Friday, December 22, 2017

Book Review: Aromatherapy for Beginners

Book Review: Aromatherapy for Beginners

by Kathleen Lisson

Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher but was not paid for this review.

Aromatherapy for Beginners is an artfully arranged book, complete with recipes for essential oil solutions sprays, creams etc. that will help with self-care and household cleanliness.

One thing I love about author Anne Kennedy is she understands that people new to essential oils want to know many uses for the oils they DO have. Kennedy’s recipes focus on her Top 15 essential oils and allow readers to use the oils they have in many different ways. The recipes are easy enough that they could be a fun project for a few friends or a mother and daughter to whip up together as unique homemade gifts for friends and loved ones.

This beautiful guide is the perfect reference and inspiration book for anyone who is new to aromatherapy and wants a solid introduction into how to use essential oils safely in their home.

Find Aromatherapy for Beginners on Amazon:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Testimonial Tuesday - Gender Affirming Surgery in San Diego

Testimonial Tuesday - 

Increase ROM with Scar Massage after Mastectomy

by Kathleen Lisson, CLT

I specialize in lymphatic massage after plastic surgery, but I can also help with other types of massage, including scar massage, as well. I was excited to help my client AK to improve his range of motion and reduce his pain after his bilateral mastectomy. I saw him several months after his surgery and he saw improvement after the first visit! 

“Kathleen has helped me tremendously in relieving my chronic shoulder post-surgery pain. She also helped to ease the pain from my surgery scars which has greatly increased my range of motion and overall comfort level throughout the day. She is amazing in her healing art and I would highly recommend her to anyone!”

AK - recovering from bilateral mastectomy as part of gender affirming surgery

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Interview with Holistic Nutritionist Ashleigh Norris of the Soulful Sprout

Interview with Holistic Nutritionist Ashleigh Norris 

of The Soulful Sprout 

by Kathleen Lisson

I recently had the opportunity to pick the brain of a wonderful holistic nutritionist, Certified Holistic Cancer Practitioner and cancer survivor Ashleigh Norris! After my skin cancer diagnosis and with a few years of treating clients with a lymphedema diagnosis under my belt, I wanted to know more about proper nutrition for cancer survivors and those with an autoimmune disorder. It's got to be more detailed than just eat less and exercise more!

Q: Many people in health care seem to think that if a condition can be controlled by medication, there shouldn't be too much time spent in searching for the WHYs. Why is it happening, WHAT else can we do to heal ourselves. Did you see that with your thyroid issues?

Ashleigh: I, unfortunately, had to learn the hard way when it came to medications and thinking that they were a viable solution to helping my body recover from thyroid disease. My symptoms were lessened but our body knows when something is deeply wrong, and it will be persistent in "showing you" until you address the root problem. When it come sto thyroid disease often the root of the problem is nutritional deficiencies, stress or digestive issues.

Q: How did your diet change after your cancer diagnosis?

Ashleigh: My diet changed considerably after my cancer diagnosis as I started to see a Nutritionist at that time who had informed me about the dangers of consuming soy, dairy, gluten and grains since I was dealing with an autoimmune condition too. I had little knowledge about cancer diets but understood that I had to change the "acidic" and "toxic" terrain that my body was. This means more alkalinizing veggies, juices, green vegetables, clean sources of fish and meat and healthy fats. I also started taking supplements that would support my body along with herbs that would support detoxification and elimination.

Q: Should we be following a different diet during cancer treatment and after we are finished with treatment?

Ashleigh: Diets do vary depending on the types of cancer, radiation, chemotherapy and post-surgery. It is best to worth with a Nutritionist or Naturopath who is trained as a Cancer Care Practitioner every step of the way to support your body through optimal healing or to seek alternatives.

Q: Have you seen any cases of lymphedema and/or lipedema? Do you have any advice for ladies struggling with these conditions? 

Ashleigh: Yes I have and my biggest piece of advice is CONSISTENCY. Things I often recommend include:

-exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, yoga poses like Viparita Karani or Legs-Up-The-Wall (link:

-lymphatic massage (link:

-dry brushing

-detoxifying the body (supported by health practitioner)

-Eliminate all unhealthy foods. These include processed foods, junk foods, fast foods, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and unhealthy oils (coconut and ghee are the most healthy).

-Eat as many organic fruits and vegetables as possible.

The diet should include fermented foods like kimchi and saurkraut and probiotics. Probiotics help keep friendly bacteria in the intestines thriving, support the immune system, and aid in toxin removal.
-lymphatic herbs such as cleavers, devil's claw, calendula and astragalus

-rebounding exercises (link: (

-meditation or restorative yoga to name a few.

If this interview has a million other questions racing through your mind, you can find out more about Ashleigh at her blog!

Read Holistic Nutritionist Ashleigh Norris' blog The Soulful Sprout here:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Labyrinth for Self - Discovery

Why Walk the Labyrinth?

by Kathleen Lisson

Walking a labyrinth may help you connect with your innermost self. Watch this TEDx video featuring fellow Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator Kristin Keyes video for more information:

Find a labyrinth near you with the Labyrinth Locator:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Seven Ways to Ease Your Stress - Advice from Massage Therapists

How to Reduce Stress - Advice from Massage Therapists

by Kathleen Lisson

I was pleased to be featured in another Massage Magazine story! I share my advice in the article '7 Effective Ways to Ease Your Stress.'

Read it here:

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Top Lymphedema Video on Youtube

Best Lymphedema Video on YouTube 

by Kathleen Lisson

I had the pleasure of speaking with Peggy of Portraits by Peggy, one of the best lymphedema video producers (in my opinion) on YouTube. Peggy is a photographer and helps models, actors and entrepreneurs in San Diego and Los Angeles. She also has lower extremity lymphedema in her leg which was NOT caused by primary lymphedema or removing lymph nodes or radiation after a cancer diagnosis.

This is one of the reasons I think her videos are the best on YouTube - they are hopefully increasing awareness that sometimes lymphedema can happen without cancer treatment or genetics to blame. It took Peggy YEARS to get a proper diagnosis.

Watch the video here:

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hey Alexa, book a lymphatic massage in San Diego

Hey Alexa, book a lymphatic massage
Hey Siri, where can I get a lymphatic massage in San Diego
OK Google, lymphatic massage therapist near me

Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

The wave of the future will be using our electronic devices to help us find health and wellness resources like a lymphatic massage therapy therapist. I am a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and the majority of my clients find me and my website, after searching and asking for recommendations for a top lymphatic massage therapist in San Diego.

Why should you book a lymphatic drainage massage with me?  

Your time is valuable:

  • No waiting in a crowded waiting room - your appointment starts and ends on time, whether you visit my Pacific Beach studio with free parking or I come to your home in San Diego.

Your health is valuable:

  • I am a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and a Society for Oncology Massage Preferred Provider. 
  • I have advanced training in Head and Neck lymphedema.
  • My lymphedema training helps me to effectively tailor lymphatic massage to reduce swelling after plastic surgery procedures like liposuction, abdominoplasty, tummy tuck, mommy makeover, facelifts and revision facelifts. 

You want results:

Here is a testimonial from a happy client - "highly recommend Kathleen. I have seen her twice so far and have greatly benefited. She is very knowledgeable, soft-spoken and soothing. Her technique has helped me along in my recovery greatly, I definitely plan of referring her to any loved one."

Rebeca B. from Santee, recovering from abdominoplasty and liposuction October 2016. 

For more information, please visit my website at 
or call for an appointment: 619-880-6538.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Lymphedema - Cancer Treatment's Dirty Little Secret

Breast Friends Radio Network Podcast 

on Lymphedema: Cancer Treatment's Dirty Little Secret

by Kathleen Lisson

I was honored to be a guest on a podcast focused on women with a breast cancer history. I shared information on lymphedema, including, risks, what you can do before surgery, how to reduce the likelihood you will get lymphedema, how to seek treatment and some fun ways to treat lymphedema.

Listen to the podcast here:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Gather resources before you need them!

Lymphedema Resources

by Kathleen Lisson

In this podcast, I talk about needing to gather resources BEFORE you need them. I learned this the hard way when I moved across San Diego and 'lost' all the nearby resources I had come to depend upon. My tip - find new support before you need it! 

Listen to the podcast here:

A new website listing resources for those newly diagnosed with lymphedema / lymphoedema:

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Essential Oils for Headaches

Essential Oils for Headaches

by Kathleen Lisson

In this podcast, I share ideas for different essential oils to use for different types of headaches. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

How to Get the Most Out of Your Next Lymphedema Clinic Visit in San Diego

How to Get the Most Out of Your Next 

Lymphedema Clinic Visit 

by Kathleen Lisson

I found a great article online giving tips on getting the most out of your next visit to the oncologist and wanted to apply the information and tricks to visiting with the lymphedema therapist as well! Please try some of these tips!

Listen to the podcast here:

Read the original article here: Improve Communication With Your Oncologist 9 tips for better communication, taken from guidelines devised for oncologists, by Martha Carlson:

Watch my video here:

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Breast Cancer and Inflammatory Breast Cancer Warning Signs

Breast Cancer and Inflammatory Breast Cancer Warning Signs

by Kathleen Lisson

Are you just looking for lumps in your monthly breast self-exam? I talk about the OTHER warning signs of breast cancer in this podcast. Listen here:

A list of Breast Cancer signs and symptoms from the CDC:

Here are some images of inflammatory breast cancer:

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Lymphedema Side Effects

The Hidden Side Effects of Lymphedema

by Kathleen Lisson

I speak about the side effects of lymphedema. This disease of the body's lymphatic system effects far more than just creating swelling on an arm or a leg. Along with swelling come body image issues, fatigue, sleep issues, alterations of clothing and trouble finding clothing and shoes that fit, social isolation and more.

Listen to the podcast here:

I highly recommend following the Oxford Lymphoedema Practice on Facebook for more easy to understand information about Lymphedema. You are not alone in how you feel.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Pain Symptoms You shouldn't Ignore!

Top Gynecological Pain Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore

by Kathleen Lisson

I share information on top pain symptoms you should talk to your doctor about - abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding and pain during intercourse.

Listen to the podcast here:

Read the article here:

Follow Lymphedema Mavens here:

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Lymphatic Massage for Fibromyalgia?

Lymphatic Massage for Fibromyalgia

by Kathleen Lisson

I recently shared information on a study that found that patients with fibromyalgia  benefitted from lymphatic massage. 

Listen to the podcast here:

The article is here 'Lymphatic Massage, Clogged Drains and Fibromyalgia Pain' by Celeste Cooper, RN :

The study is here: 
Effectiveness of different styles of massage therapy in fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Authors from University of Sao Paulo, School of Medicine, Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy

More about our lymphatic system:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Manual lymphatic drainage / lymphatic massage for salivary issues - no saliva can lymphatic massage help?

Sjogrens and Parotid Lymph Node issues - 

Can lymphatic massage help saliva?

 by Kathleen Lisson

I share my experience using lymphatic massage to help clients with the autoimmune disease Sjogrens and idiopathic Parotid swelling in San Diego in this podcast. Both clients experienced having more saliva in their mouths midway through the session. The effect was temporary, though. 

Listen to the podcast here:

Venus Williams has Sjogrens, listen to her experience here: 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What to do when you can't sit still during meditation

Qigong and Yoga Can Help You Sit Still During Meditation

by Kathleen Lisson

I recently attended a demonstration of Qigong and learned that the movement practice is used to help the body prepare for meditation. Why do you need a warmup for a practice that is pretty much sitting still? Because some people find it difficult to sit still long enough to meditate. Learn more about Qigong and Yoga as pre-meditation practices in my podcast episode!

Listen to the podcast here:

Watch Qigong for meditation:

Monday, October 23, 2017

Who is our inner critic, superego, negative animus in meditation?

Can you Make Peace with Your Inner Critic? 

by Kathleen Lisson

I'm still learning about my inner critic. I thought having a voice in my head judging me was very valuable, but it became overwhelming when I first started meditating and it could be there while I was sitting silently. Affirmations can merely mask the critic, who can judge the affirmations I am trying to say even before I say them.

Steve Chapman has found that the inner critic hates creativity. He may have a point, take a moment to consider whether it's a good idea to draw our own inner critic. Not a good idea for a million excuses, right? He has a point!

Listen to my slightly rambling podcast here:

Steve Chapman in the inner critic:

My inner critic, a video for runners:

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Real People Talk About Lymphedema

What It's Really Like to Have Lymphedema

by Kathleen Lisson

What is it like to have lymphedema, a side effect of cancer treatment that is not widely known or talked about?

Read the AP story here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Kathy Bates shares her experience with lymphedema here: 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Using Aromatherapy for Grief and Trauma

Aromatherapy Essential Oils for Grief and Trauma

by Kathleen Lisson

I share an important tip for aromatherapists and essential oil lovers when using essential oils for offering stress reduction, peace and balance during periods of grief and trauma - use a blend instead of single essential oils. I share why in the podcast - the memories may be so overwhelming that essential oil users may have to stop using a certain oil entirely after a traumatic situation. Using a blend enables our clients to say goodbye to the blend, but still be able to use the individual oils in that blend without negative memories surfacing. 

Listen to the podcast here:  

I share experts opinions of top essential oils to use to help with lymphedema and stress before and after surgery in my book, Swollen, Bloated and Puffy (available on Amazon). 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Pleasure vs. Happiness

Happiness is good for our immune system, 

but don't confuse it with pleasure!

by Kathleen Lisson

In this podcast episode, I share the chemical difference between the emotions of happiness and pleasure. This is why eating cookies when I miss my husband doesn't make me happy. Dopamine is never a good replacement for serotonin. How does this play out in your life? 

Listen to the podcast here:

Seth's blog post: The pleasure/happiness gap

How Happiness Boost the Immune System (Scientific American)

Video explaining the difference between happiness and pleasure by best-selling author and UCSF endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig

Thursday, October 19, 2017

What Causes Abdominal Bloating?

Tips for Reducing Abdominal Bloating

by Kathleen Lisson

I provide a recap of the presentation on Functional Medicine I attended at Pacific Pearl La Jolla. Board-certified Family Physician with board certification in Integrative and Holistic Medicine, Dr. Mona Ezzat-Velinov shared tips on how to diagnose abdominal bloating when routine medical tests have found nothing wrong.

Listen to the podcast here:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Having Crazy Feelings During Meditation?

Why Am I So Emotional During Meditation? 

by Kathleen Lisson

I sometimes feel strong emotions when I am meditating. Sometimes I am the victim or the aggressor.
The good news? Emotions last for 90 seconds if we do not fuel them. I talk about emotions and feeling body sensations in meditation in this episode of the Swollen, Bloated and Puffy podcast.

Listen to the podcast here:

Tara Brach speaks about emotions:

Tara Brach speaks about emotions in this video:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I am a pretty good judge - or am I?

Judgemental Thoughts During Meditation

by Kathleen Lisson

The last few years I have noticed that judgement has become a larger part of my life. Things I thought all Americans agreed upon are all of a sudden divisive issues and my Facebook acquaintances are posting their opinions, not just easily likeable photos of their families. 

Judgement is also present during my meditations. A voice inside my head tells me whether I like the meditation or whether it will be effective, whether it is "right" or "wrong." I share how I handle judgemental thoughts in this podcast.

Listen to the podcast here: 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Puffy face after a bad night's sleep? You're not alone!

Sleep and Puffy Eyes

by Kathleen Lisson

How did you sleep last night? It's written all over your face, isn't it? When I don't get enough sleep or eat too much salt, my eyes swell up because the skin is thinner around my eyes and swells up easily. I talk about different ways to reduce eye puffiness in the book, but those are just covering the symptoms. The important thing to do it to stop swelling at the source - poor sleep.

Listen to my podcast here:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Holistic Healing and Lymphedema?

Can You Treat Lymphedema Holistically?

by Kathleen Lisson

I love seeing all the positive comments and photos I see on Instagram from ladies who love my book Swollen, Bloated and Puffy! I talk about one comment in today's podcast and urge you to pick the book back up and re-read the second half for plenty of ideas on how to balance your immune system naturally and holistically. 

Listen to the podcast here:

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Lymphedema and Isolation

Are you Feeling All Alone in Having Lymphedema?

by Kathleen Lisson

I came across a blog post that really stopped me in my tracks, Facebook poster Lymphie Strong mentioned that people with a lymphedema diagnosis often are not friends with anyone else with Lymphedema. I talk about it on my podcast and offer a solution - join a Lymphedema-focused Facebook group.

Listen to the podcast here:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Exercise Warmup for those with a Lymphedema Diagnosis

Exercise Warmup for those 

with a Lymphedema Diagnosis

by Kathleen Lisson

As a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, I was excited to read an article on lymphedema in the ACE personal trainer magazine! Exercise is a great way to control lymphedema, but many personal trainers don't know enough about the condition to help their clients confidently. I mention some of the warmup exercises author Daniel J. Green recommends in the article 'LYMPHEDEMA: HELP YOUR CLIENTS MANAGE THIS COMMON SIDE EFFECT OF CANCER TREATMENTS' on my podcast. 

Listen to the podcast here:

Link to the ACE fitness article I mention here:

Here is a more in-depth explanation of exercise and lymphedema from Lymphatic Education and Research Network.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Swollen Legs and Puffy Ankles? It could be your desk!

Tips to reduce swelling in legs and ankles - 

Ergonomics and your Desk Chair

by Kathleen Lisson

I saw this twice in the past week so I'm sharing it with you - the concept that how and where you SIT can affect swelling in your legs and ankles. 

Physical Therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck have an excellent video that shows how the height of your chair can affect the lymphatic drainage of your legs - watch closely the part at the three minute mark where they use a stick to check if the hips are higher than the knees when sitting in an office chair. This also applies to chairs at home. 

As a short person, my feet can dangle when I'm sitting in chairs that are too large for my 5 foot 2 frame. If this happens to you, try Bob and Brad's tip of using a stool for your feet or look into whether a petite office chair is right for you. If you have lymphedema or swelling in your legs or ankles, a under desk set of pedals, elliptical or stepper machine can help move the joints and lymph.  

Listen to the podcast here:

Watch Bob and Brad's video here:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I'm not sick like THOSE People!

Nobody Wants the Cancer Special

by Kathleen Lisson

My clients may need extra help, but they really just want to go to a 'normal' gym. Ladies with lymphedema after breast cancer detest having to wear ugly compression garments that make them look and feel old. I have a skin cancer history, but I won't wear those SPF 1 Zillion face covers, even though I had skin cancer on my face at 41.


We just want to be treated normally. We want to feel pretty and not be reminded of how sick we were or sick we still are. If we're having a good day, why throw our risk factors or diagnosis in our face?

My tip is to be aware of our feelings and try to honor our own needs while still getting the treatment we need. It's tricky, but better than skipping a workout or wearing a garment.

Listen to my podcast here:

Here's a video I made shortly after my surgery:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Too Busy for Cancer!

Too Busy for Cancer?

by Kathleen Lisson

I was deeply moved by a piece I read today about one woman's struggle to face cancer. I was guilty of much the same thing with my skin cancer diagnosis. I didn't tell anyone except close family I even had cancer and only went public about it after my surgery was complete. 

I just didn't want to have the conversations with other people. Maybe I really didn't want to have to have the conversation with myself. I just wanted to put it behind me. 

As a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, I now help ladies who have been too busy to care for their lymphedema. They are angry that they weren't told about lymphedema and exasperated that they beat cancer but now have a life-long disease to deal with. 

Listen to the podcast here:

Read Elisabeth Finch's 'Redefining Brave' here:

Monday, October 9, 2017

How to Increase Your Intuition

Tips for Increasing Intuition

by Kathleen Lisson

I am reading the book Radical Remission by Kelly A. Turner and really connected with her chapter on using your intuition to promote healing. She offers several tips to improve intuition that I have also found useful, including meditation and journaling. I share more in this podcast.

Listen to the podcast here:

Learn more about the research in the book from Kelly Turner here:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Tips for Taking a Quick Break at Work

How to Use Your Break Time Effectively at Work

by Kathleen Lisson

Do you take breaks at work?
Do they consist of going to the bathroom and checking social media on your phone? 
Do you feel refreshed and motivated after a break, or just more overwhelmed?

I share hacks for taking an effective break at work so you can return refreshed, not overwhelmed. 

Listen to the podcast here:

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Tips on Compression and Elevation after Plastic Surgery Facelift and Liposuction

Are Compression and Elevation Important 

After a Facelift or Liposuction in San Diego?

by Certified Lymphedema Therapist Kathleen Lisson

Compression and elevation are important to help our lymphatic system to reduce swelling after plastic surgery procedures like liposuction and facelifts.

After a facelift, use two pillows to elevate the head or try a wedge, which also helps heartburn issues.
After liposuction, wear the garments recommended by your plastic surgeon to help reduce edema / swelling.

The link to the podcast is here:

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon Dr. Teitelbaum's answer to how long to wear compression garments after liposuction:

Friday, October 6, 2017

Using RAIN mindfulness technique after an upsetting situation

How to Stop Being so Angry

by Kathleen Lisson

In this episode of the Swollen, Bloated and Puffy podcast, I share how I didn't do so well in balancing myself after a stressful, annoying, upsetting situation.

Tara Brach is right, I do go into a trance after I experience an emotional situation especially if it is negative and affects my ego.

Listen to the podcast here:

Watch Tara Brach explain RAIN

Thursday, October 5, 2017

How to switch between social media and real life - my 30 second hack

How to Re-Center Yourself - 30 second ritual

by Kathleen Lisson

Have you ever intended to stop looking at social media but found your hand automatically grabbing your phone to check one more site - just one more look at email, Facebook, Instagram or your texts? So do I. I have found that coming back into the 'real world' isn't automatic. I use this 30 second trick to plant myself into my surroundings. 

Listen to the podcast here:

Jordan Killebrew offers a slightly different technique -

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Figuring out how to get ourselves back into balance is a lifelong gift

Balance and Laughter

By Kathleen Lisson

On the Swollen, Bloated and Puffy Podcast, I share something a teacher mentioned recently - When we become out of balance and figure out how to rebalance ourselves, we learn a skill we can use for the rest of our lives. I also share some research on laughter and immunity, a subject which I also cover in my book Swollen, Bloated and Puffy. 

Listen to the podcast here:

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How to Reduce Anxiety before Surgery in San Diego, Del Mar, La Jolla

How to Reduce Anxiety before Surgery 

in San Diego, Del Mar, La Jolla 

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

Are you anxious about an upcoming surgery?
Are you concerned about using pain medication after surgery?

There is a way to reduce your anxiety and your need for pain medication after your operation in San Diego, Del Mar or La Jolla. Earlier this year, I spent an amazing weekend learning from psychotherapist, researcher and Harvard Divinity School graduate Peggy Huddleston about how to share the proven techniques from her book Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster. 

Research conducted at Tufts University Medical Clinic, New England Baptist Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (A Harvard Medical School teaching hospital) shows that men and women following the protocol described in Huddleston's book had:

  • Less anxiety before surgery
  • Used less pain medication after surgery
  • Less irritability, insomnia, nightmares and loss of appetite after surgery

The entire protocol is explained in her book Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster and she offers a relaxation CD that makes the process very simple.

If you would like a more hands-on approach, I offer one hour group workshops free of charge at locations throughout San Diego, including:

Adams Avenue Integrative Health

If you would like to book a one-on-one private workshop, I can come to your home and guide you, step by step, through the process. This is an ideal choice if you need to be discreet about your upcoming surgery or would like to gather with several of your supporters and learn about the relaxation process as a group! The fee for the one hour private session in the comfort of your home is $125, and is part of my Back to Health Program for Plastic or Orthopedic Surgery Clients. Email for more information at

News coverage about the Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster program:

How to heal from Orthopedic Surgery:

How to heal from Cardiac Surgery

The book is available on Amazon and the CD can be downloaded onto Kindle and mp3 players. More information is here:

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Power of Observation and Having a Health Care Mentor / Support Group

Accountability for Your Healthcare Goals

by Kathleen Lisson

In this podcast I share my A-ha moment when I realized how effective having someone who cares regularly 'check in' with you really is. It has helped my clients to figure out solutions and get back on track and achieve their healthcare goals. This is really important in living with lifelong conditions like lymphedema in San Diego. 

I also share my favorite Facebook groups for people with a Lymphedema diagnosis as well as how to search Instagram for fellow #lymphies with #lymphedema to make your Instagram feed into a friendly place full of support! 

Listen to the podcast here:

Bonus! Here is a Lymphedema Book Review:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Tips for Before and After Plastic Surgery

Your Plastic Surgery Shopping List

by Kathleen Lisson

What supplements and teas to take and NOT take BEFORE Surgery: diet pills, blood thinners like asprin, Motrin or Advil, vitamin E, chromium, ginkgo, flaxseed, fish oil, echinacea, saw palmetto, feverfew, kava, St. John’s Wort and valerian.

What Supplements and Teas to Buy to Recover AFTER Surgery:  Vitamin A, C, E, Copper and a multivitamin with Zinc

Plastic Surgery Recovery Shopping list: bandages, laxatives and some surprises!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

How to Stop Constipation

Tips for Constipation

by Kathleen Lisson

I swear by my squatty potty, it helps me to poop better! Listen to my top tips on reducing constipation - I also use hot beverages and an essential oil massage to get things moving along in the morning. 

Listen to the Swollen, Bloated and Puffy podcast here:

Check out Michelle Lyons' website:

Learn more from Michelle Lyons here:

Friday, September 29, 2017

Learning to Meditate is Like Falling in Love?

Simon Sinek's advice on love and exercise 

applied to meditation and lymphedema care

by Kathleen Lisson

How do we fall in love? All at once, like in the movies, or after one grand gesture? Or after days, weeks, months of tiny loving actions? 
Meditating is the same for me. I meditate in the morning and look in the mirror and nothing has changed. I could even meditate every day for a week and still yell at my husband thoughtlessly. But, after weeks and weeks of meditating, one day I discover I can see a thought coming and choose to respond to it versus react to it. I can stay with anxious thoughts instead of being caught up in them. Over the long haul, it works. 

Have you found that this is the same with your lymphedema? My clients who do MLD and pump and wear their garments regularly will feel a difference versus not caring for themselves. 

Listen to the podcast here:

Watch the Simon Sinek video here: 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

What Plants Clean the Air Indoors Pollutants

List of Plants that Clean Indoor Air

by Kathleen Lisson

We've moved from one side of San Diego to the other, and are looking to add plants to our home. My husband has excellent taste in plants and has used some of these plants when we used to live in New York! He likes Mother-in-law's Tongue and English Ivy the best.

Listen to the podcast here:

Here is HGTV's list of indoor plants that clean the air:

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What to Buy After Plastic Surgery to Help Recovery

Surgery Recovery Shopping List

by Kathleen Lisson

I share information about my personal post-surgery shopping list!
The podcast is here:

Check out my photo from a recent class: 

I shared my list with them:
My list for post-surgery bag (if you’re staying in a hotel) includes what you would normally pack, plus: 

Your favorite Lavender essential oil, rose essential oil, orange/lemon essential oil, geranium essential oil or frankincense essential oil and a diffuser
Maxi pads
 Pee pads
 Baby wipes
Slip on shoes (I brought my slippers to show)
 Foot stool
 First aid kit and bandages like the ones your surgeon will use.
 Large hand mirror
 Plastic mattress cover
 A great tip - you can use your ironing board as an extra table when you can’t bend down!
 I also reminded everyone to make sure their refrigerator is stocked with easy to prepare, easy to eat foods. I shared that a recent tummy tuck client introduced me to Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service.
I shared my horror story after my facial reconstructive surgery and showed everyone a great resource, Dr. Buford’s Plastic Surgery nutrition book Eat, Drink, Heal: The Art and Science of Surgical Nutrition

Find a list of items available on Amazon here:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

How to Reduce Anxiety Before Surgery

Tips on Reducing Anxiety Before Surgery in San Diego

by Kathleen Lisson

I share some tips I learned from Peggy Huddleston to help reduce anxiety before surgery!

The Swollen, Bloated and Puffy podcast is here:

Learn more aobut the program's effect on cardiac patients here:

Monday, September 25, 2017

Dandelion Tea for Swelling

Reducing Swelling with Dandelion Tea

by Kathleen Lisson

I recently took Dandelion Tea after an acupuncture treatment and found that it made me pee. A lot! I share my experience and some precautions for using this type of tea. 

Listen to the Swollen, Bloated and Puffy podcast here:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

How to Use AWE to Balance the Immune System

How I Use the Emotion of Awe 

to Balance my Immune System and Reduce Anxiety

by Kathleen Lisson

Do we use the word Awesome way too much, or can we step back and see the world with wonder? 

I speak about using Awe to balance my immune system, the podcast is here:

Listen to Dacher Keltner's talk about Awe on Youtube: 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Homemade Ice Cube Facial

How I Reduce Swelling with an Ice Cube Facial

by Kathleen Lisson

When its hot out and I go running after 8 am, I tend to sweat SO MUCH after I finish my run that it's hard to put makeup and even sunscreen on after I shower. I cool down my face and reduce swelling with my ice cube facial. 

Check out the podcast here:

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bloating and Swelling: Tips for 'heavy legs' and information on PCOS

What is PCOS and How do I Help Heavy Legs?

by Kathleen Lisson

My favorite Brit Trinny Woodall shared her trick for relieving her 'heavy legs,' which I think she says to mean swlling in the ankles, on a recent video. I also share the signs of PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, an often undiagnosed condition that may be affecting a young woman in your life. 

The podcast is here:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Best Bedtime Ritual for Sleep

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep 

and Wake up Early in the Morning

by Kathleen Lisson

I share tips from the book Swollen, Bloated and Puffy on sleep hacks to get to bed earlier and fall asleep faster. I share how the Internet and social media have become a little bit of an addiction for me, triggering me to "scan the horizon" instead of settling in to sleep. 

My big question: Do I really have to check in on social media at 9:30 p.m.? 

The link to the podcast is here :

Other links:

The link to Insight Timer :

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Aromatherapy after Surgery

Which Essential Oils help after Surgery? 

by Kathleen Lisson

I talk about some of the information I share on which essential oils are best after surgery. Check out my book Swollen, Bloated and Puffy for advice from doctors and anesthesiologists. 

The podcast is here:

Also: How to Recover from Plastic Surgery — Advice from San Diego Naturopathic Doctors article is here:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Lymphedema and Skin Care

Lymphedema Skin Care Tips 

by Kathleen Lisson

In this podcast I share tips for taking care of skin when you have a lymphedema diagnosis. Our skin is our body's first line of defense, and keeping skin moisturized is more than just self-care, it is a way to prevent infection. 

The podcast is here:

Jeannette Zucker from Memorial Slian-Kettering Cancer Center shares advice for skin care in this video:

Packing for Plastic Surgery Overseas

If you miss it, here are two resources: My choices for your plastic surgery recovery shopping list - help after liposuction, brazilian...