Lymphatic Drainage Therapy: Where should I start?

We get frequent requests for lymphatic drainage massage and after many years of experience as a massage therapist with a foundation in lymphatic drainage massage (100 hours of training plus teaching a course) the more I’ve learned, the more I understand the need to refer people out. In many cases, lymphatic drainage therapy is best provided by a physical or occupational therapist who specializes in this technique. Unfortunately, the training demands are rigorous so it isn’t something offered at every therapy clinic.

At East Village Spa, our primary concern is that our guests get the best care possible, even if that means we’re not the right solution. We refer all of our lymphatic drainage massage requests to Dr. Laurie Eikhoff at Intergrated Physical Therapy in Des Moines. She’s one of just a few CLT- LANA certified specialists in Iowa.

Spa owner and LMT, Cassie Sampson (Left) with Laurie Eikhoff, DPT, CLT-LANA lymphatic drainage physical therapist.

Who needs lymphatic drainage massage?

This specialized therapy is typically used to treat swelling from Lymphedema, which can be the result of an injury, illness, or surgery.

Lymphedema can be caused when lymph nodes are removed or damaged. It can be an unfortunate side effect of breast cancer treatments, when the lymph nodes in the underarm or breast are removed or destroyed in treatment, some women may experience a fluid build up from lymph fluid in the arm needing to be re-routed. We also have requests for this kind of therapy from people who have had cosmetic procedures like a tummy tuck or lyposuction.

Why can’t you just do my lymphatic massage at the spa?

I mean, we can (or, a few of us could) but but we’d be doing you a huge disservice by not referring out to a Physical or Occupational Therapist for 3 main reasons.

  1. Insurance: For people with lymphedema, treatments can be required 2-3 times weekly, at least in initial phases. In many cases, medically necessary lymphatic therapies can be covered by an insurance company, but not when performed by a massage therapist.
  2. Better results: In addition to having more medical training, physical or occupational therapists who provide these services can prescribe wraps, garments, or other assisted devices to continue therapy outside of the office. This is something that, at least in our spa, we can’t do.
  3. Lymphatic trained physical or occupational therapists are so specialized that for many of them, they do these treatments every single day (sometimes all day, every day.) They are very good at what they do and figuring out fixes for complicated situations.
Example of compression garments that physical or occupational lymphatic drainage therapists can use.

If you feel that you’re a candidate for lymphatic drainage and you have private insurance, as of the writing of this post, you do not need a referral to see a physical therapist. You also should contact your doctor because swelling can be indicative of a more serious concern.

If you would like to book a “regular” massage for pain relief or stress management, we’re here for you! Book online or visit our website for more details about our services.

Trusted Referral: Dr. Braxton Pulley at East Village Chiropractic

Dr. Braxton Pulley, owner of East Village Chiropractic

Dr. Braxton Pulley, owner of East Village Chiropractic

Our team can only do so much, so we trust other healthcare providers to complement the wellness services we offer at East Village Spa. Today, we’re pleased to introduce you to Braxton Pulley, DC, owner of East Village Chiropractic at 300 East Locust Suite 140. (515) 288-8058.

How long have you been providing chiropractic services? Our office opened in 2004.

What services do you offer? We provide chiropractic care for a variety of back, neck, arm, and leg injuries and chronic pain conditions. We also provide school physicals for student athletes.

What are some of the reasons people seek your services? Our primary focus is to make sure anyone that is hurting finds out what is happening and gets help. We are excellent at diagnosing conditions and provide fantastic care where we can. If we can’t help, we will work with the entire medical community to help find the best answer or referral for that person.

Are there specific conditions that you’ve had exceptional success treating? We have had great treatment responses to neck and back pain syndromes as expected for chiropractors. Several other injuries that have responded well to our care include shoulder and arm problems, hip problems, and issues with the feet. The combination of soft tissue work and chiropractic adjustments seems to provide great results with these challenges.

How do your services complement the services at East Village Spa? Most people working 9 to 5 with 2.5 kids and the picket fence often don’t have the time to properly take care of their body.  We help people get started on the road to good health, but more is needed outside the care we can provide.  The expertise and care provided by the massage therapists at East Village Spa is wonderful not only in aiding and treating muscular problems, but keeping you healthy overall.

What can people expect during their initial visit? The first visit is very straightforward and takes about 30 minutes. We have the usual forms to complete (which can be done early at www.eastvillagechiro.com) and then you will sit down with the doctor to determine what is going on with your pain or the concern that brought you in for a visit.

After an exam focusing on your areas of complaint, we will discuss what your diagnosis is and what options you have to take care of it. Often, we can help, but if we can’t, we will refer you where you can get the help you need.

Do you accept insurance? Yes, we accept most forms of insurance. Our staff will contact your carrier to verify your coverage to make the process easier for you.

How can people learn more about your services? Please visit our website at www.eastvillagechiro.com. We are also on Facebook and Google+ as EastVillageChiropractic. Also, don’t hesitate to call (515) 288-8058 with questions or to schedule an appointment. Dr. Pulley also welcomes your e-mails at braxtonpulley@gmail.com.

To learn how East Village Spa services can be beneficial in conjunction with your chiropractic care, talk to Dr. Pulley or learn more about our services at www.EVDaySpa.com

East Village Spa and East Village Chiropractic have won Des Moines' Best awards year after year. We are proud to work closely with Dr. Pulley!

East Village Spa and East Village Chiropractic have won Des Moines’ Best awards year after year. We are proud to work closely with Dr. Pulley!