What type of treatments or services are offered at the clinic?
We offer treatment for a variety of conditions or injuries (such as sports or work), as well as therapeutic, preventative and relaxation therapies. See the list of therapies under the “Services” tab.
What are the credentials of your therapists?
Professional services are performed by our licensed, highly trained and experienced therapists.
What types of conditions or illness benefit from lymphatic therapy?
Since the proper functioning and health of the body’s lymphatic system affects the outcomes of all treatments, all treatments naturally involve maximizing the function of the lymphatic system.
Do I need an appointment or do you take walk-ins?
Although an appointment is preferable so we can insure the proper therapist is available for the services you require, we do accept walk-ins as they can sometimes be accommodated. If a therapist is not available at the time of your walk-in, we would be happy to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.
Is payment required at the time of service?
We request payment at the time of service, however, in the case where the particular service may be covered by insurance, we are happy to submit your claim to your insurance company for approval.
Do you offer any discounts for multiple visits?
Individual visits are not discounted. However, when we develop a treatment plan which requires a longer term commitment, our rates are calculated on a per plan basis vs. an individual rate basis.
What is the lymphatic system and how does it work?
Nutrients entering our bodies are transported by arteries and capillaries to our cells which are surrounded by interstitial fluid. The nutrients must pass through the fluid before reaching the cells. After metabolism, the cells dump waste products back into the fluid for removal by the venous blood capillaries or the lymphatic system. The blood capillaries only reabsorb gases (mainly carbon dioxide), 90% of the water, and very small molecular substances. The lymphatic system must drain the interstitial fluid of everything else. This includes the 10% of water not reabsorbed by the veins, plus unusable or waste matter such as proteins, vitamins, hormones, viruses, bacteria, large chain fats, electrolytes, lymphocytes, red blood cells, dead cells and cell parts, mutant cells, etc. This is called the Lymph Obligatory Load (L.O.L.). Once the L.O.L. enters the lymphatic system, it is called lymph. Lymph is then pumped to lymph nodes through a combination of forces including breathing, arterial pulsation, skeletal muscle contractions, and peristaltic contractions of the lymph vessel walls. The nodes cleanse, detoxify and concentrate lymph before sending it back into the venous system for recirculation by the heart.
If the lymphatic system fails, swelling occurs in the interstitial spaces increasing the distance between capillaries and cells. If drainage does not occur, cells must try to survive in an undernourished, toxic environment.
What is lymph?
Lymph is a clear, yellowish, slightly alkaline, coagulable fluid, containing white blood cells in a liquid resembling blood plasma that passes from intercellular spaces of body tissue into the lymphatic vessels and is discharged into the bloodstream.
Lymph acts to remove bacteria and certain proteins from the tissues, transport fat from the small intestine, and supply mature lymphocytes to the blood.
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a swelling of a body part, most often an extremity, resulting from an accumulation of fluids, in such proportions to be palpable and visible. Lymphedema occurs when the lymph vascular system is not able to fill its function of reabsorption and transport of the protein and lymph load. Lymphedema occurs whenever lymphatic vessels are absent, underdeveloped or obstructed.
The condition most often causes a feeling of embarrassment and causes decreased mobility, discomfort and often repeated episodes of infection, cellulites and lymphangitis. This can lead to general depression and a general worsening of the patient’s life and health.
Fungal infections can be very frequent and these place a greater load on the lymphatics. Severe cases are associated with thickening of the skin, hardening of the limb (fibrosis), leakage of lymph and massive swelling (elephantiasis).
How does Lymphedema occur?
A stagnation of protein develops in the tissue. This raised the colloid osmotic pressure and a protein rich edema arises. There are more protein rich fluids in the tissue than can be transported and the proteins attract water by osmosis. The affected area becomes swollen, enlarged and uncomfortable. This swelling decreased oxygenation of the tissues, interferes with their normal functioning and makes them heal more slowly than normal. The excess protein also serves as a stimulus for chronic infection and can result in formation of excess fibroid tissue. Lymphedema is a chronic, and if left untreated, progressive condition. It can, however, be brought under control by appropriate treatment and care.
Lymphedema may be due to primary (congenital) cause or of a secondary cause (caused by a known condition), including removal of the lymph nodes or trauma.
How is Lymphedema classified?
Primary Lymphedema is that which has no known cause. Milroy’s disease is a familial (genetically caused) lymphedema which is present at birth. Meige’s disease is similar but appears no later than puberty.
Lymphedema Praecox is the most common form of primary lymphedema. This begins in adolescence. It is predominantly females who suffer from this condition. Seventy-five percent of primary lymphedema is praecox.
Lymphedema Tarda is identical to lymphedema praecox but occurs after the patient is 35 years old. Both praecox and tarda almost always involve just the legs.
The pathological mechanisms which cause primary lymphedema are an absence of lymphatics (aplasia), inadequate lymphatic drainage, too few lymphatics or too few nodes, or lymphatics which are hugely dilated.
Secondary lymphedema is an acquired condition resulting from loss or obstruction of previously normal lymphatic channels. The most common cause of secondary lymphedema is due to removal of the lymph nodes, as part of surgery for malignancies. The lymph pathways can be interrupted by radiation, surgery, injury or blockage with parasites.
Trauma or radiation can tear a major lymph trunk or cause the production of excess fibrous tissue, which later constricts the lymph vessel.
Lymphedema may also occur as a result of chronic venous diseases, which always involved the large lymphatic vessels that run beside the veins.
Lipedema is a condition of an excessive amount of fat deposited in the leg and buttocks combined with changes in the lymph vessels. In the early stages, the foot remains normal and fat deposition occurs from the ankle to the buttocks. The lymphatics are either abnormal, or become affected by this as lipedema progresses. Venous insufficiency and lymphedema may start to appear as well.
What is the treatment of Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a serious condition, indicating that the lymph system is unable to handle the lymph load. Treatment should begin as soon as lymphedema is diagnosed.
The goal of treatment is to reduce the swelling, and facilitate the flow of lymph fluid to the venous circulation of the affected area.
The most effect approach used by therapists in many European countries is a method called COMBINED OR COMPLEX DECONGESTIVE THERAPY, a four step process, carried out over a 4 week period. The individual elements are Manual Lymph Drainage, compression therapy, remedial exercises, breathing techniques and excellent skin hygiene. The patient visits the clinic once or twice a day, 5 times a week, or in accordance with the physician’s recommendations.
DR. VODDER’S COMBINED DECONGESTIVE THERAPY
• Massage Therapy
Patients receive Dr. Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) once or twice a day to remove excess fluid and protein. The MLD is performed to open lymphatics in the unaffected regions so these can help to drain the affected area. MLD stimulated lymphangions to increase their activity, which results in a decompression and emptying of obstructed lymphatic channels.
• Compression Therapy
Bandaging of the affected limb follows each MLD session. This is a precise and accurate procedure using specific bandages and interfacing materials.
• Remedial Exercises and Breathing
This further promotes venous and lymphatic flow by activating the muscle and joint pumps.
• Skin Care and Hygiene
Excellent skin cleansing with antibacterial washes and neutral balanced PH lotions will help to eliminate bacterial and fungal growth and so minimize the possibility of repeat4ed attacks of cellulitis and/or lymphangitis.
What is Manual Lymph Drainage or MLD?
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a highly effective, yet gentle approach to cleansing and/or draining the body’s interstitial fluid and thereby promoting health. MLD was developed over 50 years ago by Dr. Emil and Estrid Vodder. Scientific studies as well as vast clinical experience have confirmed MLD’s effectiveness. MLD works on several levels simultaneously...
• Stimulates lymph drainage
MLD stretches lymph vessels laterally and diagonally causing stretch receptors on the vessel walls to increase peristaltic lymph vessel contractions.
• Increases blood capillary resorption
Unlike other massage techniques which stimulate blood filtration by promoting vascular circulation, MLD promotes resorption of interstitial fluid.
• Reroutes lymph flow
If an edema is caused by a failure of the lymph system due to overloaded, severed, inoperative or surgically removed vessels and/or nodes, MLD treatment shunts lymph to other operative pathways.
• Alleviates pain
Gentle touch with alternating, stretching and releasing pressure stimulates light touch receptors which inhibit impulses from pain receptors.
• Calms sympathetic nervous system
MLD employs gentle rhythmic motions promoting relaxation and parasympathetic healing. Furthermore, this dilates blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and offsetting the expected pressure rise from increased resorption.
It is important to note:
• MLD is never painful.
• MLD is most effective as an intensive, daily treatment with length of treatment varying according to the specific condition.
• MLD is effective in conjunction with heat, ice, movement, exercise, diet, and other modalities, depending on the condition’s nature.
• MLD is an excellent preventative therapy.
Who is qualified to practice MLD?
Certified MLD therapists are trained in massage and bandaging techniques and the proper application of pressure. There is an optimal pressure for maximizing lymph flow and this is critical to MLD’s effectiveness. Therapists also receive education in physiology and pathologies, with an emphasis on screening for contra-indications.
Do I need a referral from my doctor to receive MLD?
A referral is not necessary, however in most cases MLD therapists rely on the physician’s diagnosis or clearance in order to assess the client’s situation and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Many plans include client instruction in self bandaging and exercises.