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.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Old Glory in the Eastern Sierras

Old Glory 

My husband and I spent Memorial Day Weekend in the Eastern Sierras and stopped at a roadside diner festooned with flags for lunch on the way home. Here is a snapshot of my in front of Old Glory.

Linking to for Visible Monday.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

How to Do an Morning Digital Detox

How to Do a Morning Digital Detox

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

I have been forced to rethink my eating schedule because the antibiotic I was recently prescribed must be taken twice a day on an empty stomach. The result: I had been falling into a habit of eating after 8 pm at night and now I 100% have to stop eating by 7:30 pm so I can take my pill at 9:30 and have enough time to pee one last time before I go to bed. Super annoying, but it taught me that it's easier to change my behavior than I am giving myself credit for.

So I'm ready to use this momentum to challenge myself.

I'm going on a digital detox before 8 am every morning. Instead of rolling over and checking my phone, I am going to focus on completing my list of First Five Actions before I check my email and social media.

I'm choosing to focus on myself before I focus on the thoughts and needs of others.

My First Five Actions:

Hydration - drink water as soon as I wake up.

Meditation - complete at least a three minute body scan with my Bellabeat Leaf Urban Health Tracker/Smart Jewelry, Rose Gold Edition app. I can also continue with app and then record it on the Leaf as Vipassana meditation.

Intention - Set my intentions for the day.

Exercise - (Choose your favorite! I like running)

Nourish - Prepare breakfast for my husband and myself.

Of course, my current habit is to stay on social media until I have to roll out of bed and rush to make breakfast, then stay on the Internet until I am squeezing a workout any trying not to run late to my first engagement of the day. These five actions will bring more value to me than looking at social media.

Have you ever done a digital detox?

Share this article on Twitter:
"Easy #digitalDetox - focus on yourself before 8 am" CLICK TO TWEET

Thursday, June 15, 2017

How to Do Self- Massage for Constipation

Abdominal Massage for Constipation 

 by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

Constipation can make our tummy bloated and is a common problem after surgery. I recently met Michelle Lyons, an Irish physiotherapist, at the Klose Lymphedema Conference. She recommended several ways to improve digestion in her conference presentation and I will share some of her wisdom with you.

Her first tip is how to get your digestion started off on the right foot every morning. You will love this. She recommends a self-massage of the abdominal area to encourage that first poop of the day (see the diagram) and insists that we have our significant other or family member/friend get us a hot beverage to sip on while we are still in bed. Many people swear by coffee, but I prefer tea and am happy to report that my lovely husband does bring me Indian milk tea most every morning!  

If you want to make your own Essential Oil blend for your abdominal massage, here’s my home recipe:

6 drops of sweet marjoram essential oil
6 drops of rosemary essential oil
2 drops of black pepper essential oil
15 ml of coconut oil

Directions: mix well and store in a bottle in your night table.

Here's a video of how to perform abdominal massage for constipation from Naprapathic practitioner Lorn Allison.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reducing Swelling with Lymph Massage after Tummy Tuck and Liposuction - Testimonial Tuesday

Reducing Swelling with Lymphatic Drainage Massage after Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

Rebeca from Santee had a tummy tuck and liposuction and was feeling pain as well as a heavy, swollen feeling that left her stuck on the couch for weeks after surgery. Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage helped her feel lighter and happier! 

I highly recommend Kathleen. I have seen her twice so far and have greatly benefited. She is very knowledgable, 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. 

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons offers this information on how to recover from a tummy tuck:

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

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Do Sleep Lightbulbs Really Work?

Do Sleep Lightbulbs Really Work?

I tried sleep eyeglasses and a Sleep Ready Lightbulb to see if they made going to sleep easier. Of course, I had to give them a real test - we had thrown a dinner party with a dozen or so people enjoying my husband's Indian food and I had a full day of massage clients the next day! 

I used the lightbulb as my only light and the eyeglasses to cut the sleep stealing light from my computer. As soon as I turned on the lightbulb, I felt calmer. The light made the bedroom look more romantic, too. 

 I found it easier to fall asleep the last few nights with this lightbulb in the bedroom. It is helping me to train myself to go to sleep right when I get into bed, instead of hang out on the computer into the wee hourso f the morning.

In the New York Times article 'Light Bulbs That Help You Sleep'  Ronda Kaysen profiles how a family dealing with teenaged study habits and grandparent's dementia uses sleep light bulbs to regulate circadian rhythms and boost melatonin production. Read the article here: 

I have also activated my iPhone and iPad's 'Night Shift' function to dim the screen at 9 pm every night. I found it be swiping upward from the bottom of the screen and clicking on the moon shaped icon. 

My Top Tips for Falling Asleep

I avoid napping late in the afternoon or evening - allowing myself to get increasingly sleepy

I don’t drink alcohol in the later afternoon / evening or eat heavy foods too close to bedtime - it ruins my sleep

We don’t have television or other distracting electronics in the bedroom (this is one we are still working on)

I don’t use my bed for lounging - I train my body to associate the bed only with sleep

I don’t use LED light within an hour of bedtime - I allow my body to sense it is night time (this includes my beloved iPad)

I give myself a 9 hour window for sleep at night - I try to wake up without an alarm and don’t use a snooze button!

I get into a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even weekends

We don’t have clocks within view of the bed

I set an alarm 30 minutes before bedtime so I can start my bedtime rituals

I like using a warm foot bath to relax. After removing my feet from the foot bath, the drop in body temperature allows me to fall asleep more quickly

We leave the screen door to our balcony open at night. Alternately, we could also turn the thermostat down to 65 degrees. Back East, we called it ‘sleeping weather’ when we left the window open at night on cooler spring and fall days

I use a meditation or breathing technique if thoughts are preventing sleep

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

MLD After Liposuction for Lipedema - Testimonial Tuesday

Lymphatic Massage after Liposuction 

for Lipedema Client in San Diego

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

I recently helped Michelle, a lady with lipedema, reduce her post-op swelling after she received liposuction on her legs and arms in Beverly Hills, CA. San Diego is a popular vacation destination and only a few hours from Beverly Hills. 

Michelle's testimonial: 

"Kathleen was extremely knowledgeable and gentle during my lipedema MLD session. I Cannot recommend her highly enough!

Michelle K. from North Carolina, on vacation in San Diego in between receiving liposuction treatments for her lipedema in Beverly Hills, CA. in May 2017.

Lipedema can be treated with liposuction. Here is Dr. Amron speaking about lipedema and liposuction.

Find out more about Lipoedema by watching 'You Mean It's Not My Fault: Lipoedema, a Fat Disorder'

Monday, June 5, 2017

Handing out Medals at the JROTC Ceremony

Handing out Medals at the JROTC Ceremony

 I am so fortunate to have a clever cousin on my father's side that really loves geneology. Her hard work on our family tree allowed me to join the Daughters of the American Revolution. As a member of the San Diego Chapter NSDAR, I get to present medals to students who have excelled at the JROTC and ROTC program. I visited Lincoln High School a few weeks ago to present medals to these young students. I am proud of them all and so humbled that I could have a small part in recognizing their achievements.

I also paired the dress and hat with a different coverup when I attended the Daughters of the American Revolution District Meeting a few weeks ago.

Linking to for Visible Monday.

Friday, June 2, 2017

How to Take a Deep Breath to reduce anxiety

Can deep breathing reduce anxiety 

and make me happier?

Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

One happiness hack that does NOT work for most people is attempting to calm down by taking a few deep breaths.

Deep, slow breathing can make us calmer and more happy, but many of us are just doing it wrong. We can test ourselves to see if we are breathing right. Take a deep breath.

Wait, did you just open your mouth and take in as much air as quickly as possible? This is very similar to what causes hyperventilation. Deep breathing this way may actually make us MORE anxious.

Now try the 4-7-8 breath. Breath in through your nose for four counts, hold the breath for the count of seven, then release the breath steadily for eight counts with a small sigh or 'whoosh.' Repeat this four times and see if this slow steady type of deep breathing with the nose isn't more calming then the traditional ' Take a Deep Breath' breathing.

Emma Seppala confronts the 'common sense' that we have to work hard, have stress and suffer in order to be successful in this TEDx talk:

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) for Lipedema in San Diego - Testimonial

Lynette is from just north of San Diego and has a lipedema diagnosis. It was a pleasure meeting Lynette and helping her to reduce swell...