph is moved through the lymph vessels and lymph nodes. It is an effective way to help keep the body healthy and is beneficial pre- and post surgery.
  • MLD originated in Europe around 1930’s. Through the decades that followed, the techniques were refined and evolved into many schools of training around the world. Today these techniques are taught to healthcare professionals like Registered Massage Therapists (RMT’s).
  • RMT’s can become Lymphedema Therapists after completing their basic massage and lymphatic training first. They are highly skilled and knowledgeable since they must re-certify every 2-3 years! The “CDT” initials behind their name indicate their designation as a Lymphedema Therapist. (CDT stands for Complex Decongestive therapy)


Lymphedema Therapy (CDT):
Lymphedema Therapy or CDT is lymphatic drainage therapy applied to lymphedema patients.

It differs from regular manual lymph drainage therapy because it requires more in depth knowledge of this condition by the therapist. Lymphedema often is the result of a compromised lymphatic system. This can occur due to lymph  node removal, trauma or surgery. This is called “secondary lymphedema”. Or the patient is born with a compromised lymphatic system. In this case the lymphedema is often called “primary”.

Lymphedema therapy is a series of treatments of MLD applied to a lymphedema patient.

The treatment protocol is usually divided in 2 phases:

1) Active Phase:

When the patient first comes for a MLD treatment the condition is often treated as an active phase. The swelling is usually still changing and has not stabilized yet.  The limb or area involved can present with edema and can be painful or stiff.The therapist takes circumference measurements of the limb with the first series of MLD treatments. The numbers from the measurements can be entered into a computer program which calculates the volume of the affected limb or area. The results usually show that the numbers are still changing from treatment to treatment. The therapist feels that the tissues are congested and need MLD.


During the active phase of treatment the following is addressed:

  • A thorough medical history and consent
  • Patient assessment and testing, which may include measurments
  • MLD treatment
  • Explanation and application of compression garments after treatment.
  • Self care and self massage
  • Explanation of the best kind of exercise for the condition
  • Optional – pictures may be taken for the patient file
  • Patient education on the condition


Once the affected limb or area is stabilized, the patient is no longer in the active treatment phase. This occurs when the swelling has decreased and the circumference measurements are fairly stable.  The patient usually feels better due to less stiffness, pain, swelling, and restriction.

2) Maintenance Phase:

After the lymphedema has stabilized and the circumference measurements are consistent over a number of treatments, the patient is in the maintenance phase. The main objective of this phase is to maintain the results achieved so far in the treatment process and to prevent future complications.

The maintenance phase consists of:

  • MLD treatments with reduced frequency from the active phase, depending on the patient’s compliance and commitment to treatment.
  • The therapist can now offer to fit the patient for a compression garment by taking the appropriate measurements if she/he is a Certified Fitter.
  • Fitting the patient too early for a garment may result in a poorly fitting garment and may compromise the effectiveness of the desired treatment outcome.
  •  In a successful maintenance phase the patient continues MLD treatment and wears a compression garment daily. He or she knows what to watch for should a “flare up “ arise. Ongoing self-massage, self-care and exercise are important components of this phase and the responsibility of the patient.

Occasionally, a flare up can arise and it is wise for the patient to seek MLD therapy from a lymphedema therapist at that time.

 

Why is it important to get MLD treatment from a Certified Lymphedema Therapist?
It is important to note that lymphedema therapists have a higher degree of education on the lymphatic system and have learned how to SPECIFICALLY treat lymphedema. They are certified therapists who usually have a degree in a related therapy like massage therapy. These health care professionals have an additional certification in lymphedema, which is a specialization. 
They are required every 2-3 years to re-certify, so that their knowledge stays current. Because of this specialized training and re-certification, patients can feel confident that they are in safe and capable hands.

 

Registered Massage Therapy:
In Ontario, RMT’s are required to have 2200 hours of training at a qualified school before they can obtain their massage therapy diploma. It is wise to ask the therapist for proof of their diploma and registration/license number.

In my clinic, massage therapy comprises of swedish massage techniques that are applied in a moderate pressure combined with trigger point therapy to address muscle knots (aka trigger points). Some other techniques may be included such as fascia release, MLD and kinesiotaping.

 

Kinesiotaping:
Kinesiotaping began in 1973 by a Japanese chiropractor who had studied kinesiology. He designed this special tape which was used successfully on many of his patients for various musculoskeletal conditions. Today it is used successfully for various soft tissue and joint conditions. It has become popular with elite athletes because it is very effective and is now used in many clinics for sports injuries. In my clinic it has been used for different lymphatic conditions including some forms of mild lymphedema. 

Kinesiotape can be used in combination with various techniques:

  • Mechanical, fascial, ligament, tendon and lymphatic corrections.
  • In my clinic I use lymphatic correction techniques to help treat mild forms of lymphedema and other lymphatic disorders. The placement, amount of stretch and the way the tape is cut all affect the outcome and effectiveness of kinesiotaping.
  • The tape is very comfortable and usually does not irritate most skin types. It is applied after an MLD treatment to help support the treatment effects and support lymph drainage. In this way, part of the treatment can be worn home as the tape stays on the patient’s skin for 3-5 days after the day of the treatment. The patient can then safely remove the tape by lightly pulling it off the skin.


Craniosacral Therapy:
Craniosacral therapy is a light hands-on form of osteopathic therapy that affects a system known as the craniosacral system. This system consists of a series of membranes, also called meninges that form around the spinal cord and brain. These membranes are bathed in a fluid called cerebrospinal fluid and this fluid helps move these membranes very lightly.

These membranes attach to the inner side of many cranial bones (or bones of the head) and sacral bones (Bones near the tailbone).

This whole system of membranes and bones is collectively known as the craniosacral system. The therapist is trained to feel this movement of the bones and taught how to improve the flow of fluid by way of very light treatment techniques. Craniosacral therapy is very effective for any conditions that are affected by restrictions of this system. These can include, but are not limited to; headaches, concussion symptoms, allergies, general malaise and stress symptoms and many disorders affecting the immune and lymphatic systems.


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