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What is Lymphedema Bandaging?

Lymphedema bandaging is a very helpful reductive therapy for those who develop lymphedema in a limb. Lymphedema most commonly occurs after lymph nodes have been removed or damaged by surgeries causing the the normal pathway of the lymph system to be degraded and remaining vessels in the body to become overloaded with fluid and swell. However, Lymphedema can also be a primary disease, causes of which are still not clear.


When excess fluid collects in any part of the limb, the best way to stimulate its movement out of the affected limb is to use this specific (and at times tricky) method of bandaging. You should always consult and work with a well-qualified lymphedema specialist to bandage the affected area to ensure maximum effectiveness. At Fluid Factor, we will provide the necessary training and assistance to make bandaging a self-care tool you can use to control and prevent flare-ups in the future. If bandaging has become too much of a daily burden, we also offer a wide range of other options to alternate with bandaging, to help with maintaining successful care of the affected area(s).


What is it made of? How does it work?

The bandage is made from several layers of material to form a soft cast that supports and places pressure on the limb. Various exercises performed while in the cast stimulate the muscles and create a pumping action that works to reduce the volume of the affected area.

Before you begin bandaging, you must thoroughly clean and moisturize the skin to prevent cracking, irritation, or infection. Then a gauge type custom cut sleeve is applied before a cotton or foam padding that forms the bulk of the wrapping is secured. Short-stretch bandages are then placed around this padding in a pattern of gradient compression. Though they look very similar, you should never use Ace bandages in place of short-stretch bandages. Short-stretch bandages offer the support and compression needed to stimulate the flow of fluid, while Ace bandages are too stretchy to provide the necessary pressure. At Fluid Factor we can direct you to the right sizes of bandage that will work best for you and provide custom padding as needed. All bandaging is specific to client needs and goals.


It is CRITICAL that your bandages be examined to determine condition, several times a year. This simple exam by a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, will assure compression standards are being met. Bandaging with a limp or severely reduced compression set of bandages is like doing nothing at all for the affected area. Especially in the heat of the desert, it is even more important to get your bandages checked by a Certified Lymphedema Therapist on a regular basis. We are happy to do that for our clients, while providing hands on education as to why this must be a part of their care protocol.


Can I just use a compression sleeve?

It is important to consult a Certified Lymphedema Therapist to determine the treatment best for you. It is not a decision a store clerk should make for you off the shelf. For some very mild cases of lymphedema, a compression sleeve can help. However, compression sleeves generally only support the natural flow of fluid in the right direction when you are resting but do little to remove excess fluid out of the affected area. Bandaging creates working pressure as you move about while sleeves use resting pressure to support circulation.


How long will I have to wear a bandage?

The length of treatment depends on your individual circumstance and recovery rate. However, while lymphedema creates edema in an area, some form of compression garment or bandage must be worn day and night. Committing to a series of Lymphatic MLD Massages will help you find relief, balance, and get you on the road to some fluid reduction with better maintenance of your condition. Our therapists will provide complimentary, re-bandage of the affected limb and examine the current quality of your bandages and or garments after each massage.


For more information about caring for your Lymphedema, or on products to use for compression, or to discuss having a Lymph Drainage Massage, contact Fluid Factor. Click here, or call today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to working with you to achieve your wellness and health goals. Our trained staff is here to help.

– Anita Bakke, LMT, CDT

What is Reiki? How Does it Work?

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a healing method that uses the body’s inherent life force to cleanse and renew the mind, body, and spirit. Reiki promotes stress reduction, relaxation, and healing by focusing energy on specific parts of the body and allowing the life force within you to increase the functionality and well-being of your body. Before I go any further, I must say: Reiki is not a religion. It does not even require religious belief for it to work. However, those who use Reiki usually find themselves more connected to their deity, rather than having a merely conceptual idea of religion.


Derived from the Japanese words Rei, meaning “God’s Wisdom” or “Higher Power” and Ki, meaning “life force energy”, Reiki translated means “spiritually guided life force energy”. The traditional Japanese practice was founded on the ideals of Buddhist Mikao Usui. The westernized adaptations of Reiki, like the traditional Japanese, believe that as humans we must take an active part in and a responsibility for our own healing. The life force within us is affected by the negative thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves. Reiki will help you to clear your own negative perceptions so that positive energy will flow through your chakras to nourish your organs and cells and heal your body.


How does Reiki work?

Your Reiki session should always begin with a statement of affirmation or prayer expressing your gratitude for and your willingness to be deeply healed. In your first few sessions, don’t worry if you don’t feel comfortable expressing this. Your massage therapist at Fluid Factor will prepare and focus their thought and energy, on your behalf in this manner for optimal results.


Reiki is performed by a series of holding techniques that focus energy to a specific part of the body. While you lay comfortably, your therapist will place their hands lightly on or slightly above your abdomen, heart, throat, eyes, etc. to focus energy on your chakras or energy points.


The best part about Reiki is the self-guided nature of the treatment. The energy is of God and knows what areas need treatment in each client. It can never do harm, only heal and let God’s light shine through you.


Book a Reiki Session at Fluid Factor to learn more and gain firsthand experience with this simple and peaceful healing process. Contact us for more information, click here, or call today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to working with you to achieve your wellness and health goals.

– Anita Bakke, LMT, CDT

How Does the Lymphatic System Work?

The lymphatic system works in tandem with your body’s immune system to keep your body healthy and functional. Without a proper functioning lymphatic system, your body is prone to illness, fatigue, and disease. However, when your lymphatic system is stimulated, you will have more energy, improved circulation, and a healthier immune system to fight off toxins and prevent disease!

The Mechanics
The lymphatic system is made up of vessels and organs throughout the body that transport a clear fluid called lymph through your lymph nodes for filtration and then back into your bloodstream. Lymph carries excess proteins and white blood cells through the body and can easily pick up bacteria and toxins along the way. In the lymph nodes, debris and bacteria are filtered out and cellular waste is removed. The buildup of this excess gunk in your lymph nodes can cause inflammation, fatigue, headaches, allergies, and muscle pain, among other symptoms.

Why It’s Important
Whether you are experiencing these unpleasant symptoms or not, it is important to maintain your lymphatic health so that your cells can eliminate waste and prevent disease the way they should, keeping you healthy and happy.

The first step in improving lymphatic health is to clear out as many impurities as possible with a Full Body Lymphatic Massage at Fluid Factor. Our therapies will improve your overall lymph production and promote relaxation, healing, and healthy circulation. For suggestions on ways you can maintain a healthy lymphatic and immune system at home, see our post on Foods That Boost Immunity.

Powerful Preparation and Recovery Tool
Lymphatic massage also prepares your body prior to surgeries, attempting pregnancy, or beginning fertility treatments. This therapy helps to clear the system after any medical procedure that puts a high concentration of medications into your system. Whether you receive a lymphatic massage before a surgical procedure, to aid in recovery, or just to promote your health and wellness, it will help get you back on track and in the proper flow for wellness.

How it helps those with Lymphedema
Lymphedema clients can find some relief and learn how to maintain or slightly reduce the volume in the effected area. Fluid Factor’s Certified Lymphatic Therapists work with you to reach your wellness goals. Starting with a Full Body Lymphatic Massage for assessment. When you purchase a treatment series, we create a treatment protocol just for you that will get you on track for improved wellness and ease of care. Measurement monitoring, training and education for your best care, direction on everything that completes your care and we are always available to ask questions when you have them.

Contact us for more information, click here, or call today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to working with you to achieve your lifestyle and health goals.

– Anita Bakke, LMT, CDT

Foods that Boost Immunity

There are several steps we can take at home to build up our immunity to disease and prevent the lymphatic system from clogging up and failing to function properly. After receiving a Lymph Drainage Massage or Full Body Lymphatic Massage at Fluid Factor, try introducing these foods into your diet (and taking certain ones out!) to maintain healthy lymphatic functioning.

First off, processed foods force your lymphatic system to work harder, not smarter. Because of the chemicals used to keep these foods “fresh” for longer periods of time, your lymph nodes have a hard time filtering out all the contaminants, causing bacteria to get into the blood stream and cause sickness. Examples of common processed foods to avoid: lunchmeat, hot dogs, white bread, candy, packaged dinners, fast food, cereal.

Now onto the foods that help your body function optimally. Natural, organic foods cleanse your body without causing extra work for your lymph nodes and other important organs. Dark green vegetables like spinach, kale, sea kelp, and broccoli contain chlorophyll, which helps purify your blood and in turn cleanse your lymphatic system. Flax seeds, wheatgrass, radishes, garlic, beans, nuts, and yogurt are other natural foods that boost your immunity.

Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, have astringent properties which help remove blockages in the lymph nodes. They also contain Vitamin C, which is an amazing antioxidant vitamin for purifying (along with Vitamin E and beta-carotene). These antioxidant vitamins are usually found in fruits or vegetables with vibrant hues, which also makes eating healthy more fun!

Melons promote an alkaline environment for lymph to flow and berries are very rich in antioxidants. Herbs like dandelion root, parsley, burdock root, nettles, and myrrh also cleanse the lymphatic system. Healthy fatty acids contained in avocados, nuts, and seeds also nourish our lymph system for optimal functionality.

Other foods that boost immunity include:

  • Prunes
  • Apples
  • Raisins
  • Plums
  • Red grapes
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Beans

A healthy diet, combined with regular exercise, pumps lymph through your body, prevents blockages in your lymph nodes and leads to a healthier and happier immune system.

Contact Fluid Factor to learn more or to schedule a lymphatic cleanse today!

– Anita Bakke, LMT, CDT

Detox and Cleanse with Lymphatic MLD Massage

The best way to start or reboot any big or small lifestyle change is to cleanse your system of all unnecessary toxins and metabolic waste. If you’re starting a new diet, DETOX. If you’re recovering from a minor illness or serious disease, DETOX. If you’re starting a new fertility treatment or attempting pregnancy, DETOX! A lymphatic massage will refresh, renew, and cleanse your body from the inside out. After just a few sessions, your body will thank you by giving you more energy and you’ll feel less pain and discomfort from disease, illness, or injury.

Everyday life can sometimes weigh you down with stress and tight muscles and the environment we live in is filled with impure air, food, water, and even medication. While proper diet and exercise are key components in improving your overall health and wellness (see Foods that Boost Immunity for tips), a Lymphatic Massage is the first step to getting you back on track to achieving your overall health and wellness goals.

The better your lymph system functions, the better your immune system will be able to fight off disease and aid in healing. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system does not have a central organ like the heart to pump lymph fluids through the body. Lymphatic massage acts as that external pump to accelerate fluid through your body and back into your bloodstream.

When you receive a lymphatic massage, the way your body responds to the treatment depends on your body’s current toxicity levels. Most clients become very relaxed and sedated during the treatment, while hours and days later it is not unusual to experience increased energy. As your system acclimates to this renewed function of the Lymph system, elevated voiding will occur. As a result of this, it is important to add more water to your normal routine to further flush out any toxins that were released by the massage techniques. Keeping the body properly hydrated, so it does not seek other sources of hydration from within is necessary for best results. This treatment of steady light pressure methodically applied, will stimulate your entire lymphatic system, boost immunity, and have you feeling refreshed and invigorated.

– Anita Bakke, LMT, CDT

Truth About Starting

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