You know about lymphatic therapy (sometimes called lymphatic massage) and are looking to experience it …
Know what to look for. Has your certified lymphatic therapist completed a 135-hour training course from a recognized lymphatic therapy school:
- NALEA -ACOLS, Norton, Klose, Vodder
- Other schools, if they offer 135-hour training courses
The following recommendations come from LE&RN:
Does your certified lymphatic therapist engage in on-going learning/ continuing education courses?
How many hours of specific lymphatic therapy training have you had?
Where was the training from?
Aware of the standards for therapist training established by the International federations (International Lymphedema Framework/International Society of Lymphology) and National Organizations of Countries or Continents (i.e. Lymphology Association of North America (LANA))?
How much of the therapists’ practice is devoted to lymphatic therapy?
Things to Expect Regards Treatment
Treatment begins with an evaluation, which should focus not just on limb volume, but should identify functional goals and limitations, and clarify the course of treatment.
What to Expect at Your First Visit
Assessment, Therapy Goals, Education, Agreed Plan
Finding Your Ideal Therapist and Potential Barriers to Finding Your Ideal Therapist
Your ideal therapist is accessible, experienced, works with appropriate oversight and is well equipped to treat a chronic disease.
Unfortunately, there are many barriers to the ideal therapist:
- Shortage of trained therapists
- Your reimbursement is poor/not recognized
- Treatment course may be shortened
- The physical therapy model is not compatible with a chronic disease
- Follow up care may not occur
- Lack of “fitters,” access to garments, coverage for garments
- No team: physician ignorance and lack of “ownership”
- Clients complete treatment and leave without a “tool box,” not prepared for self care
Ways To Assist With Potential Barriers:
- Set common goals with your therapist
- Strive for empowerment: when you learn to control your situation
- Leave with a plan and specific goals for self-management and control
- Expect to leave with your tool box, and realize that it’s a learning curve for you
- You may need to review your notes, record your results and questions, and revisit your needs with the therapist.