Saturday, July 22, 2017

Put Trust back in charge - my anti-anxiety morning ritual

How to Reduce Anxiety in the Morning

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

This morning I woke up with that feeling again. The raw pit of my stomach discomfort. It comes once in a while, the anxiety. I want to distract myself from it. The phone is in my hand before I realize it, poised to click on social media. Do I look at it or start my morning ritual? 

What Will Serve Me More? Distraction or Detox?

Here is my morning ritual - my way of putting to put self-trust back in charge. 

Part one: The night before. 

Every night I set myself up to succeed by getting to sleep on time. I also update my to-do list means I won't stay up late at night worrying I'll forget to do something the next day. 

Part two: The morning.

Every morning starts with the same decision - roll over and check my phone or start my morning ritual. If I check my phone, my brain is in charge, focusing on the needs of others in my email box and social media. If I start my morning ritual, my body and heart are in charge. I aim to complete my hydration, nourishment, meditation, exercise and setting my intentions before I connect with social media. 

Taking this time (less than an hour) to do things for myself instead of for others, sets the right tone for my day and allows me to be in touch with my feelings and what is most important before my anxiety is riled up by the needs and feelings of others.

What is your morning ritual?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Weekend Wisdom: Articles on Health and Wellness for Women over 40

Weekend Wisdom:
Articles on Health and Wellness for Women over 40

Are fitness classes the new clubbing / happy hour? (NYPost)

Can Yoga help delay cognitive decline? (Pacific Standard)

Kathy Bates asks a very important question: 'I don't have breasts, so why do I have to pretend I do?' (NZ Herald)

State report: Insurance type, income affect cancer survival (The Morning Call)

For some patients in the hospital, using Aromatherapy is better than adding another drug with possible interactions or side effects to their bodies (Penn Medicine)

Research has studied what happens to our immune system in the first hour after trauma (MedicalXpress)


Those clever Texans have some innovative ideas for staying cool and sleeping at night (My San Antonio)

The link between uncontrolled asthma and undiagnosed sleeping disorders (WMTV)

After just one sleepless night, we focus less on the positive (TechnologyNetworks)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Swollen, Bloated and Puffy book and Podcast give tips on reducing swelling in face and body after plastic surgery or lymphedema diagnosis

'Swollen, Bloated and Puffy' Book and Podcast

I am so proud of all the tip and tricks I put together all in one place for ladies who need to reduce swelling in their face and body after orthopedic, cancer and plastic surgery as well as lymphedema diagnosis! The Table of Contents includes:

Part 1 - What is Lymphatic Massage?

Chapter 1 - How to Have a Happy Lymphatic System

Part 2 - How to Reduce Swelling

Chapter 2 - What to Put On and In Your Face and Body to Reduce Swelling
Chapter 3 - What to Wear to Reduce Swelling
Chapter 4  - Let’s Use Gravity and our Muscles to Reduce Swelling
Chapter 5 - How to Use Breathing to Boost your Lymphatic System

Part 3 - Let’s Have a Woman to Woman Talk about Constipation and Incontinence

Chapter 6 - Bonus Chapter for Mothers and all Ladies over 40

Another BONUS: Have you Heard of This? & Why am I Swollen There?

Part 4 - Your Immune System

Chapter 7 - Worried Sick - How to Improve your Immune System
Chapter 8 - Seven Tips for Boosting Your Mood and Reducing Stress

Chapter 9 - If You are Nervous Before Surgery

Order your copy of the book on Amazon here: 

I have also started a podcast on giving quick tips every day on reducing swelling and improving our immune system. Listen here:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Testimonial Tuesday - Lymphatic Detox Massage

Testimonial Tuesday - How about a Lymphatic System Detox Massage?

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

Arielle of SweatinSD fame on Instagram (Follow her here: LOVES to work out and was interested in seeing if the so-called detox effects of lymphatic drainage massage were real - even for a SUPER in shape girl like her. Here is her testimonial:

"Loved every second of Kathleen's massage. She's super attentive & explains everything in detail. The Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage felt like a full detox days later. The massage is definitely super light, yet beneficial. It's amazing what such small movements can do to detox your body. It's perfect for post surgery or any type of swelling. I'll definitely try it again!"

Let's learn more about how the lymphatic system works with the immune system:

Monday, July 17, 2017

Giving a Medal to a Future Marine in at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

Giving a Medal to a Future Marine 

at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot

As a part of my duties as a member of the San Diego Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, I get to present medals to students in JROTC, ROTC and NJROTC in San Diego.

I spent the morning at a ceremony for the USNSCC Coronado Batallion and got to present one of the Cadets with a medal honoring his efforts as a Naval Sea Cadet. This young man announced he would be enlisting in the Marine Corps this summer.

San Diego is home to both the Marine Corps Recruit Depot and the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, made famous in the classic movie Top Gun.

Linking to for Visible Monday.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Weekend Wisdom: Articles on Health and Wellness for Women over 40

Weekend Wisdom:
 Articles on Health and Wellness for Women over 40

Stress-reducing tips for those who are chronically late (Greatist)

Do extremely happy people talk differently than the rest of us? (Inc)

Research behind why hiking is a good mind and body workout (Time) 

Go to the sea to heal - (Longevity)

Karlie Kloss shares what she brings on a plane ride - including compression leggings!) (Klossy)

It's not about living in the light 24/7, it's about reorienting ourselves and getting back there when we're thrown off by life  (Gabby Bernstein)


Could a little soul searching help cure insomnia? (PsychCentral)

Sleep deprived people eat more. Don't let lack of sleep ruin your healthy habits. (Ideafit)

Could a noisy bedroom affect male fertility (US News and World Report

Poor sleep and Alzheimers may be linked (Business Insider)

Alcohol negatively affects sleep - here are tips to lessen the effects (the bubbles one surprised me) (Huffpost)


Research finds that opiod use before knee replacement results in worse pain outcomes (Arthritis Digest)

Dr. Herbst's advice on compression and receiving Manual Lymphatic Drainage for Dercum's Disease (LipomaDoc

I said WOW!

This one surprised me: is Bhutan's "gross national happiness" just a marketing ploy?
(Bold Italic)

I expected this one : Instagram Food Is a Sad, Sparkly Lie (Eater)

My new favorite aromatherapy study - testing out scents in the NYC subway (Chicago Tribune)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

How to get ' free ' ice packs and a cooler for your next beach BBQ or camping trip

If you use Amazon Fresh - use this BBQ / Camping Hack

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

I first discovered Amazon Fresh when I was giving massage to a lady in La Jolla after her tummy tuck. I love the service, but never thought about which day I should have the food delivered, until this weekend! I hope you enjoy this hack! 

View my How To video here:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Traveling to San Diego with Lymphedema - Testimonial Tuesday

MLD for Lymphedema while on vacation in San Diego

I met Jessi on the last day of her vacation in San Diego. She has lymphedema and loved biking, walking and enjoying the sights in San Diego, and that meant her leg was more swollen than usual. This is her testimonial:

I booked my appointment for MLD with Kathleen while visiting San Diego. I have lymphedema in my thigh and after airplane travel, extra walking in the heat, and some vacation food indulgences my thigh was swollen and heavy. ​ 

When Kathleen showed up at my hotel on time with her massage table and friendly smile, I immediately felt comfortable with her. She asked all the questions that showed me she knew her stuff, and listened carefully to my answers. 

The MLD was excellent and some of the best I've had. The results were a leg that felt light, relieved, and back to its normal size. ​ It can be nerve racking and difficult to find the right CLT and I am so grateful that I was able to find her on my vacation. What a gift! 

I would whole heartedly recommend anyone who lives in or is visiting San Diego to book an appointment with her. When I am back in San Diego, I will definitely see her again. ​ 

- Jessi Raymond, cancer survivor with stage 2 lymphedema on vacation in San Diego from her home near Seattle. Follow Jessi at @movingmylymph on Instagram

Please visit my website for more information and to book an appointment (I make housecalls!):http://www/

Monday, July 10, 2017

Modern - Traditional Kerala India Dress in America

Wearing my Indian Styles in America

My mother in law picked out this outfit for me at the department store in Trivandrum. Doesn't she have amazing taste! My Ayurveda teacher loved this outfit as well. In Kerala, the outfit is sold to the client and then a seamstress takes her measurements and tailors the tunic to her exact figure. The bottoms are one size fits all and use a cord to tie around the waist. Perfect for when I need a little extra room after a large meal.

I brought this outfit home to America and wore it to the hat contest at the San Diego Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution meeting earlier this year.

Linking to for Visible Monday.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Bedroom Hacks - Sleep, Hydration, Essential Oils

My Bedroom Hacks to Get More Sleep

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

Take a peek inside my bedroom and see how I use lighting, Essential Oils, and sparkling water to go to sleep fast and get my day started in the morning.

Watch my sleep hacks video here:

I have a Sleep light bulb to get to sleep faster at night
I use a to-do list to write down things so I can stop ruminating about what I have to do the next day
My to-do list also keeps me on track in the morning
I read before bed instead of looking at the internet
I have essential oil blends for spraying on my pillow at night and an abdominal massage blend to stop constipation
I have water next to my bed for morning hydrationI'm a massage therapist, so I file my nails every day!

For fun, more about Shakuntala read here:

Friday, July 7, 2017

Weekend Wisdom: Articles on Health and Wellness for Women over 40

Weekend Wisdom: 

Articles on Health and Wellness for Women over 40 

The basic carb/protein/fat ratio for a filling smoothie. Kelly convinced me to reduce the fruit in my smoothies with this master recipe. Thx so much to Skinny Confidential podcast for having her as a guest! (BeWellByKelly)

Six Indian kitchen ingredients that boost health (Hindustan Times)

Eating chocolate is good for your brain (Good Housekeeping)

Glycolic face mask and Turmeric face mask you can make at home in your kitchen (Trinny)

Hack your mindless habits to make yourself happier at the end of the day - I do one of these at Lent (Time)


Don't argue if you're sleep-deprived. Lack of sleep + stressful convos = stress-related inflammatory responses (Quartz)

Just one night without sleep can affect our immune system b/c sleeping affects the number of T cells present in the bloodstream (Knowridge)

OK, we had a bad night's sleep - tips for getting back on track the next morning (Glamour)

What happens when you hire a sleep coach? (


Great idea: Combine a book club meeting and immune boosting nature walk (Dayton Daily News)

If you are booking a silent meditation retreat, please invest in a quality center: a cautionary tale (PennLive)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

How Can Runners Use the Talk Test?

Ventilatory Threshold - My Favorite Tip for Using the Talk Test During Endurance Building Runs

You've heard that a solid method for measuring your aerobic intensity is something called the 'talk test' - the idea that if you can say a sentence comfortably while running, you are exercising aerobically just below your ventilatory threshold. This is a great trick for runners who tend to run too fast during their endurance building workouts. The traditional advice is to recite the Pledge of Allegience aloud every few miles to make sure you aren't running too fast. Going above the ventilatory threshold means your body will start feeling fatigue and you could end up cutting your long runs short because of exhaustion. 

Reality check: I can run for a while at the ventilatory threhold before catching myself. I need more reminders. I started to use the trick more often and found that it feels sort of silly to keep on reciting a sentence or two every few minutes to check myself during a run. 

Then I booked a trip to Germany. In preparation for my trip, I started learning German and used my runs to practice. Wow! I discovered a great replacement for the traditional talk test! 

My top tip for making sure I'm exercising aerobically is to spend $20 on the Pimsleur website ( and buy some foreign language lessons in MP3 format. The foreign language lessons prompt me to say a sentence at least every minute, so I ensure that I am exercising aerobically and I also learn a new language!

More about the Talk Test and the research behind the practice from ACE Fitness:

A great article on the Talk Test from IDEA:

Learn more from Aerobic and Anaerobic Thresholds and the role of the Talk Test here: 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

How to reduce swelling after orthopedic surgery in San Diego - Testimonial Tuesday

Reducing Swelling in knee and leg 

after orthopedic operation in San Diego

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

Marissa found me several MONTHS after her accident and resulting operations. She was still suffering from swelling in her knee and thigh. This is her testimonial:

I was fortunate enough to have been treated at home with a lymphatic massage last week. I wish I would have known about what this was in the early stages of my recovery. The purpose of lymphatic massage is to stimulate the lymph and interstitial fluid to flow where it’s supposed to go normally. The lymphatic system does not have a pump like the cardiac system. Thus, it relies on muscle movement and contraction, pressure changes, and physical stimulation like massage. 

This specific type of massage decreases swelling after surgery, improves your immune system, flushes out toxins, and helps with pain. It’s very gentle and relaxing, AND it was done in the comfort of my living room! I had never heard of this type of massage before, and if you know anyone recovering after surgery, I highly recommend trying this out.
Marissa Labate, Surgical ICU Nurse, San Diego

Read about Marissa's story on her blog Lipstick and Lifesaving

Video: Can Manual Lymphatic Drainage reduce swelling after an orthopedic injury? 

Please visit my website for more information and to book an appointment (I make housecalls!):http://www/

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Snowshoeing in the Eastern Sierras

Snowshoeing in the Eastern Sierras

This photo is from last winter, but there is still snow in Mammoth, CA. I have never snowshoed in the summer before! I'm excited to go back. 

Here, I demonstrate how to use a snowhoe as a table while taking a break from trekking in the snow. I keep hot water in a thermos and hot cocoa powder and a cup swiped from our hotel in my backpack for a warm drink break midway through our snowshoe trek.  

Linking to for Visible Monday.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Does Eating Sushi Cause a Puffy Face?

What is Sushi Face?

by Kathleen Lisson CMT, CLT

The situation: on Friday night, my husband and I go out to a nice sushi dinner and relax at home. Maybe we get to sleep at 11 pm. Not too bad, right? Saturday morning I wake up with puffiness around my eyes.

What did I do wrong!

Yes, 'sushi face' is real. Eating a high salt meal like sushi rolls can cause a puffy face the morning after a delicious sushi dinner. The main culprit may be the sodium in the soy sauce.

Read more here:

Here's how you can reduce salt in the processed foods you buy at the grocery store -

Friday, June 30, 2017

Weekend Wisdom - Articles on Health and Wellness for Women over 40

Weekend Wisdom 

Articles on Health and Wellness for Women over 40 

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

Sleep Stories

Research has found that after surgery, for adults and now even children, poor sleep increases the intensity of reported pain the next day (American Pain Society)

I'm adjusting to the meat filled breakfasts here in Europe. Could a protein rich diet help sleep? (Mens Fitness) and (TheGardenIsland)

A primer on how to use valerian and hops for sleep (The Sleep Doctor)

Tips for getting enough sleep while traveling. I love the clip and towel tips the best (AARP

Other Health and Wellness News

Crystals? Juice diets? Sound baths? Women are using Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) because the Western healthcare system still doesn't take them seriously (Quartz)

A woman's perspective on the search for a fresh start that leads us to try cleansing and spa treatments (Outside)

Ayurvedic drinks to boost immune system during monsoon including Golden Milk, Kashaya & Rose and Honey tea (Indian Express

A registered dietician shares information on the benefits of tea (Kim Shapira)

Holding hands with your lover actually does reduce your level of pain (Science Daily)

Benefits of a belly massage (Bon Appetit)

Trinny shares her favorite face oils and SPF sunscreens. I take her advice because she's ten years older than I am and looks FABULOUS (YouTube)

Scientists are exploring using nanoparticles to help our body's immune system fight cancer cells (

Many treatments for back pain are ineffective (Quartz)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

How I Organize My Pills

After I turned 40, my doctor suggested that I pay more attention to my supplement intake and recommended that I start taking Calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium. I'm also taking a multivitamin and probiotics. All that means that I am swallowing a handful of pills and I have to keep myself organized! 

I store all my pill bottles in a shelf in my bathroom (it's separate from the shower, so it doesn't get humid) and pull them out once a week to refill my pill case. I have found that this is the easiest way to prep so I actually end up taking all my pills each week. I am still figuring out the best way to remind myself to take my pills in the evening - sometimes I don't take them until 10 pm! 

My acupuncturist friend recommended this magnesium to me.
Pure Encapsulations - Magnesium (Citrate/Malate) - Hypoallergenic Supplement Supports Nutrient Utilization and Physiological Functions* - 180 Capsules
I had been taking 'magnesium' in my multivitamin, but this type of magnesium is stronger - it makes constipation go away almost 100%. If I am not regular, sure enough, I go to my pill case and find that I've forgotten to take my pills the previous day.

I learned one lesson the hard way - get a larger size pill case. I tried a smaller pill case and it didn't fit all the large pills I take in the pill section. I like to have plenty of room for my pills. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Swelling around C-Section Scar in San Diego - Testimonial Tuesday

How to Reduce Swelling after a C-Section Scar in San Diego

Heather from San Diego had her beautiful baby a month before I saw her. She had swelling around her C-section scar and felt very tender in the area. Here is her testimonial:

Swelling has gone down significantly, although not 100%. The main thing I noticed is that the area surrounding the scar was not as tender after the massage and continues to decrease every day. 
Heather O., from San Diego, a month after the birth of her first child. 

"Lymphatic massage can help reduce swelling after c-section" CLICK TO TWEET

Information on itching and numbness around a C-section scar:

Here's a great video by PT Lynn Schulte giving tips on why moms should massage their C-Section scar: 

Would you like to try lymphatic massage for your C-section swelling in San Diego? 
Please visit my website for more information and to book an appointment (I make housecalls!)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Coronado High School NJROTC Award Ceremony

Coronado High School NJROTC Award Ceremony

This is a photo from my last JROTC award ceremony of the 2017 season. I got to present a medal on behalf of the San Diego DAR chaper to one very accomplished young lady at this event.

These students were definitely the most spirited bunch of the season! These young people balance both schoolwork and their training with the NJROTC and are the next generation of military leaders. Coronado High School is special to me because it has a very high military family population and its a Navy town (I'm a sailor's daughter)!

I am so proud to be a member of the San Diego Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and honored to be able to heap a little well deserved praise on one of the fine students.

Learn more about Coronado High School NJROTC here:

Linking to for Visible Monday.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Tips to Reduce Shoulder Pain - Change Your Habits and Do These Post Massage Exercises

How to Reduce Shoulder Pain

by Kathleen Lisson CMT, CLT

When I provide manual lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling after surgery, I also take care of my client's other aches and pains, and they often have neck and shoulder pain.

Massage can help reduce shoulder pain, but if we go right back to the habits that caused the shoulder pain, the relief will only be temporary.

Luckily, Physical Therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck recently recorded a video describing 10 daily habits that can cause your shoulder pain. Watch the video and see if you can modify the way you reach for items, drive your car, sit at work and sleep to get long-lasting relief from shoulder pain. They even show a few stretches that are good for reducing shoulder pain. 

Watch the video here:

Book an appointment in San Diego, Del Mar or Rancho Santa Fe to reduce swelling after facelift,  tummy tuck or liposuction with manual lymphatic drainage at I make Housecalls!

Share This on Twitter:

"Tips on Reducing Shoulder Pain" CLICK TO TWEET

Friday, June 23, 2017

Weekend Wisdom - Articles on Health and Wellness for Women over 40

Weekend Wisdom - 

What I'm reading this Week on Health and Wellness

Rick Hanson's Just One Thing newsletter (sign up for free here) focused on the power of words. In this time of 'gotcha' and 'fake news,' is what we are saying to others well-intended, true, beneficial, timely and not harsh? More importantly, can we discard what we think about OURSELVES if it doesn't follow these rules? 

Did you know that self-massage can help reduce pain after biopsy as well as increase milk flow in nursing women? I learned new information about lymphatic drainage of the breast and really liked the helpful video. (Romper)

One reason why there is an opioid epidemic in America: opioids prescribed after surgery are used by some patients to reduce their chronic pain from earlier traumas. (Pacific Standard)

My new book review video of 'Ouch a Chronic Pain Workbook' by fellow Massage Therapist Raechel Haller. (YouTube)

This article on the high cost of drugs brings up an interesting question - should you doctor know the price of the drugs he/she is prescribing? (ProPublica)

Laughter can boost the immune system. (Trumpet)

Warning to night owls: your bedtime can affect your perceived ability to control obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior the next day. (PsychCentral)

Researchers have found there is some overlap between "genes linked to insomnia and the genes linked to other mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression and neuroticism" (LiveScience)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

MLD after Revision Facelift - Testimonial Tuesday

Will Lymphatic Massage help after a Revision Facelift?

How to Reduce Swelling after Facelift in San Diego

Sharon was visiting family in San Diego after undergoing a revision facelift. She was troubled by her swelling and needed a trained expert in lymphatic massage that could reduce her swelling and keep the stitches and skin on her face and neck safe. 

Sharon's Testimonial:

A wonderful experience! Very professional... everything was explained and understood. After undergoing facial plastic surgery (revision) I noticed my swelling was greater than in the past. Now I have new hope! Try it ... you will love Kathleen! 
Sharon F., recovering from a facelift February 2017. 

Dr Kristina Tansavatdi is a double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon and she specializes in the face and neck. Watch as she shares her tips on 'What To Expect After Facelift Surgery Recovery'

Learn more about how manual lymphatic drainage massage can reduce swelling after a facelift.

Put Trust back in charge - my anti-anxiety morning ritual

How to Reduce Anxiety in the Morning by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT This morning I woke up with that feeling again. The raw pit of my ...