What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

The lymphatic system is a vital part of our immune system. Part of its function is to drain, transport, filter and remove broken down foreign substances and waste from our tissue. The gentle, rhythmical massage techniques used in lymphatic drainage treatment move lymph towards the lymph nodes where the body can dispose of wastes more easily. The technique is also effective in releasing blockages of lymph flow, which can cause swelling of the tissues (edema).

What are the benefits of Lymphatic Drainage?

Manual lymphatic drainage helps to rid the body of toxins and excess lymph by stimulating the body’s lymphatic system using specific massage techniques. The technique causes the lymphatic network to enlarge and carry more lymph. This applies to the limbs and trunk in particular. In this way, the body’s elimination channels are enhanced and your ability to clear out toxins and waste products is greatly improved.

What to expect during your Lymphatic Drainage treatment:

Because many of the lymph vessels are just under the skin, moving the lymph requires very light touch, barely the weight of a teaspoon of water. Practitioners use flat hands and finger pads in painless, rhythmic movements light enough to be described as ‘feather touch’. Expect this treatment to be a lot slower and much lighter than your standard massage treatment. The majority of the treatment is spent lying supine (face up) as the front of the body is where the majority of the lymph nodes are situated.
Due to the sensitive areas in which the lymph nodes are situated, (there are clusters around your breasts and groin area) your therapist will explain the sequence and theory of the technique in the initial consultation before you decide to go ahead.

Shoulder Massage

What is Meridian and Acupressure Massage?

Meridian and Acupressure massage is a massage that focuses on massaging the meridian/energy pathways on the body. The massage consists of long flowing strokes along the meridians interspersed with specific pressure on acupressure points. It is a style of massage based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, with no needles involved.

What are Meridians?

Meridians are thought to be part of a master communications system of the universal life energy, connecting the organs with all sensory, physiological and emotional aspects of the body. Acupressure points on the meridians can stimulate the local area or through the meridian connection and send healing messages to other parts of the body to benefit a variety of complaints and symptoms.

Why Massage Meridians?

When the energy (Qi) that flows through the meridians and acupressure points becomes blocked by physiological, pathological or psychological stressors, the body can not function properly and ill health or disease can manifest. Meridian Massage and Acupressure can help improve and clear blockages in the flow of Qi or energy, helping the body function optimally and facilitate its own healing. This makes meridian massage a powerful treatment to improve the overall harmony, health and well-being in the body.

How does Meridian Massage and Acupressure affect the body?

  • Stimulates the low of Qi/energy through the meridians
  • Balances and regulates the body’s energy system therefore improving overall health and well-being
  • Stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself
  • Stimulates the energy connected to each organ through its associated meridian aiding the energetic and physiological functions of that organ
  • Improves mental well-being by balancing emotions via the organ and meridian emotional connection
  • Improves circulation of blood into the muscles which increases transportation of nutrients into the tissue and increase the removal of waste from the tissue
  • Improves circulation of lymph which increases the removal of wastes and toxins from the tissues as well as boosts the overall immune system and strengthens the body’s ability to defend against disease and infection
  • Releases tension in the muscle proving the mobility, and range of motion of muscles and joints
  • Stimulate the release of endorphins (chemicals produced by the body that relieve pain) which relaxes the muscle and promotes healing
  • Causes a deep relaxation response in the body, reducing stress and promoting wellness

What to expect after your treatment:

Often clients do not feel any effects of the treatment immediately. It is often later on in the day, or the evening that a feeling of tiredness or heaviness may be felt. This is simply a sign that the body is using its energy to eliminate all the extra toxins that have been added to the circulatory system due to the increased lymph flow. It is important at this time to drink extra water and stay away from caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and heavy foods to allow your body to complete this process.

How Do I Know If Someone Is A Registered Massage Therapist?

What Are A Registered Massage Therapists’ Qualifications?

In Alberta, there is currently no regulatory governing body for massage therapists and colleges offering massage therapy. The provincial association, the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta (MTAA) is demanding higher standards for the profession of Massage Therapy.

  • The MTAA members are the ONLY Massage Therapists in Alberta that are required to prove their competency by successful completion of an examination to qualify for membership.
  • The MTAA members are the ONLY Massage Therapists in Alberta that are required to remain current in practice by continually and actively demonstrating their commitment to ongoing professional development.

The MTAA has been actively approaching the Alberta Government for well over a decade, requesting that massage therapy be regulated with the other Health Professions, ensuring an absolute agency of public accountability.

You can search the MTAA’s site for accredited massage therapists in Cochrane at: http://www.mtaalberta.com/
Currently in Alberta, many insurance companies are only accepting receipts from massage therapists who have had 2200 hours of schooling. Because Kathleen is a Registered Massage Therapist trained in Ontario (a province with a regulatory governing body), she has the 2200 hours that all insurance companies are looking for.

Four other provinces in Canada have already achieved regulation: British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Ontario, Massage Therapy is regulated by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (http://www.cmto.com/). Massage students must complete 2200 hours of intensive anatomical, physiological and clinical studies, including practical instruction, at an approved massage therapy college. Graduation is a prerequisite to taking the provincial examinations; successful candidates then become licensed and registered under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA). All current registered massage therapists (R.M.T.) are members of this College, and only members of this college may call themselves Massage Therapists or Registered Massage Therapists.

Is There Any Financial Coverage For Massage Therapy?

Is Massage Covered By Provincial Health Care Or Extended Health Care Benefits Policies?
Massage therapy is not covered by Provincial health care; however, many private insurance companies provide full or partial coverage under extended health care packages.

Most insurance companies no longer require a physician’s referral. Please check your individual policy, as this does vary company to company.

Kathleen does do direct billing for many insurance companies. If this is something that you are interested in, please let her know in advance so that she can ensure that it is one of the companies that she works with. Otherwise, clients pay for their treatments at the time of receiving the treatment,  and you will receive an official receipt for you to submit to your insurance company**. If you do not have extended health care benefits you may wish to consult with Revenue Canada or your financial planner to determine if claims for massage therapy under “Medical Expenses” on your income tax return will be permitted.

**Kathleen is a registered provider with Alberta Blue Cross and can direct bill for anyone with Blue Cross coverage. She is also registered with Telus Health which allows her to direct bill to a large number of benefit insurers: Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan, Cowan Insurance Group (managed by Express Scripts Canada), Desjardins Insurance, Great-West Life, Industrial Alliance, Johnson Inc., Manulife Financial, Maximum Benefit or Johnston Group, Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada and Sun Life Financial. Kathleen is also registered with Green Shield.

In the case of members of the Department of National Defense, active members may be entitled to coverage. A referral from a Doctor and clearance from the Blue Cross is required for coverage. For retired members, a Doctor’s referral and permission from Veteran’s Affairs is required. In these situations, direct billing occurs, and members are not required to pay up front for treatments.

Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are covered for massage therapy and do need to have  a doctor’s referral. Direct billing occurs in this situation as well.