Archive for the ‘Lymph Drainage’ Category

Money Back Guarantee

Did you know that we offer a money back guarantee to all of our new clients?  We are so confident that you will like our work that we’re willing to say, “If you don’t like it, you won’t be charged.”  You’ll pay nothing.  It’s as simple as that!

So, give us a call. . . .  What do you have to lose?

 

Minding Your Mitochondria

At TEDx Iowa City, Dr. Terry Wahls speaks of her own experience with multiple sclerosis (MS) and how she overcame this “incurable” disease.

We are reminded of the words of Hippocrates in 400BC, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” Those words are just as true now as they were then . . . . perhaps even moreso.

 

TRIVIA: Do you know why Giraffes don’t get lymphedema?

Physiologists have discovered that giraffe skin is inelastic, meaning that it does not stretch like the skin of humans.  Therefore, the world’s tallest animals are not susceptible to health projects like lymphedema and venous disease, even though they may be on their feet for 24 hours a day!  (They only need about 2 hours of sleep and often do that while standing!)

The giraffe’s skin has also been studied by NASA in research into gravity suits.  Interesting, eh?

 

Dangerous Bill in TN Legislature

Bill Would Change Administrative Oversight of Tennessee State Massage Board

Sections 11 and 12 of House Bill 2387 and Senate Bill 2249, if passed, would move the Massage Licensure Board from Tennessee Department of Health to the Tennessee Department of Commerce.  On page 5 of the bill, Sections 11 and 12 would relocate Title 63-18, which is the Massage Licensure Act of 1995, from the Department of Health Related Boards (DHRB) to the Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI).

The Department of Health Related Boards currently oversees all health professions while the Department of Commerce and Insurance oversees other professional licensing programs such as: electricians, plumbers, and real estate agents.

Massage therapy is a health profession. The current administrative oversight of DHRB has worked since the state first began licensing massage therapists; there is no reason to change what is working. The massage licensure board is self-funded from license fees so the proposed move would not save tax dollars, streamline state government, or reduce duplication of efforts. In fact, a change in administrative oversight would require an application and process shift to conform to a new department. There has been no reason given as to why the sponsors of this bill feel an oversight change is even needed.

Therapeutic massage is a health profession—not a trade—and massage therapists are health care providers.  Since 1995, our profession has been striving continually—and successfully—for recognition within the medical community.  Many massage therapists now work in healthcare environments, i.e. offices of physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, and dentists.  Many are employed in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.  Furthermore, the massage profession should continue to be regulated within the Health Department in order to best protect the public from unsafe massage therapists.

We, together with the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), Tennessee Massage Therapy Association (TMTA), massage therapists and healthcare professionals statewide, are opposed to this section of HB 2387.  We encourage other healthcare professionals, our clients and patients to contact the sponsor of the bill and their representatives to voice opposition to Sections 11 and 12 of HB 2387. Contact them by email or phone or both.

The sponsor of HB 2387 is Representative Gerald McCormick, he can be reached at 615-741-2548 or rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov.

The bill has been referred to the Government Operations committeeRep. Jim Cobb serves as chair, Rep. Barrett Rich is vice-chair, and Rep. Tony Shipley is committee secretary.  Committee members also include Representatives Barbara Cooper, Craig Fitzhugh, Steve Hall, Julia Hurley, Mike Kernell, Debra Maggart, Judd Matheny, Gerald McCormick, & Mike Turner.  The committee can be reached at 615-741-4866.

The same bill on the Senate side of the General Assembly is SB 2249, sponsored by Senator Norris and Senator Bell.

Senator Mark Norris, sen.mark.norris@capitol.tn.gov or 615-741-1967

Senator Mike Bell, sen.mike.bell@capitol.tn.gov or 615-741-1946

Find your state legislator by going to http://www.capitol.tn.gov/legislators/

Read the Senate bill here:  http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/107/Bill/SB2249.pdf or the House bill here:  http://www.abmp.com/downloads/2012_TN_HB2387.pdf.

To find your legislators contact info, go to:    http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/districtmaps/

 

Vodder Review in Asheville

Amber just returned from Asheville, NC, where she participated with 19 other physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses & massage therapists in the first biannual Vodder Recertification course hosted by Care Partners. This 20 hour advanced training course is available for therapists to update and review their skills. Expert guest speakers present the latest research and methods and case studies are presented for peer review. Currently-certified therapists are required to maintain their certification in Manual Lymph Drainage and Combined Decongestive Therapy through the Dr. Vodder School by attending one of these classes at least every two years and demonstrating continued competence.

In previous years, Amber has traveled to Walchsee, Austria, Stowe, VT, and Victoria, BC to participate in this course.  While it is fun to travel to different places, it is extremely convenient that the course will be available in Asheville. . . Thank you, Care Partners & Vodder School!

 

Some Anti-Depressants Interfere with Breast Cancer Treatment

Tamoxifen is frequently prescribed as treatment for estrogen-based cancers, but the Harvard Mental Health Letter reports that some antidepressants may interfere with the drug’s anti-cancer properties.

Three antidepressants—paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), and bupropion (Wellbutrin)—should be avoided while taking tamoxifen. These antidepressants are also used to treat hot flashes and aid with smoking cessation.

If you are taking both tamoxifen and one of these three drugs, please consult with your physician.  The article notes that other antidepressants are less likely to interfere with tamoxifen. Better options for women taking tamoxifen include venlafaxine (Effexor), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), and mirtazapine (Remeron).

http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/some-antidepressants-interfere-with-breast-cancer-treatment?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=061510_tw

 

Weight Lifting and Lymphedema

Photo credit: Candace di Carlo (Penn Current)

. . . . . . Kathryn H. Schmitz, Ph.D., MPH . . . . . . Photo credit: Candace di Carlo (Penn Current)

This is an extremely important topic, especially in light of some recent news coverage.  I (Amber) was going to do a little write-up on the matter, but just can’t put it better than Joe Zuther.  Here are his words as published in Lymphedema Today:

As some of you may know, an article published August 13, 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine addressed the topic of weight lifting in women with breast cancer-related lymphedema. The article summarized an 18-month study performed by Dr. Kathryn Schmitz and colleagues in a controlled trial of twice weekly progressive weight lifting involving 141 breast cancer survivors with stable upper extremity lymphedema.

Shortly after this article was published, we received a large number of phone calls and email messages from patients and graduates of our lymphedema management certification courses asking us for clarification on some misleading and inaccurate statements that were made on the results of this study.

One of the more prominent questions we received from patients was: “If it is okay and safe for me to lift weights as this study suggests, is it okay then to lift heavy items at home or at work as well?”

The obvious answer to this question is “NO!”

This is not what this study suggested either, it is clearly a misunderstanding. As a result of these misconceptions, the National Lymphedema Network’s Medical Advisory Board asked Dr. Schmitz to address the many misleading statements that were made in the media about the results of her study. I am very glad to report that Dr. Schmitz answered the NLN’s call and her response was published in the April/June 2010 issue of the LymphLink. This response was necessary to clarify the results of this important study, and what they mean to patients living with lymphedema, or those individuals at risk of developing this condition. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Medicare Lymphedema Treatment Bill Introduced

H.R. 4662, “Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010,” was recently introduced in the Senate by Congressman Larry Kissell of North Carolina.  Ron Paul (R-TX14) was the first co-sponsor of the bill.  Phil Roe (R-TN1) is the second.

Please urge your local Congressmen and Senators to support this bill. Lymphedema is treatable, but proper treatment is extensive.  Passage of this bill would allow for many people to receive treatment for services that would not otherwise be covered by insurance.  When Medicare makes a change, private insurance companies usually follow suit.

Specific goals of the bill include:

  • to provide diagnosis and treatment of individuals with and at risk for lymphedema according to current medical treatment standards, including manual lymph drainage, compression bandages, garments, devices, and exercise
  • to enhance quality of lymphedema patient care by providing therapist qualification requirements
  • to provide for lymphedema patient education in the procedures for self-treatment so as to transfer the treatment from the clinical to the home setting
  • to encourage patient self-treatment plan adherence by providing necessary medical supplies for use at home
  • to expand patient access to qualified lymphedema therapy by extending coverage to qualified, trained lymphedema therapists who may practice under a qualified physician, physical therapist or occupational therapist.

Yes!  When this passes, lymphedema management at AMMA (manual lymph drainage, combined decongestive therapy, bandages & exercises) will be covered by insurance!

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As requested, we have included sample letters below.  You are welcome to use them as a blueprint for letters or emails to your Representatives and Senators. These letters only represent suggested verbiage. Please feel free to customize your letter in any way.

The bill is currently in the United States House of Representatives.  We have included two letters to representatives.  If you are a resident of Tennessee’s District 1, the please use the letter below to thank Representative Phil Roe for already taking action on the bill by becoming a co-sponsor.  If you are not one of Representative Roe’s constituents, please use the Congress Letter.  Next, please urge your state Senators to introduce and support a similar bill in the United States Senate.  A sample Senate Letter is also included.

Don’t know how to contact your Representatives?  Not even sure who they are?  Just enter your zip code to find out at http://www.contactingthecongress.org/.  It will link you to a page listing both your state senators and your district representatives to Congress.  From there, you may contact them via fax, phone, email or snail mail.

Sample Letter to Representative Roe:

Dear Representative Roe,

As your constituent, I am writing to thank you for signing on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 4662, the “Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010,” introduced by Congressman Larry Kissell on February 23, 2010. [Please list your credentials (if any) and any personal experience you may have with lymphedema (if any). Do you struggle with lymphedema? Does your mother? Son? Best friend? Are you a cancer survivor?]

Lymphedema is a medical condition affecting an estimated 2 million Medicare Beneficiaries. Secondary lymphedema sometimes results from surgery and curative radiation. H.R. 4662 is projected to save hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars every year in avoidance of costs of treating preventable lymphedema-related cellulitis. This act will reduce Medicare costs while improving patient care and quality of life. It will also expand patient access to qualified lymphedema therapy by extending coverage to qualified, specially trained lymphedema therapists who may practice under a qualified physician, physical therapist or occupational therapist.

The clinically-proven treatment of lymphedema is called “complex decongestive therapy” and includes manual lymph drainage, appropriate bandaging and compression garments, specific therapeutic exercises and proper skin care. It is used world-wide by the medical community, is not experimental and has decades of proven success. Unfortunately, not all components of this treatment fall under categories for which Medicare or private insurance companies typically provide coverage. With treatment, a patient lives a long, healthy and virtually normal life. But without treatment, the disease can grow progressively worse, skyrocketing medical costs with hospitalizations and causing severe disfigurement, disability, pain, and in some cases even results in death.

Medicare has no requirement for special lymphedema training or competence on the part of the therapists treating lymphedema patients. Compression garments are a crucial part of treatment, yet insurance covers a fraction of the cost of both the garments and the treatments. Medicare does not cover the supplies and garments at all, despite a recent AHQR review that included garment use as standard treatment of this condition.

Thank you again for joining Representatives Larry Kissell (D-NC8) and Ron Paul (R-TX14) in publicly supporting this bill as a co-sponsor. “The Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Savings Act of 2010” will change lives.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)
(include your address here, even if you’re sending this by email)

Sample Congress Letter:

Dear Representative [Name],

As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to sign on as a primary or co-sponsor of H.R. 4662, the “Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010,” introduced by Congressman Larry Kissell on February 23, 2010. [Please list your credentials (if any) and any personal experience you may have with lymphedema (if any). Do you struggle with lymphedema? Does your mother? Son? Best friend? Are you a cancer survivor?]

As you may be unfamiliar with the disease, here is a link from the Lance Armstrong Foundation that explains the condition and its treatment: http://www.livestrong.org/site/c.khLXK1PxHmF/b.2660675/k.9471/Physical_Effects_Lymphedema.htm

Lymphedema is a medical condition affecting an estimated 2 million Medicare Beneficiaries. Secondary lymphedema sometimes results from surgery and curative radiation. H.R. 4662 is projected to save hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars every year in avoidance of costs of treating preventable lymphedema-related cellulitis. This act will reduce Medicare costs while improving patient care and quality of life. It will also expand patient access to qualified lymphedema therapy by extending coverage to qualified, specially trained lymphedema therapists who may practice under a qualified physician, physical therapist or occupational therapist.

The clinically-proven treatment of lymphedema is called “complex decongestive therapy” and includes manual lymph drainage, appropriate bandaging and compression garments, specific therapeutic exercises and proper skin care. It is used world-wide by the medical community, is not experimental and has decades of proven success. Unfortunately, not all components of this treatment fall under categories for which Medicare or private insurance companies typically provide coverage. With treatment, a patient lives a long, healthy and virtually normal life. But without treatment, the disease can grow progressively worse, skyrocketing medical costs with hospitalizations and causing severe disfigurement, disability, pain, and in some cases even results in death.

Medicare has no requirement for special lymphedema training or competence on the part of the therapists treating lymphedema patients. Compression garments are a crucial part of treatment, yet insurance covers a fraction of the cost of both the garments and the treatments. Medicare does not cover the supplies and garments at all, despite a recent AHQR review that included garment use as standard treatment of this condition.

Please join Representatives Larry Kissell (D-NC8), Ron Paul (R-TX14), and Phil Roe (R-TN1) by publicly supporting this bill as a primary or co-sponsor. For additional information or to (co)sponsor this bill, contact Zach Pfister in Congressman Kissell’s office at zach.pfister@mail.house.gov or 202-225-3715.

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)
(include your address here, even if you’re sending this by email)

Sample Senate Letter:

Dear Senator [Name],

Congressman Larry Kissel of North Carolina is Sponsoring H.R. 4662, the “Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010.” This bill is projected to save hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars every year by providing treatment to avoid preventable lymphedema-related complications. As your constituent, I urge you to sponsor an identical bill in the Senate.

[Please list your credentials (if any) and any personal experience you may have with lymphedema (if any).  Do you struggle with lymphedema?  Does your mother?  Son? Best friend?   Are you a cancer survivor?]

As you may be unfamiliar with the disease, here is a link from the Lance Armstrong Foundation that explains the condition and its treatment: http://www.livestrong.org/site/c.khLXK1PxHmF/b.2660675/k.9471/Physical_Effects_Lymphedema.htm

Lymphedema is a medical condition affecting an estimated 2 million Medicare Beneficiaries. Secondary lymphedema sometimes results from surgery and curative radiation. H.R. 4662 is projected to save hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars every year in avoidance of costs of treating preventable lymphedema-related cellulitis. This act will reduce Medicare costs while improving patient care and quality of life. It will also expand patient access to qualified lymphedema therapy by extending coverage to qualified, specially trained lymphedema therapists who may practice under a qualified physician, physical therapist or occupational therapist.

The clinically-proven treatment of lymphedema is called “complex decongestive therapy” and includes manual lymph drainage, appropriate bandaging and compression garments, specific therapeutic exercises and proper skin care. It is used world-wide by the medical community, is not experimental and has decades of proven success. Unfortunately, not all components of this treatment fall under categories for which Medicare or private insurance companies typically provide coverage. With treatment, a patient lives a long, healthy and virtually normal life. But without treatment, the disease can grow progressively worse, skyrocketing medical costs with hospitalizations and causing severe disfigurement, disability, pain, and in some cases even results in death.

Medicare has no requirement for special lymphedema training or competence on the part of the therapists treating lymphedema patients. Compression garments are a crucial part of treatment, yet insurance covers a fraction of the cost of both the garments and the treatments. Medicare does not cover the supplies and garments at all, despite a recent AHQR review that included garment use as standard treatment of this condition.

I urge you to sponsor a bill in the Senate identical to H.R. 4662, and provide parity and adequate coverage for this disease. For additional information about the House bill, please contact Zach Pfister in Congressman Kissell’s office at zach.pfister@mail.house.gov or 202-225-3715.

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)
(include your address here, even if you’re sending this by email)

 

Spring 2010 Newsletter Now Available – “To Your Health”

The newest edition of our semiannual newsletter, “To Your Health” Spring 2010, is hot off the presses!

Featured articles include:

~ “The Benefits of Lymphatic Massage” – Cathy Ulrich
~ “No Pain, No Gain?” - Cathy Ulrich
~ “Massage for Seniors”

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You may download the newsletter or view it as an Adobe PDF file. The latest version of Adobe Reader is available for free download at http://get.adobe.com/reader/.

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Lymphedema Awareness Day

Eunice Mooney, a certified lymphatic therapist, demonstrates a massage technique for lymphedema on client Donna Braham. Herald photo by Angela Hill

Eunice Mooney, a certified lymphatic therapist, demonstrates a massage technique for lymphedema on client Donna Braham. Herald photo by Angela Hill.

An article written by Angela Hill for the Prince Albert Daily Herald tells us that today is Lymphedema Awareness Day in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Let’s promote awareness here as well!  Why not?

See the article at http://www.paherald.sk.ca/News/Local/2010-02-25/article-824113/Lymphedema-recognized/1.

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