Monday, July 31, 2017

Discovering the Netherlands on my Birthday!

Discovering the Netherlands on my Birthday! 

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

My husband's parent company is based in the Netherlands, so I jumped on the opportunity to tag along behind him on his recent work trip. Here I am taking a ceremonial sip of a local beer at my birthday dinner.

I have heard of eating locally to support local farmers and eat foods in-season. Have you ever thought of eating healthy and locally when traveling (yes, I know beer doesn't really count). Ayurveda tells us to eat locally while traveling, too. I know that consuming local honey helps with my husband's allergies. Have you tried eating local foods while traveling?

Read more about Ayurveda and eating locally:

Linking to for Visible Monday.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Surprising Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

Know the Risks for Skin Cancer (More than just tanning and sunburns)

Ask most people what the risk factors for skin cancer are and you'll get one or two answers - sunburns and tanning booths. As a woman with a skin cancer history, the only medical advice I received was a reminder to wear sunscreen and a hat. I was surprised to learn that there are more risk factors for melanoma skin cancer, including a red hair, a weakened immune system, a history of basal cell carcinoma and Parkinson's disease. 

Read the full list, provided by Rush University Medical Center, here: '14 risk factors for the deadliest skin cancer'. Melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, but also the deadliest.

Another good article: Risk Factors for Melanoma Skin Cancer

Weekend Wisdom: Health and Wellness for Women over 40

Weekend Wisdom 

 A deep dive into how the innate and adaptive immune system works (Medical Xpress)

Pick these plants to help your indoor air and immune system (The Conversation)

A texting program reinforcing lessons on safe sleep for babies reduces SIDS cases - could we also do this for adults and sleep hygiene? (ScienceDaily)

The top takeaway for me in this article - don't wear makeup to your doctors office! (The good men project)

Interesting! The difference between an MD and an Osteopath (DO) (Reader's Digest)

A sobering look at Americas infatuation with clinical trials  (Slate)

This article focuses on India, but it contains an eye-opening list of reasons why mental health issues are not spoken about in today's culture, the top two especially for Americans (Medium)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Top 7 Bedroom Hacks to Destress Before Sleep

How to De-stress Before Bed

There is nothing more annoying at 9:15 a.m. than work colleagues telling me I look tired. They mean well, but I feel self conscious the rest of the day. 

I am amazed by how many of us are living on less than seven hours of sleep every night. Coffee and concealer are essential on those days! Even when I tuck myself in with enough time to sleep, spending hours tossing and turning with thoughts flying through my head means another groggy morning! When I get this sleeping thing right, I de-stress by what I do before bed as well as what I DON'T do. 

De-stressing before bed starts an hour before bedtime. My top 7 tips are:

  1. Banish blue light
  2. No electronics
  3. No daytime lounging in bed
  4. Keep a sleep schedule
  5. Set an alarm
  6. Enjoy a warm foot bath
  7. Soothe a restless mind with meditation

don’t use LED light within an hour of bedtime - I allow my body to sense it is night time. I have a sleep light bulb in the lamp at the bedside table and sleep glasses that block out blue light. Blue light can suppress melatonin in the body, which impacts sleep.

I also don’t have television or other distracting electronics in the bedroom and
don't use the bed for lounging - I train my body to associate the bed only with sleep. These simple practices ensure that my body can transition from wakefullness to sleep more naturally.

I get into a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even weekends and set an alarm 30 minutes before bedtime so I can start my bedtime rituals.

When I really need to de-stress, 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. If I'm already in bed and my head is full of thoughts, I use a meditation or breathing technique to refocus my mind and relax my body.

Do you have any bedroom hacks for preventing insomnia?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ask for a Thyroid Collar at your next Mammogram

Ask for a Thyroid Collar at Your Next Mammogram

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

I recently attended a class on how to give scar massage to post-mastectomy clients and one of my classmates mentioned that she always wore a thyroid guard when she had her mammogram. I was surprised! I had never heard of a thyroid collar and I have low thyroid hormone. I would like to use this blog post to spread the news that this is an option for all women, and it just takes a second to ask. Guards are also available for dental x-rays. 

Shared with Visible Monday

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 -

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...