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:

Monday, September 18, 2017

How to Use Music to Balance the Immune System

Music Can Affect Our Attention and Emotions!

by Kathleen Lisson

In this podcast, I share information from Barry Goldstein's book 'The Secret Language of the Heart.'
The article link is here:

The podcast is here:

I cover more studies about the positive effects of music on the immune system in my book Swollen, Bloated and Puffy.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

How to Massage Scars with Lymphedema

Scars and Lymphedema

by Kathleen Lisson

It was about two weeks after my Mohs surgery for skin cancer on my face, and I was eager to start massaging my scar. I called around, but couldn't find a massage therapist that had the expertise to help me improve the look and function of the scar on my face. That's when I decided to get all the training I could in scar massage. I have since learned from three of the top scar massage therapists in the country, taking classes from Jamie Elswick, Nancy Keeney Smith and Jen Hartley.

I believe scar massage is an integral part of lymphatic drainage after surgery. Surgical scars are not just unsightly, they can also interrupt lymphatic flow. I provide an overview of the precautions and tips for scar massage in my book Swollen, Bloated and Puffy and go over more details in the podcast, I'll put the link below.

Simply put, wait for the scar to heal and lighten, then use gentle pressure and a cream or oil for a few minutes a day. Beyond that, find a therapist trained in scar massage for greater results.

The link to the podcast is here:

 In this video, Hand Surgeon Dr. Cassie Root demonstrates some techniques.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

How can butterflies help me meditate?

Butterfly Meditation Tip

by Kathleen Lisson

I share my tip about using the grace and delicateness of the butterfly in our meditation practice as well as the deep truth of how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.

Listen to the podcast here:

Check out the grown ups version of a butterfly life cycle (they gloss over the metamorphosis bit in grade school!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Book Review: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

I was looking for an accessible deep dive on the importance of sleep in my life and this book is it. Packed with easily understood research, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams gave me solid reasons to make changes in my life to ensure I get eight hours of sleep each and every night. Some of the research will hit home to students and parents of young children - sleep is critical for learning and our school and college cultures don't make it easy to prioritize sleep.

We need to look deeper than health articles on the internet and have access to real, solid science when making decisions about our health. Before this book sleeping was a 'should' for me, now it is a must. I highly recommend Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams for those who need a compelling collection of evidence in order to change their behavior. It certainly changed my mind.

More about author Matthew Walker in 'Meet the scientist who dreams of fixing your sleep' published in the Washington Post:

and watch him here:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Keep Forgetting to Meditate? Here's Top Tips to Make Meditation a Habit

How to Make Meditation a Habit

by Kathleen Lisson

In this podcast, I share my top tips on how to make meditation a habit, not just something we do when we remember. 
Fill in the blanks - 

Time/Resources needed: 

Type of meditation:


For me, lately its been:

Time/Resources: 5 minutes after I wake up, for around 10 - 15 mins. in bed, with insight timer app.
Type: One of my bookmark meditations in Insight Timer
Reminder: I'm awake and remember I can't get on social media until 8 am, so I meditate. 

Need more info? I provide meditation toolkit in my book Swollen, Bloated and Puffy. 

More help:

If using the smartphone to meditate is too much of a temptation, check out David Kadavy's advice: 

If you would like to REALLY figure out WHY you meditate, check out this partner exercise you can do with a supportive friend:

No social media until 8 am? My tough-as-nails morning ritual:

Listen to my top tips on my podcast here:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Lymphedema Triggers - What Causes Lymphedema?

How Can I Prevent Lymphedema?

by Kathleen Lisson

The bad news is that there is no way to prevent lymphedema. Experts have collected stories from patients with lymphedema and we have a pretty good idea of the types of events that can bring on lymphedema - I call them "hold my beer" moments. To be sure, in some clients, lymphedema comes on with NO apparent cause, and some survivors can do these activities with no issues for years and then one day, it will cause swelling. 

Dana Farber Cancer Institute's lymphedema risk factors checklist:

The link to my podcast is here:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

How to Reduce Bloating

Carb Belly? Top Tips to Reduce Abdominal Bloating

by Kathleen Lisson

I'm so excited to share these tips with you! Before I spoke to a physcial therapist, I thought the only way to get rid of my 'carb belly' 'carb baby' bloated tummy was to cut all bread out and only eat salmon over spinach salad. Salmon over spinach salad is still by flat belly secret weapon, but I'm so glad I learned about all the other ways I was sabotaging a flat tummy and causing bloating in my abdomen.

Listen to the podcast and try the tips yourself:

Monday, September 11, 2017

How to Improve Bladder Control and Stop Leaking

Top Bladder Control Tips! 

by Kathleen Lisson

I share some tips for bladder care and bladder control in my recent podcast. This is a great podcast to listen to if you need a daily liner in your underwear, if you 'leak' when sneezing, laughing or exercising, if you have had children or if you have high blood pressure. PLEASE share this podcast and blog post with other ladies, we just don't talk about this subject enough. 

Listen to the podcast here:

I share more bladder and bowel control tips in my book Swollen, Bloated and Puffy. It's hard for me to explain kegels in a podcast, so here is a great video by a pelvic floor physical therapist! 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The link between Friendship and the Immune System

The Link between Friendship and the Immune System

by Kathleen Lisson

I mention the link between friendship and the immune system in this episode of the 'Swollen, Bloated and Puffy' podcast. This is especially important to me now as I have recently moved and I'm reconnecting with current friends and trying to make new friends at my new condo complex. Why are friends so important?

Basically, more real friend interaction = a balanced immune system.

I go into more depth about this interesting link in my book Swollen, Bloated and Puffy and share the research behind the findings. But does this really need to be a topic for adults? Yes, because after college and parenting, making friends outside of work is much harder. There just aren't that many opportunities for adult friendships. A recent NPR story profiles the importance of friendship in people aged 45 - 65. The NPR article is here:

I know it's tempting to like those Facebook and Instagram posts that say that true friends can stay in tune with one another and not be in regular contact, but it is the regular contact of friends that we most need in our lives!

Listen to my podcast here on Overcast:

Friday, September 8, 2017

What book to read for lymphedema?

Top Book for Lymphedema

Book Reviews for 

Swollen, Bloated and Puffy by Kathleen Lisson

Here are a few reviews for the lymphedema / lymphoedema book 

Swollen, Bloated and Puffy :

Ninjas Fighting Lymphedema Foundation 

"We often get overwhelmed with what we should or shouldn't be doing with our lymphatic system. Lymphedema education is a growing trend as the disease is taking the world by storm.

This book has great information about reducing swelling, balancing your lymphatic system, immune system and reducing stress which ALL OF THESE THINGS are not only important to lymphatic patients, but to everyone. Kathleen focuses on a holistic approach for lymphatic care. I personally use this approach in my everyday life.

Kathleen is a Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and a Certified Lymphedema Therapist."

Lymph Fashion Blog 

"Her guide is a precious jewel for those who are new to managing lymphatic conditions and a great reminder for seasoned veterans! I wish I’d been given this when first diagnosed as a starting point to enable me to learn more about Lymphoedema and how to manage it daily without impacting on my spare time.

Not only does Lisson fill the book with information about Lymphoedema and the lymphatic system, it is full of handy hints and tips to approach conditions from an holistic viewpoint. Better still, she supports this with science and medical research… yes, all noted in her bibliography- great for nerds like me!!

From reading this, I’ve gained so much insight in to what else I could be doing to aid my Lymphoedema"

Find Swollen, Bloated and Puffy on Amazon:

Monday, September 4, 2017

Lymphedema Book Review: Swollen, Bloated and Puffy

Book Review: Swollen, Bloated and Puffy

Lauren Toner of the Lymph Fashion Lymphoedema blog posted a book review of 'Swollen, Bloated and Puffy.'

Lauren writes, "her guide is a precious jewel for those who are new to managing lymphatic conditions and a great reminder for seasoned veterans! I wish I’d been given this when first diagnosed as a starting point to enable me to learn more about Lymphoedema and how to manage it daily without impacting on my spare time."

Safe Relaxing Massage for Men and Women with Cancer and Lymphedema in San Diego

Safe, Relaxing Massage for Men and Women 

with Cancer and Lymphedema in San Diego

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT
(CAMTC #70128)

Do you already know the relaxing, pain relieving effect that massage has on your body but concerned that a cancer or lymphedema diagnosis means that you can't enjoy the benefits of massage anymore?

Are you overwhelmed with traveling to medical appointment after medical appointment and wish you could have the benefits of a massage in the comfort of your home, on your schedule? An in home massage means that you can take a relaxing bath in your own bathtub or go to sleep in your own bed, right after your massage.

Hello, my name is Kathleen Lisson. I am a Certified Massage Therapist with oncology massage training and a Certified Lymphatic Therapist in San Diego. I provide massage to men and women with a metastatic cancer diagnosis, a cancer diagnosis, a cancer history or a lymphedema diagnosis in the comfort of their homes in the San Diego area. To book a massage click here:

I studied massage therapy for people living with cancer with Teri Polley-Michea, RN, MA, HHP in San Diego and have assisted her in teaching Touch, Caring and Cancer classes to family members of those with a cancer diagnosis. My hands on work included shifts providing massage to patients receiving chemotherapy in the Moores Cancer Center infusion center in La Jolla and providing full body massage to patients with cancer and a cancer history at the UCSD Cancer Center in Encinitas.

I recently finished my training in Complete Decongestive Therapy for lymphedema with Gunter Klose and Linda Roherty from Klose Training. Gunter received his initial Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) training in 1984 at the Foeldi Clinic in Hinterzarten, Germany.  In 1990, Guenter came to the United States to assist Dr. Robert Lerner in establishing the first CDT treatment center for lymphedema patients located in New York City. Guenter’s work was instrumental in establishing the field of lymphedema therapy and training in the United States. Linda was elected to the Lymphology Association of North America’s Board of Directors in 2000, acted as Vice President of LANA from 2002–2005, and has served as Secretary since 2010.

I am the author of Swollen, Bloated and Puffy, available on Amazon.

I have also volunteered in the Moores Cancer Center Patient and Family Resources Center and provided free massage to underserved communities in San Diego with the Alternative Healing Network.

If you or a loved one has a lymphedema or cancer diagnosis or history and prefers to receive massage services in the comfort of their home, please consider using Solace Massage and Mindfulness.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

How to Reduce Summertime Swelling - Beauty Tips

Swollen Ankles and Face in the Late Summer

By Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

Late Summer means hotter weather and if you've noticed that your face is puffier and your ankles swell in the summer, you're not alone.  How to slim down a swollen body part? Use ice to cool down that swelling! 

  • The simplest trick is to rub ice cubes on your face, focusing on the eyes and cheeks. 

  • An ice massage can end up pretty soggy, so consider investing in a beauty tool like an ice roller or jade roller. Store your roller in the fridge or freezer for instant relief. 

  • Going out with friends at night and don't want to show off puffy ankles? Wear compression socks under a pair of pants during the day to keep feet and ankles from swelling, then show off your feet in a pair of sandals or heels at night. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Book Review: Quackery by Lydia Kang, M.D. and historian Nate Pedersen

Book Review: Quackery by Lydia Kang, M.D. and historian Nate Pedersen

Book Review: Quackery

Internal medicine physician Dr. Lydia Kang, M.D. and historian Nate Pedersen have written Quackery, a clever journey through the history of fraudulent cures. Though many of the ‘cures’ are from past centuries, the inclusion of information on fasting, cleansing and enemas is still timely for many. As an cancer-aware massage therapist, I care for clients with a cancer diagnosis and keep myself up-to-date on what both peer-reviewed research and ‘the Internet’ are touting as revolutionary advances in the treatment of disease. Seeing the information on fasting and cleansing as well as sham cures for cancer, like juicing and enemas, will hopefully let readers desperate for a natural cure put these so-called treatments into perspective. Beyond obvious quackery, the book also shares the true story of ‘snake oil’ as well as the “medieval” sensibilities of drugs we take today, including Insulin, Premarin and Heparin.

Quackery is a well-illustrated, easy to read, trivia-packed guide to many of the outrageous fake medicines peddled as cure-alls throughout human history and will be a well-received gift for the pharmacist, physician, nurse, anesthesiologist, medical student, trivia buff, historian or military history lover in your life.

Quackery will be released on October 17, 2017 and is available for preorder on Amazon here:

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...