Can lipedema be cured with massage? Alyna Eekema has no doubt.
Last weekend I attended a fascinating workshop provided by Lymphedema Seminars designed to introduce Quadrivas Therapy, a treatment for Lipedema, Lymphedema and other circulatory disorders. The workshop occurred due to the interest of Dr. Karen Herbst, MD, PhD, in the benefits of Quadrivas Therapy. Dr. Herbst is the associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.
What is Quadrivas Therapy? It’s a ‘’unique, intensive massage therapy originating in Vietnam and adapted by Alyna Eekema of The Netherlands for Lipedema and Lymphedema patients”. Alyna received Quadrivas Therapy while living in Vietnam because she had put on weight after both of her pregnancies and could not lose it in spite of prescribed diet and exercise. After being amazed with the results and feeling healthier than ever, she decided that she must take action to bring this therapy to people outside of Vietnam. According to Alyna, conditions such as lipedema can be “permanently resolved by the Quadrivas Therapy”. At her clinic in Amsterdam, other common conditions, such as Type II diabetes, obesity and varicose veins have also been treated and respond well.
After ten years of private practice in The Netherlands, Alyna decided to begin training other therapists to meet the growing demand for this unique therapy. Alyna spent five years studying under her Vietnamese mentor and teacher. Her students at the Quadrivas Academy in Amsterdam undergo two years of training and a third year which resembles a residency. During this third year, the newly trained therapists have their own practice, but are further required to present findings from their work to Alyna and to each other. This exchange allows the vital flow of information between practitioners for more and better understanding of response to treatment, as well as the chance for newly trained Quadrivas therapists to fine-tune their assessment and manual skills to ensure the best possible outcome for current and future clients in their own care.
During this workshop, Alyna demonstrated some manual techniques used in the Quadrivas Therapy. These were, she admitted, only “the tip of the iceberg”. We were then given the opportunity to practice these techniques on each other. This was daunting for most of the attending CLTs, because many Quadrivas Therapy techniques fly completely in the face of the traditional Vodder methods/ protocol that are fundamental in our treatment of Lipedema and Lymphedema. Examples of this difference are pressure – deep pressure. There is also no strict observance about always working in the direction of the heart. Quadrivas Therapy addresses many layers of tissue (at times down to the periosteum) to “untangle and open tissues” to normalize circulation and increase tissue and overall health.
Does it work? During the month of September, Dr. Karen Herbst selected and brought to Tucson about ten trial participants from all over the U.S. Each of them had Lipedema or another fat-related disorder. Three of them attended the workshop. They were each given the opportunity to explain their disorder, how it affected their quality of life and any effect the Quadrivas Therapy had on their health so far (most of the participants still had treatments scheduled with Alyna). This was the most exciting part of the workshop. Hearing first hand from these participants the differences in the way their bodies looked after just three weeks of treatment spoke volumes about what might be possible with Quadrivas Therapy. One participant spoke of the pain and disability caused by her lipedema. Unable to bend her knees without pain and restriction before the Quadrivas Therapy, with the encouragement of the other two trial participants, she briefly ran in place to show us that she could now do something she had been unable to do for years! It was very emotional for her and very moving for the rest of us. All three of the trial participants agreed that the treatments were initially painful. They explained that the farther into the treatment they were, the less pain and bruising they experienced. They seemed to feel these were small trade-offs for the results they were receiving. Alyna expressed a hope that she would be able to continue working with the trial participant after the trial ends so that they could experience the curative effects that only come with sufficient treatment.
Alyna announced that she intended to bring training for Quadrivas Therapists to the U.S. At the time of the workshop, Tucson was the intended location. She hoped to have more details on this opportunity by year’s end.
I will be notified when more information regarding Quadrivas Therapy training is available. We at Fluid Factor are interested to know more about this and any other therapies being developed for the treatment of Lymphedema and Lipedema. We’re also looking forward to the publication of any findings from the research that Dr. Herbst conducted with Alyna Eekema and the trial participants. We’ll keep you posted on these exciting new developments here in the U.S.