With a referral, under certain circumstances
Not too many years ago, techniques including acupuncture, and even chiropractic, weren’t approved medical procedures in the United States, even though they had been used for centuries in other countries.
Even after they were well established in the states, and considered legitimate treatment by the American Medical Association, most insurances did not cover them for a long time.
In the past 50 years, however, many things once considered “holistic” have been shown to make a big difference in patient care. A lot of the techniques came from Eastern medicine, records of which are well over 3,500 years old.
In the last 10 years, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., has built a large “mind-body” institute studying the effects of thought, and yes, even prayer, on physical illness and healing.
The new study of epigenetics is also proving that concentration can alter the state of a gene, and researchers in this field say this could unlock cures to many diseases that are now considered terminal.
Licensed massage therapist Connie Larkin has taken some special training that you must either be a licensed massage therapist or a physical therapist to study, and she’s practicing it locally by appointment at Bain Complete Wellness centers.
It’s called “manual lymphatic drainage” and it has only recently been approved by Medicare — for some patients — with a referral from their primary doctor.
Larkin is definitely at the forefront of a technique new to the states, even though it has been used in many countries for centuries.
“When I first heard about it I thought it was a natural outgrowth of my massage therapy and went to Fort Lauderdale to take training,” she said in an interview Nov. 14. “It’s been in practice for more than 100 years but only came to America in the 1970s. Still, until recently, the problem has been getting insurance to pay for it.”
“In Europe, certified MLD therapists are found in the finest lymphology clinics,” she said.
With breast cancer, for example, the lymph glands are often removed and the lymph vessels swell tremendously, she explained.
This treatment is a special kind of gentle massage therapy directed at the lymph vessels, (not the muscles) that lie just below the skin’s surface.
In many countries, pre-op treatments include this therapy to clean the system of debris and post-op treatments accelerate healing, she added.
Along with the special training, which she received from Elisa DiFalco, considered top in this field, she also learned how to accurately measure for the compression garments used by both male and female patients, usually after surgeries for breast and prostate cancer.
She has learned the bandaging procedures, and also how to train patients to bandage themselves to help with the treatment for this type of edema.
This can slow, reduce, and even prevent swelling usually associated with many cancer surgeries and treatments.
“The treatment brings the movement of the lymph from 10 to 12 beats per minute to something like 100 or 120,” she said. “This immediately takes out the cellular debris and toxins and the way we know it is working is that the patient must get up and immediately use the restroom.”
The toxins continue to flow through the body and be quickly eliminated for 48 hours following the treatment, she said.
Larkin, who was already practicing licensed massage therapy when she took the special lymphatic classes, said she did it because her two sisters asked her to.
“My sister Janice in Baton Rouge had breast cancer. They took out 35 lymph nodes from under one arm, and the edema — swelling — was terrible. It was like a big balloon. My other sister had RA, rheumatoid arthritis.”
So on her birthday, Larkin says she gave herself a birthday gift.
“I treated both my sisters for my birthday present,” she said.
The way trained massage and physical therapists do this treatment is different from when it is done by machines, she explained, because using the hands is gentler, prevents bruising or any possibility of applying too much pressure.
Larkin now is associated with and takes appointments at all three locations of Bain Complete Wellness centers: in Riverview, Cory Lakes (New Tampa) and Tampa.
“I want to eventually be approved to go into people’s homes,” she said. “It’s a big step getting Medicare to pay for it. People should check with their doctor for a referral and with their insurance company to see if they’re covered.”
Many go even though they aren’t covered because they can feel the “elimination” of the toxins immediately, she said. The cost for 50 minutes is $100, with bandaging techniques taught separately, if needed.
One Sun City Center patient (who asked that she not be named) was interviewed for this story and said it was one of the most important pieces of her cancer treatment. “It makes me feel wonderful, all clean and new again,” she said.
To find out more, visit www.conniesclassictouch.com.
To find out more about Doctor Bain’s Complete Wellness Centers, visit www.baincompletewellness.com/drbain.