In the late 1980’s, my mother-in-law, Patsy, had a double mastectomy. Seven years later, she pricked one of her arms trimming bushes in her yard. At the time it seemed like a harmless scratch. Within days her arm engulfed with edema from her hand up to the shoulder. She went to the hospital where they tested her and never said the word Lymphedema to her or determined any issues. Within a month, the edema went across her breast area to the other arm. I took her to 3 physicians, the diagnosis she got from each was “Pat, you are getting old.” She was an otherwise healthy 70! Within 9-months, cancer had invaded every part of her body and she passed. In her last months, I knew reflexology and would use my knowledge of it to ease her discomfort. It was during those sessions she encouraged me to become a massage therapist and learn what it was that caused her to swell up. After her passing, I set to it.
Midway through my massage education, my sister, Jo, became ill with brain cancer. After months of medical treatments and surgery she was given a prognosis of 12 months, Jo came to live with me so I could care for her. The moment she arrived we set out a specific care protocol to help her increase stability, enjoy her life, and increase her time. Through this care protocol which included regular oncology massage, manual lymph drainage (MLD) therapy, Reflexology (which is now known as my signature therapy), exercise, and a healthier diet, my sister lived another eight amazingly wonderful years surrounded by the things she loved - animals. specially horses, music concerts, travel, friends and family.
My time caring for Patsy and Jo led me to discover my life’s purpose and passion – helping others facing health challenges to overcome what they can and take back control of their life through comforting therapy and functional care options.
Before coming to Arizona, I worked 25 years at a world renowned laboratory. I furthered my massage therapy education with extensive Oncology Massage training, then training and certification as a Certified Lymphatic Therapist (CLT), gaining extensive Lymphedema knowledge, the techniques of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and complete decongestive therapy (CDT) certification, the same certification PT's/OT's complete. I now was armed with both the technical training and the hands-on experience needed to care for Jo and others. Recently in 2016, I completed Reflexology for Lymph Drainage (RLD) training. This new technique from England, was developed through successful evidence based research by Sally Kay and funded by the NHC in the UK. I am, at this time, one of the very few LMT/CLT’s to have completed this training and who are practicing in the USA. Funny how Reflexology guided me to be a Licensed Massage Therapist, which guided me to Lymphedema training and certification, which brought me full-circle back to Reflexology! Fluid Factor works to stay current with best techniques and options of care for our clients.
I established and opened Fluid Factor because there truly is no other place like it! Many patients experience a void during or after completing cancer treatment. They are left with unexpected or unexplained symptoms and little to no guidance on what treatment options are available to address these myriad symptoms safely and effectively. The vital role of the lymphatic system in cancer recovery and overall wellness is indisputable. However, there is a lack of understanding about the involvement of lymphatic function by many practitioners when planning treatment protocols. There is often a lack of discussion and patient education regarding the short and long term side effects of cancer and cancer treatment –many of which can be well-managed when the lymphatic system is functioning optimally.
Fluid Factor is a place where we specialize in the lymphatic system, compression therapy and can offer additional therapies that support the patient toward their goal.
We work to set our clients on a path to improved health through knowledge, caring therapy, and maintenance options. Fluid Factor is here to fill the void between cancer, surgery, other medical treatments, and recovery care. We support you on your journey, taking the time needed. Treatment protocols only work if you can incorporate them successfully into your lifestyle. I’m excited to share our services and staff with you to help get you on track to a healthy and happy life!
(Picture shown is Jo & Anita)