Until standards and guidelines are established for Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), Complex physical therapy (CPT), Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) treatments, through evidence based study, it is important for consumers to be vigilant when arranging for treatments in this area. Make sure you check with your massage therapist on their experience and qualifications before you proceed with any treatment, as well as number of treatments expected, duration of treatments, expected outcome and cost. And make sure you keep your physician informed of what you are doing. Beware of any therapist who makes extravagant claims, or suggests that lymphedema can be "cured" or eliminated through these treatments - there is currently no cure for lymphedema.
In addition to MLD, CDT and CPT programs, some consumers with lymphedema have also found osteopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic services and other alternative therapies helpful. It is important to check with your doctor before trying out these therapies. Coverage for physiotherapy, massage and other alternative treatments varies from province to province. Check with your physician or health insurance agency for more information in this area.
This information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant as a substitute for medical advice or an endorsement of any treatment option or business.
A number of schools exist which offer lymphedema therapist training
programs. Some of these schools also provide training courses for friends
and relatives of persons with lymphedema. (Please view the Events section of Lymphovenous Canada for notices of seminars and conferences in this area). In some cases, persons with lymphedema
may be able to do some of the techniques themselves. Many of these schools
also provide books and videos outlining their techniques. They include:
For more information on their training program contact the Dr. Vodder School - North America in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Telephone 1-800-522-9862 or (250) 598-9862 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
An up-to-date list of therapists who have completed their full certification course and have maintained their training and upgrading credentials with the Vodder school can be found at the following site: http://www.vodderschool.com/find_a_therapist (This list does not include therapists who have taken a Vodder course but have chosen not to renew their certification with the school or therapists who have chosen not to have their names listed. For more information please contact Vodder School directly.)
For information on Quebec massage therapists see the Lymphedema Association of Quebec. Lists of other massage therapists can also be located by contacting a treatment centre a support group or a chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society in your area.
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Last revised Jan. 22, 2012.