Both needed and unexpected surgeries are life changing events. Getting the aftercare you need is vital for speedy recovery. We take great enjoyment and satisfaction in the opportunities we have experienced in helping clients recovery from their surgeries.
How soon after surgery can I receive a massage?:
Our team can start with manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) the day after surgery. One of the primary concerns health care professionals have is controlling the edema. Edema is inflammation that occurs either from direct result of injury or from the surgery itself. Managing the edema allows the body to heal faster and can prevent secondary injuries from occurring.
True “massage” or manipulation of the muscles won’t begin for a few weeks post op. For this reason, massage and bodywork on the area effected will begin after wounds have healed.
The edema that occurs post surgery or injury is an abundance of interstitial fluid. This is fluid that needs to find its way back to the circulatory system by way of the lymphatic system. Following the typically R.I.C.E method of resting, icing, compressions, and elevation is beneficial. For quicker recovery time however, the slow, light and methodical method of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) has been shown to be a proven method used in recovery in orthopedic, cardiac, and cancer patients to help control the pain and disease outcomes associated with these individuals.
For knee surgery the study specifically mentioned the following. “MLD in the early postoperative stages after TKA appears to improve active knee flexion up to 6 weeks post surgery, in addition to conventional care.”
How many treatments should I have after surgery?:
For optimal results we highly recommend a 10-15 series of (MLD) appointments for 2-3 times a week. The recovery process of each client is different. The type of surgery or injury will determine how a person heals. Additional series may be needed, this can be evaluated after a completed series. We do offer one time treatments, any person can come in for a MLD treatment or series. Injury or surgery doesn’t need to be a pre-requisite to have MLD done.
After wounds have healed we can begin work to help decrease scar tissue build up and increase range of motion (ROM). This will allow us to work with the muscles affected by the injury or surgery. Just as you would expect to see a physical therapist (PT) regularly we would appreciate the opportunity to work regularly. A client may expect to schedule 1-2 times a week to help assist in recovery, movement and pain management.
What if I cannot drive the day after surgery, how would I receive the necessary treatment?:
In home treatments are available for clients who cannot physically drive after surgery. Upon request we do offer 3 in home sessions with the purchase of our 10 or 15 series packages. Because of this, pricing varies from a 10-15 series that is just done on site at the spa. This is to allow for set up and travel time of our therapist.
What if I have drains, stitches, bandages, or compression garments on?:
We work regularly with clients after surgeries. It is normal for us to see, help and work with different situations a client may be in. Your comfort is our priority.
Will it hurt?:
Pain is a personal thing and each body is different. Typically MLD is not a painful treatment. MLD consists of soft manipulation of the lymph located just under the surface of the skin but above the muscle tissue.
It is typical to feel relief of pressure during and following the treatment. Pressure applied during a session is extremely light. Remember, manipulation of muscle is a massage and is avoided until wounds and edema are gone or drastically reduced.
After you have completed a 10-15 MLD series and wounds have healed we can begin the process of working on the scar tissue and muscle rehabilitation. This portion of recovery can be painful for some. This next process requires good communication between therapist and client. Communication ensures we are able to make progress without being too aggressive.
What can I expect after the Lymph series is over?:
As you begin to recover from the injury after the swelling is gone and the wounds have healed we will use a combination of different techniques that may involve cupping, IASTM or instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation and massage.
Aside from the surgery, an injury can effect many other areas of the body during the healing process.
If you are wanting a full body massage with cupping or IASTM we kindly request you schedule a 90-120 minute appointment. We want to help you get the most out of your treatments so we ask that you plan to give us more time if you need full bodywork during a session.
Clients focused on recovering from a specific injury only need a 60 minute appointment to receive detailed bodywork on the injured and surrounding area. Sixty minute appointments are not sufficient for detailed full bodywork.
The Lymphatic system does not have a pump, this is why R.I.C.E. and MLD is critical for helping to decrease the swelling and edema. After our series is over you may experience swelling still, if this occurs you may need additional treatments or will want to be diligent with your R.I.C.E applications at home. You can also check out our lymphatic drainage course which includes MLD IASTM Cupping instructions for at home care and recovery. This is a good way to continue treatment in the comfort of home at times convenient for you.
Floating after surgery, another method for recovery:
We would recommend coming in for a float session after your wounds have healed. Float pods, often used by professional athletes, can assist in healing the body and training the mind. Clearly injuries affect more than just the injured area of the body. Undoubtedly this can be both physically and mentally draining.
“Patients experience of pain intensity at its worst-
Analysis of inter-action (paired samples ttest, 5% level) indicated that the experimental group experienced less severe pain after treatment than before treatment.
The results indicated that there was a significant difference in depression assessment before and after treatment (F[1,32]=5.51; Eta2=0.13; P=0.025); the degree of depression was reduced after treatment. There was a significant correlation between groups and degree of depression before and after treatments (F[1,32]=5.04; Eta2=0.12; P=0.032).
The analysis indicated that there was a significant difference in anxiety before and after treatment (F[1,33]=6.88; Eta2=0.17; P=0.013); level of anxiety decreased after treatment.
Time to sleep onset-
Article written by: Katrina Long
Her love for massage came at the early age of 14 when as a gymnast she received therapy that helped to facilitate her getting back into the gym and competing. To her Massage has never been viewed as something you do to feel good or relax, it’s always been a necessary avenue to repairing and fixing ailments of the body so that a person can have a better quality of life.
Having been diagnosed with rare muscle paralysis disease she has found that the combination of both natural and prescribed medicines can truly be beneficial to a persons wellbeing.
Training for her Massage Therapy apprenticeship was done in Aiea, Hawaii and her Anatomy through BYU.
She is the wife of a first responder and a mother of 4. She loves water sports, canyoneering, beekeeping, and enjoyed the 4 years spent being involved in her community as an elected official.
By day you may see her as a put together professional, but in the early morning and weekends you can find her with her muck boots on, feeding animals with hay in her hair or covered in dirt from gardening.
(*Katrina is not currently taking on new clients, she is only servicing her existing clients.)
Orthopedic: Ebert JR, Joss B, Jardine B, Wood DJ. Randomized trial investigating the efficacy of manual lymphatic drainage to improve early outcome after total knee arthroplasty. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Nov;94(11):2103-11. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.06.009. Epub 2013 Jun 26. PMID: 23810354.
Breast Cancer: Suami H, Heydon-White A, Mackie H, Czerniec S, Koelmeyer L, Boyages J. A new indocyanine green fluorescence lymphography protocol for identification of the lymphatic drainage pathway for patients with breast cancer-related lymphoedema. BMC Cancer. 2019 Oct 22;19(1):985. doi: 10.1186/s12885-019-6192-1. PMID: 31640623; PMCID: PMC6806520.