About Me

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I have actively practiced as a Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) and massage therapist since 1993 with special interest and training in the Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) technique. My experience is with lymphedema disease, edema in general, pre- and post-surgery massage, cosmetic surgery edema  and more.   My search for a low or non impact movement modality led me to become a certified trainer in the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® I have found it to be a helpful movement modality to stimulate the Lymphatic system and other stagnation out of the body. The Gyrotonic method is the base for movement sessions used at the office. Palliative care is another direction of great interest, as many of my clients are in disease states.  My mission is to provide compassionate care and resources for my clients.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Do you need to be injured to benefit from IASTM?

By Técnica Gavilán // July 2015 You don't need to be told about the benefits of massage in medicine; the hands are time-honored tools of healing, comfort and cure. Instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization, on the other hand, might be a new one to you. Nevertheless, it is a very effective technique, and one you should be familiar with whether you are active, aging or just want to take the best care of your body you can. If you're thinking about IASTM for the first time, you might be wondering if it's an effective technique in all situations, or if it only works on people who have injuries. In order to answer that question, let's first take a look at what IASTM actually is, how it works, and how the body responds. After that we will take a look at a few of the most common questions regarding the use of IASTM in healing injury. What is soft tissue? Soft tissue includes muscles, ligaments, tendons and myofascia, which is also known simply as fascia, and is a tough, dense network of fibers that surrounds your bones and muscles to offer support. These soft tissues cannot be "broken" the way a bone cane, but they can be pulled, strained and sprained, often as a result of vigorous activity. Falls, twists, yanks or repetition can all cause injury to this soft tissue, which must stay in good working order if your body is going to function as it should. How does IASTM work? When health care practitioners use their hands to loosen and work on soft tissues, they are not just responding to your assertions of pain. They are also actively feeling for blockages, stiff areas, and injury. The problem is that hands alone often cannot penetrate very deeply, which is where instruments come in. These instruments, which are most useful when made of steel but may also be made of wood, stone, ceramics and other materials, not only help doctors and chiropractors reach deeper areas in the body, they help them feel deeper as well. This greatly increases the effectiveness of treatments like massage. Working soft tissue helps heal injury by loosening scar tissue or other blocked tissue and increasing blood flow and freedom of movement. After an injury, your body responds by sending white blood cells to the area. While this is a natural and beneficial healing process, it can create increased soreness, stiffness and discomfort that IASTM can help relieve. Since relief of pain also speeds healing, it's doubly helpful. Must you be injured to benefit? The short answer is no, you don't need to be injured to benefit from IASTM. By working soft tissues, the instruments used in the process loosen tissues and increase blood flow, which is almost always beneficial to the body, keeping it supple and strong. However, there are two reasons that you probably wouldn't bother to seek treatment unless you were injured. Reason No. 1: IASTM is not necessarily a gentle process. It is common for the treatment to cause initial soreness and bruising, because the procedure uses firm pressure to release blocked tissue, and is essentially re-injuring tissue to achieve its aims. The injury it causes are mild compared to what it fixes, of course, but if you aren't injured, you might prefer a more gentle technique. Reason No. 2: If you aren't injured, it may be hard for your doctor or chiropractor to pinpoint where to apply the IASTM. There are two ways a health care practitioner can tell where to use the treatment: by your report of pain, and by feeling the blockage themselves. If you cannot report discomfort and they cannot feel any blockage, the treatment probably won't be that helpful. That being said, IASTM is very effective, and you shouldn't wait until you have a "major" injury to seek it out. If you have a minor injury you would like worked on, even just some soreness along your spine or in your rotator cuff, say, you will definitely benefit from the process. Don't wait for a true emergency before seeing a doctor or chiropractor. Can you speed the healing process? Absolutely you can. When you employ IASTM to heal an injury, you can help the treatment work faster by keeping blood moving in that region. Exercising, stretching and moving around will all help compound the effects of treatment and speed recovery. The bottom line? IASTM is most beneficial in situations where there is an injury to target. While most people mistakenly believe this means they need a "bad" injury before they can benefit from the process, however, this simply isn't true. Using IASTM can help head off a bad injury, in fact, by catching it in the early stages, so give it a try.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Exercise and Lymphedema

 Exercise and complete decongestive therapy best ways to manage lymphedema, MU expert says

 Posted By News On October 22, 2012 - 6:00pm

COLUMBIA, Mo. –Nearly 40 percent of breast cancer survivors suffer from lymphedema, a chronic condition that causes body limbs to swell from fluid buildup, as a result of lymph node removal and radiation therapy. A cure for lymphedema does not exist, so individuals with the condition must find ways to manage the symptoms throughout their lifetimes. Now, a team of researchers and clinicians working with a University of Missouri lymphedema expert has found that full-body exercise and complete decongestive therapy (CDT) are the best ways for patients to minimize their symptoms and maintain their quality of life.
"There's a sense of empowerment—of autonomy—that comes from meeting the challenge of living with lymphedema," said Jane Armer, an MU nursing professor. "Some breast cancer survivors say that they've become a new person after cancer because they met a challenge, and they like the stronger person they've become. The challenge of lymphedema is similar. It's something that is pervasive in every part of life. It takes problem solving and persistence to manage the condition without letting it interfere with their goals."
Armer and her colleagues reviewed published research about lymphedema self-management in order to determine which practices were most effective in managing the condition. The researchers found that full-body exercise, such as weight lifting and stretching, was likely to be effective in minimizing lymphedema symptoms. In addition, the researchers concluded that complete decongestive therapy (CDT), a comprehensive treatment approach that incorporates skin care, exercise, manual lymphatic drainage and bandaging of swollen limbs, also helps patients effectively manage the condition.
"Previous research suggests that, the earlier the interventions, the better the outcomes," Armer said. "If patients can learn how to successfully manage the condition early on, then they can continue those processes throughout their lives, and their outcomes will be better than those of individuals who resist participating in self-care."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What is a High Frequency Facial Treatment?

The high-frequency unit is used as one of the final steps of a facial or during a Manual Lymph Drainage session. Depending on how it is used, it can be warming and soothing, or stimulating. It can also deliver a mild antiseptic effect. A high-frequency current is a current that alternates very rapidly – in the range of 100,000 or greater hertz. A high frequency current passes through the body very easily, exciting the water molecules in the body. They begin to vibrate very rapidly, warming the body tissues.
The instrument transmits high frequency current that can benefit the skin in many ways:
  Increases metabolism and Lymphatic movement
  Produces heat inside the body tissues
  Stimulates glandular activity
  Increases the circulation of blood and lymph
  Aids in elimination and absorption
  Creates germicidal action – During the direct method, the electrical current generates ozone, which has
germicidal properties, helping kill bacteria on the skin.
Current can be applied directly to the client’s skin
Method: The therapist places the electrode directly on the client’s skin and moves it gently over the
skin. High-frequency energy is discharged into the skin at the point of contact. The direct method both
warms and stimulates the skin.