What is lipedema?

Lipedema is a genetically mediated disorder of fat deposition that occurs almost exclusively in  females. There is  a symmetrical accumulation of fat in the legs, buttocks  and hips  that extends down to the ankles. In 70% of cases the swelling occurs in the arms and there is no foot involvement. A “cuff” can be found around the ankles and wrists. Patients often report a family history of “heavy legs”

Lipedema is often called “painful fat syndrome”.   The swelling that occurs is due to an excess deposition of fatty tissue and fluid accumulation in the subcutaneous tissue,  leaky vessels and  fragility of the blood vessels. It is painful to the touch

Lipedema is often misdiagnosed and can be mistaken for regular obesity or lymphedema.  The condition can progress to become  Lymphedema.  Patients are   accused of being simply “fat,” which is not the case and is so invalidating and frustrating to the patients.

Symptoms of lipedema

As the fat increases, the lymphatic vessels are unable to move the fluids out of the body and the swelling increases.  The symptoms include pain, bruising, swelling in the limbs and hypermobility of the joints, with reduced elasticity in the skin and knee.  Patients often have flat feet and knee mal-alignment or instability,

Lipedema can occur in puberty or often in the 30′ s  and there is a slow progression of symptoms and weight gain, leading to immobility. Lipedema may develop or worsen during pregnancy or surgery


Lymphedema is a swelling of a body part, most often an extremity, resulting from an accumulation of fluids, in such proportion to be palpable and visible. Lymphedema occurs when the lymph vascular system is not able to fill its function of reabsorpbtion and transport of the protein and lymph load. Lymphedema occurs whenever lymphatic vessels are absent, underdeveloped or obstructed.

The condition most often causes embarrassment and causes decreased mobility, discomfort and often repeated episodes of infection, cellulitis and lymphangitis. This can lead to general depression and a general worsening of the patient’s life and health. Fungal infections can be very frequent and these place a greater load on the lymphatics. Severe cases are associated with thickening of the skin, hardening of the limb (fibrosis), leakage of lymph and massive swelling (elephantiasis).

How Does Lymphedema Occur?

A stagnation of protein develops in the tissue. This raises the colloid osmotic pressure and a protein rich edema arises. There are more protein rich fluids in the tissue than can be transported and the proteins attract water by osmosis. The affected area becomes swollen, enlarged and uncomfortable. This swelling decreases oxygenation of the tissues, interferes with their normal functioning and makes them heal more slowly than normal. The excess protein also serves as a stimulus from chronic infection and can result in formation of excess fibrous tissue. Lymphedema is a chronic and if left untreated, progressive condition. It can however, be brought under control by appropriate treatment and care.

Lymphedema may be due to a primary (congenital or genetic) cause or of a secondary cause (caused by a known condition), including removal of the lymph nodes or trauma.

Types of Lymphedema

Primary Lymphedema

Primary Lymphedema is that which has no known cause.

  • Milroy’s disease is a familial (genetically caused) lymphedema which is present at birth.
  • Meige’s disease is similar, but appears no later than puberty.
  • Lymphedema Praecox is the most common form of primary lymphedema. This begins in adolescence. It is predominantly females who suffer from this condition. Seventy five percent of primary lymphedema is praecox.
  • Lymphedema Tarda is identical to Lymphedema praecox but occurs after the patient is 35 years old. Both praecox and tarda almost always involve just the legs.

The pathological mechanisms which cause primary lymphedema are an absence of lymphatics (aplasia), inadequate lymphatic drainage, too few lymphatics or too few nodes, or lymphatics which are hugely dilated.

Secondary Lymphedema

Secondary lymphedema is an acquired condition resulting from loss or obstruction or previously normal lymphatic channels. The most common cause of secondary lymphedema is due to removal of the lymph nodes, as part of surgery for malignancies. The lymph pathways can be interrupted by radiation, surgery, injury or blockage with parasites.

– Symptoms of Lymphedema

Patients experience swelling in the affected limb and may experience one or all of the following symptoms: tingling, tightness, numbness, slight pain, feeling of fullness,  heaviness, cramps and a burning sensation in limb. There may be range of motion limitations and temperature differences between the limbs. We help to effectively reduce the symptoms of lymphedema and help you to participate in your daily activities once again.

– Stages of Lymphedema

Stage 0, also known as latent stage or subclinical stage of lymphedema

At this stage the patient is at risk of developing lymphedema, however there is no swelling present, even though the lymph system has been disturbed by sugery or radiation.  In stage 0 patients may experience early symptoms, such as the feeling of numbness, tingling or fullness in a limb, which is often accompanied by low-grade discomfort

If we treat at this stage the symptoms can be easily controlled using off the shelf  compression garments.

If we can consult with you soon after surgery,  we can educate you and reduce the risk of lymphedema

Stage I, also known as pitting or reversible stage

The affected arms or legs become visibly swollen, as a protein-rich fluid starts to accumulate in the tissues.

Upon elevation, the swelling reduces.

There is a pitting edema and the limb may appear normal the next morning.

Stage II, also known as spontaneously-irreversible stage

There is an increase in the swelling and a change in the tissues

The skin becomes harder (fibrotic) and there are skin changes.

Upon elevation, the limb does not reduce.

Pressure against the limb produces only a slight indentation or in indentation at all.

Stage two lymphedema can be reversed with intense therapy.

Stage III, also known as lymphostatic elephantiasis

In this stage, there is a buildup of fluid in the tissues and the swelling increases.

Pressure on the skin does not produce any pitting and there are skin changes, as skin begins to breakdown.

Normal elasticity is lost and the skin hangs in folds.

The person is very likely to become infected as the swelling becomes a perfect culture for bacteria to breed. There is a risk of infection and subsequent recurrent infections (cellulitis)

Untreated lymphedema can lead into a decrease or loss of functioning of the affected extremity, skin breakdown and sometimes irreversible complications.

Treatment option lymphedema

Complex decongestive therapy   – link to treatment options

Nutritional counseling


Fat Disorders – Rare Adipose Disorders – Lipedema and Dercums


Dercums disease -DD (adiposis dolorosa)

What is Dercums?

DD is a disorder of subcutaneous adipose (fatty) tissue, also known as painful fat syndrome. It involves the excess deposit and expansion of fat cells. Lipomas are common and angiolipomas (very vascular lipomas) are found in 30% of people with Dercum’s Disease. DD is often misdiagnosed as ordinary obesity. • DD occurs in more women than men, at a 5:1 ratio, and in 40% of cases it is thought it is thought to be inherited (genetic). Age of onset is usually between 30 and 50 years of age. Currently, there are no imaging or diagnostic tests available to determine the presence of DD.


Types of Dercums

TYPE 1: Painful nodular fat around the joints.

TYPE 2: Painful nodular fat anywhere from head to toe (whole body). Often accompanied

by generalized obesity.

TYPE 3: Larger lipomas that may have a capsule and attached connective tissue; often

in the absence of obesity. Most men have Type 3

What are the symptoms of Dercums

  • Severe fatigue that impairs a person’s daily activities of living and can be worsened by activities and exercise
  • Memory difficulties finding words, forming thoughts; “Brain Fog”.
  • Weight gain may occur at onset; difficult to lose with lifestyle changes
  • Increased vasculature near lipomas; telangiectasias(small dilated blood vessel near the surface of the skin); cherry angiomas (round broken capillary on the skin); easy bruising; heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding;
  • Lymphatic involvement: Swellings in fat; may change in size and are nonpitting, (do not indent when pressed)
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea).
  • Gastrointestinal: Gastroesophageal reflux disease

(heartburn); irritable bowel symptoms,

constipation and/or diarrhea, bloating, abdominal

pain, and feeling full.

  • Joint and muscle pain and/or stiffness.

Rapid heartbeat; (tachycardia), palpitations (feeling your heart beat).

  • Migraines


Treatment options Dercums disease

Manual lymph drainage

Nutrition, diet management

Exercise – movement

Complementary care, aromatherapy

 Dercums Treatment Services Available

Initial Consultation & Evaluation 60 minutes – $199

You will receive the support and caring to effectively maintain your results.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

What is Chronic venous insufficiency? 

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a condition where blood pools in the veins of the lower legs. The first signs of chronic venous insufficiency are ankle and leg swelling. Swelling occurs because the blood that has pooled in the veins causes abnormally high pressure in the veins. As the pressure and swelling increases, the skin of the legs may actually leak tiny drops of plasma, which is the pale yellow fluid part of blood. Eventually, the capillaries burst under the high pressure, releasing red blood cells and giving that area of the skin a reddish-brown discoloration. This condition often leads to lymphedema (phlebo- lymphedema)


Treatment options Chronic Venous insufficiency

– Complex decongestive therapy

– Manual lymph drainage

– Compression bandaging

-Nutrition, diet management

– Exercise – movement

– -Self care

Goal of treatment 

To reduce swelling and edema, improve skin condition and wounds, increase mobility and decrease pain, tightness and  discomfort.

Post-Surgical Care

Pre and Post surgical care

In a supportive environment, we will help you with the healing process after surgeries with Manual Lymph Drainage massage (MLD).  This therapy will greatly hasten the healing after cosmetic surgeries or liposuction, breast reconstruction or reduction, or knee, hip or shoulder surgeries. MLD  reduces the edema and bruising that often occurs  secondary to surgery.


Benefits of MLD for pre and post surgical care assists the healing process

                MLD will increase oxygenation, hydration and cellular metabolism thus, aiding the health of the tissue.

MLD performed pre-surgically prepares the tissue for surgery by removing toxic debris and cleansing the connective tissue. This in turn promotes healing, minimizes swelling and bruising, and helps to avoid hematomas.

MLD administered as soon as possible after surgery will increase waste disposal by transporting protein damaged cells, inflammatory products and toxins away from the area.  This facilitates the healing process after surgical trauma.

MLD reduces swelling and thus there is an increased speed of healing.

MLD stimulates the formation of lymph vessels around scar tissue. This minimizes scar formation.

MLD helps positive changes in the quality of scar tissue.

MLD balances the sympathetic nervous system, helping to relieve stress.

The repetitive calming movements alleviate pain by stimulating reflex pathways, which decreases pain signals sent to the brain.

MLD supports and enhances the activity of the immune system by increasing lymph flow and stimulating antibody production. The body recovers faster with MLD as it has a balancing effect on the body`s immune system.

When MLD is performed there will be a reduced risk of fibrosis and scar tissue forming.

Manual Lymph Drainage Massage

50/80 minutes – $150/$199 Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a gently rhythmical massage performed by a trained lymph therapist to detoxify and cleanse the connective tissue,  speed the healing process and reduce pain and discomfort.  This therapy flushes toxins and inflammatory wastes from the tissues.

Series prices available.

Surgery options

We  can evaluate your situation and educate you about different surgical options and refer you to the appropriate surgeons .


Blogs – How Essential Oils Can Affect and Support the Lymphatic System

Lyme Disease

What is lyme disease?

Lyme disease is the number one vector borne spreading epidemic worldwide. Lyme disease occurs when a  person is bitten by an infected tick. Lyme patients suffer from the tremendous physical and emotional pain associated with this disease.  In addition, due to the general lack of medical validation this type of illness, doctors and even their family members often believe they are crazy.

Lyme is actually caused by a weak immune system, damaged cellular function, uncontrolled bacterial infections throughout the body and other environmental triggers such as, mold and parasites


 Patients should work with a Lyme literate physician and we support the treatments

Treatment options Lyme disease

Detoxing is an integral part of beating Chronic Lyme Disease and minimizing the reactions caused when injured or dead bacteria release their endotoxins into the blood and tissues faster than the body can comfortably handle it. (Herx Reaction)

Manual lymph drainage

  • Manual lymph drainage (MLD) massage with customized essential oils can help patients through these difficult Herx detox reactions and “die offs”.
  • MLD can also help with reducing inflammation which is very important for healing in the chronic state that it exists in those with Lyme

Manual lymph drainage (MLD) massage with customized essential oils can help helps provide:

  • Antiviral and antibacterial support
  • Boost the immune system
  • Enhance blood flow
  • Improve memory and cognitive ability
  • Support detoxification
  • Promote overall health and well-being.
  • Inflammation/Pain Management


  • Linda Anne is a experienced Clinical Aromatherapist and creates customized aromatherapy blends specific to your symptoms and co-infections.
  • Essential oils can play a very important role in controlling your symptoms

Infrared Sauna

Infrared sauna helps with the detoxification process

Manual Lymph Drainage

What is Manual Lymph Drainage?

Developed in Europe in the 1930’s by Dr. Emil and Estrid Vodder, Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a safe, effective, yet gentle approach to cleansing the body’s tissues. MLD drains excess fluid from the tissues and also has a detoxifying effect. It can benefit a healthy person as well as be applied to more than 60 different conditions.

Scientific studies, as well as vast clinical experience, have supported the effectiveness of MLD.

The therapeutic benefits of MLD, evidenced by more than 35 years of research, are well documented. It is widely prescribed by physicians in the United States and Canada also recognize the benefits of MLD for their patients.