Lymphatic Drainage Massage

facialLymphatic Drainage Massage is one of the oldest, most effective treatments for healing, detoxifying and relaxing the body.   It was developed in the early 1930’s by Dr. Emil Vodder who created a special type of light massage-like movements that included massaging lightly over  lymph nodes. In doing this, he found that it cured a range of ailments.  In his studies Dr. Vodder noted 60 different ailments and conditions that were helped or cured by this treatment.   These include migraine and chronic headaches, constipation, common acne and acne rosacea, tinnitus, eczema, whiplash, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, sinus congestion and tendinitis just to name a few. It is also an excellent therapeutic method for facial rejuvenation and to reduce puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles.  By the 1950’s, Dr, Vodder, along with his wife, Estrid, began educating the European world on lymphology and began teaching others about the benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage or MLD.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a type of specialized massage where light, rhythmical hand movements are used to move lymphatic fluid through the lymphatic system.   The focal point of this massage is to move fluid from the swollen area, through the lymph nodes, and allow it to return to the blood circulation once it has been cleaned.  The lymphatic system plays a huge role in immunity, aids with the removal of waste at the cellular level and facilitates the transport of nutrients and oxygen to cells.

Within the human body, damage to the lymph transport system, which includes lymph vessels or lymph nodes, can lead to edema or swelling, better known as lymphedema. This condition can result in localized swelling of the limbs causing discomfort and pain,  and can affect mobility and self-esteem.  There are two basic types of lymphedema- primary and secondary. Primary lymphedema is believed to be hereditary and caused by issues within the lymph transport system at birth.  Insufficient vessels or weak vessels may cause difficulty dealing with the load; therefore, affecting lower limbs beginning with the feet and ankles.  Secondary lymphedema can occur due to damage to the lymphatic system.  This can occur when nodes are removed during surgery or after cancer treatments, such as radiation.  Both types of lymphedema are quite progressive and can result in swelling of the limbs, trunk, or face.  A big part in managing these types of problems is manual lymphatic drainage (MLD).  The ongoing use of MLD helps keep the lymph nodes moving and stimulated.  This encourages the body to open up other pathways and in doing so this activates the body’s natural backstop in the event of tissue overload.  MLD therapists can assist in redirecting the lymph issue by bypassing where the nodes have been removed and taking fluid to the next available nodes within the system.

There are many other conditions that benefit from the use of Manual Lymphatic Drainage.  Due to its ability to move fluids, it not only de-congests tissue but also has an analgesic effect on the pain and touch receptors of the central nervous system. The light, repetitive touch of MLD stimulates the touch receptors, whose signals overtake those sent out by the pain receptors of the body. Due to this shared pathway, MLD, in practice, does have an analgesic effect, which alleviates pain.  MLD is routinely used after surgery to reduce swelling, bruising and to speed healing.  It is very useful in cases of sinus congestion, allergies, and general pain.

MLD also aids in boosting the immune system by speeding up the functioning of the lymphatic system, which is often impeded by lymph stagnation.  By stimulating the removal of metabolic wastes and toxins from the tissues, the body is better able to bring fresh nutrients, hormones and oxygen to the tissues, resulting in better overall functioning and health.

MLD is also safe to use throughout pregnancy, for both mother and child. As long as pre-eclampsia is not an issue, MLD can be used to treat puffy ankles or eyes and  tired or swollen legs. It can also assist in relieving pregnancy induced carpal tunnel and making it manageable. During the laboring stage of pregnancy, MLD can be used as a calming tool due to its soporific effect.

As a relaxation method, MLD is an ideal stress reliever. Because of the lightness and rhythmical nature of the movements, the recipient easily goes into a relaxed trance or downright falls asleep.  The result is a feeling of deep relaxation and well-being.

For the most part, lymphatic drainage massage is safe. However, there are a few conditions where it may be contraindicated. These conditions include: Acute Inflammation, Malignant Tumors, Thrombosis, Major Heart Conditions and those with a Cancer Diagnosis. Patients with these conditions should consult their physician prior to receiving a lymphatic drainage massage.

To book an appointment for lymphatic drainage massage, please visit our website at


Reflexology for better health

Foot reflexology massage has been around for centuries, and depictions of foot massage can be seen on ancient structures in China, Egypt and elsewhere in the world.  Very few people don’t love having their feet rubbed, and there’s  a reason why:

The feet have points that correspond to every organ, tissue and structure in the body. Massaging or applying pressure to these points can produce a relaxation response in the corresponding body area, thereby increasing blood, lymph and nerve circulation.  Once the circulation has been re-established, the organ can receive proper nourishment, eliminate wastes and begin functioning at an optimal level again, resulting in healing and well-being.

There are many health issues that can easily be helped with Reflexology, such as:

Sinus Problems
Menstrual Cramps
Poor Digestion
Anxiety & Stress
Skin Disorders
Circulatory Disorders
Blood Sugar Disorders
and many more.

Reflexology is a simple treatment that can be given to almost everyone, it does not require disrobing (other than the feet), and does not require any specific tools or equipment, other than a comfortable bed or chair, and a skillful practitioner.

For more information, or to book an appointment, please visit:

http://www.largomassage.comfoot massage



Miracle Pain Relief with Bowen Therapy

Nowadays there are many types of bodywork and  massage that purport to reduce pain and inflammation, realign the body and improve posture.  In my 20+ years of experience as a massage therapist, however, I have not experienced anything that comes close to the results and effectiveness achieved with Bowen Therapy.

I first heard about Bowen Therapy from an article in a massage publication about 10 years ago that piqued my interest.  After doing an online search I found a nearby school that taught the technique and decided that before plunking down over $1,000 for the course fee, I should try receiving a treatment.  I booked an appointment and went in knowing that this would not be like the massages or other therapies I had received in the past.  I came out of that session relaxed, but not impressed…  Until the next day!  I woke up feeling better than I had in years.  Everything seemed to work better:  my vision, memory, concentration, energy, everything tasted and smelled better, it was amazing!

Needless to day, I immediately signed up for the course and couldn’t wait to start practicing this newly acquired miraculous skill on my clients and the whole world!

What is Bowen Therapy?

This form of bodywork was named after Tom Bowen, an Australian self-taught bodyworker who practiced in Geelong, Australia for many years and was achieving miraculous results on his patients with very little manipulations.  Unfortunately, Tom Bowen never officially taught anyone what he was doing, but allowed a few people to observe his work on patients, and what is now taught as “Bowen Therapy” are various interpretations of what he did by those who observed him.

The basis  of Bowen Therapy is “the Bowen Move” which consists of gentle rolling or plucking moves over muscles or muscle groups, followed by a 2 to 3 minute waiting period.  In fact, there is very little done on the part of the practitioner, other than sending a gentle signal to the body.  The body then takes over and makes the necessary adjustments, resulting in a relaxing of the muscle tissues and a realigning of the body.  By relaxing and realigning the body, particularly along the spine, nerve, blood and lymphatic circulation is re-established and the body is able to self-heal.  The 2-3 minute waiting period after the moves allows the body to respond without being confused by additional stimuli.  In most schools of Bowen, the therapist is instructed to leave the room during the break in order to allow the patient to be able to concentrate on their body and not get distracted.

After practicing massage therapy for over 20 years, sometimes with great results, but often feeling like I was barely able to make a dent on some of my clients knotted up muscles, and wearing myself out in the process, this new technique came as a godsend.  I could see myself working for many more years and helping lots of clients find pain relief and well-being without worrying about how I was going to be able to continue to do this physically.

Unfortunately, Bowen Therapy is not well known in this country, and with clients used to the traditional 1 hour hands-on session, it is hard to change people’s attitudes and expectations.  With Bowen Therapy, a few judiciously placed moves is all that is needed and this can be accomplished in 5-10 minutes.  The body then takes over and will resolve most issues by itself over the next 1-3 days.  Clients who  are used to paying by the hour have a hard time justifying the fee charged for a session because they still equate time with value, not results.  I guess a Bowen session should be thought as like a Chiropractic session, where the chiropractor basically charges for the adjustments,  not how much time he or she spends with the patient.

In order to deal with that attitude, I have resorted to sneaking Bowen moves in all of my massage sessions.  My clients noticed something different, but because I wasn’t leaving them for two minutes between the moves, but just continued massaging, they did not object and actually were surprised at how much better they felt with less painful manipulations, especially in certain sensitive areas such as the neck, lateral thighs and other areas.

I have recently discovered and taken an online  course called “Integrated Bowen Therapy” .  This course teaches a full-body Body Balancing session using Bowen  moves without the waiting periods.  By moving to another body area and working different muscle groups while the previous moves are being “absorbed”, the therapist is able to be hands-on for the entire duration of the session (usually about 25-40 minutes) and the  recipient has the satisfaction of getting “their money’s worth” because they are not left alone during the waiting periods.  This way of practicing Bowen Therapy really appeals to me as I had always felt funny about leaving the room in between sets of moves.  Now the client can experience a full-body Bowen session, feel great, and everyone comes out a winner.

Of course, the principal beneficiary of my Bowen training has been myself,  as I have been able to eliminate all sorts of aches and  pains on my own body almost instantly over the years by applying the Bowen moves on myself!