Meet Karen Kingsley, registered massage therapist at ALPHA Health Services. Karen brings a wealth of experience, and specialization in Manual Lymphatic Drainage. Read on to learn a bit more about Karen and her practice!
Why did you become a Registered Massage Therapist?
After I had completed treatment for breast cancer I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life post cancer. I had worked in marketing for many years and just prior to being diagnosed I had made the jump to start my own travel business. Cancer threw a bit of a monkey wrench into that new business so it made me reassess my priorities in life and my career. Ultimately, I wanted a career where I could give back and help people. I went to a seminar for young women with breast cancer where they were discussing breast massage, lymphatic drainage, and scar work. I had a light bulb moment during that seminar and that is what gave me the inspiration to become a massage therapist. I’m happy to say that it was the best decision I’ve ever made and I absolutely love this career!
What did you learn while going through school about massage therapy, that you didn’t know before?
What I didn’t know was how much you are required and know in order to become a massage therapist. I don’t think the general public realizes how intense the schooling is. In order to provide a safe treatment for each of our patients, we need to know so much about the body in general, endless pathologies and how massage can affect each one of them. You never know what a new patients health history is going to include and we have to be ready for anything that gets thrown our way.
What made you pursue further education as a MLD therapist?
I have a special interest in working with cancer patients because of my own cancer experience. An unfortunate complication after cancer treatment is Lymphedema. Cancer treatment effects the lymphatic system because these patients have either had lymph nodes removed or had radiation, which can damage the lymph nodes and vessels. Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is a very effective treatment for people suffering form Lymphedema. I wanted to be able to treat cancer patients throughout their whole cancer journey and I know that there are very few of these types of therapists out there. Becoming fully certified in MLD and CDT was therefore a no brainer for me. I did my training though Dr. Vodder School International and it’s a very intense program that is known for it’s high standard of training health care professionals in MLD and CDT.
What types of patients do you treat for MLD?
The types of patients I can treat for MLD is endless! So many people can benefit from MDL but not many people know about this type of treatment. It’s actually a treatment that can be done almost immediately after surgery, for example. It’s a very light treatment so it doesn’t affect the surgical site. The lymphatic system transports white blood cells so having MLD treatments pre and post surgery helps create a better healing environment and can actually speed up the healing process. MLD can also help with the following conditions:
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Recent surgery – knee/hip/ankle replacement, breast reconstruction/mastectomy, etc.
- Meniere’s Syndrome
- Shoulder pathologies
- Recovery from fractures
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Venous Ulcers
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