Board Certified Lymphedema Therapist

Personal Journey of Lisamarie

Personal Journey of Lisamarie

Thank you for your interest in the journey of my career.  I am very thankful to be practicing what God has called, and so lovingly prepared, me to do. I've been a student of natural healing remedies over 40 years. Currently, I use my talents to assist those who come to me in their quest toward healing. The following is an account of how all of this was made possible.

Over a decade ago, after some misfortune fell upon my life, I  found myself a single mother living in poverty, desperately-needing a career to support myself and my children. After earnestly seeking God, I was directed to the profession of massage therapy. This foundation later gave me the qualification's to enroll in training for highly-specialized manual therapies. 

The week I completed my two-year college massage therapy program, I rushed to gain more specialized education in Hospital/Oncology Massage through William Beaumont Hospital Integrative Medicine Department. Shortly thereafter, I began my training in palliative care through Angela Hospice of Michigan. After completing these programs, I began receiving phone calls requesting lymphatic therapy. Lymphatic therapy relieves the pain and suffering of a condition called lymphedema or lymphatic edema. This condition of a compromised lymphatic system causes localized swelling, often in the limbs. The lymphatic system is also a critical component of the immune system. It is responsible for destroying pathogens. It does this by creating our internal defense system called antibodies. The lymphatic system also removes dead cells, bacteria, virus and other harmful contaminants from our tissues. A healthy lymphatic system is the human body's best defense against illness. Sessions of MLD enhance the functioning of this wonderful system and enables a quicker response to illness with shorter recovery times. All of these benefits made me very eager to recieve training in lymphatic therapy.

As requests for lymphatic therapy continued pouring in, I realized there was a real demand for lymphatic therapy. Out of a desire to provide the absolute best service I could possibly offer, I searched for schools that offered in-depth studies in the field of Lymphology.  That is when I found Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy. I was very eager to become educated in this modality but became disappointed when I realized I wasn't able to afford the cost of tuition even after my scholarship was applied.

At this point, I had already established my massage therapy practice in Novi, Michigan. One of my long time and very dear clients, with whom I had shared my dream of becoming a lymphatic therapist, could see I was disappointed. He asked what was troubling me. I told him I was unable to afford lymphatic training. He expressed he was sorry to hear this. Two weeks later, after his next session with, he handed me an envelope. I looked inside and there was all the money! This was the money I needed to enroll in my training! I cried tears of joy and thankfulness! I didn't know how I could possibly thank him. He told me to pay it forward. I immediately applied to the Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy and was accepted. I received the textbooks and began studying diligently with every minute of time I had available after working and providing care for my children. After completing the lymphatic therapy preparatory coursework, I was prepared to enroll in the hands-on portion of training. I had to travel out of state where I participated in nine days of very intensive training. Out of a class of 20 people, I was the only massage therapist. The other students were physical therapists, occupational therapists, or nurses. I felt intimidated by the fact that my fellow students had education that far surpassing my training as massage therapist. To my surprise, I successfully completed the course. With my newly acquired skills I was immediately able to assist the very client whom had funded my training. He was plagued with painful edema after suffering a knee injury 30 years ago. I used my new skills and was able to resolve the painful edema. We were both astonished by how the very training he had funded in the name of helping others had ended up coming back to help him directly. We both saw a foundational principal at work. Helping others always blesses us directly, in many more ways than are easily understood.

My certificate as a lymphatic therapist through Norton School has opened up a wonderful world of unique opportunities which I could have never imagined before this reality became manifest. My most recent accomplishment was passing the Lymphology Association of North America board exam, which is a high honor. This is the same board for which physicians, nurses and physical therapists sit. It is an incredible privilege to have this unique qualification. But the biggest blessing of all is that I get to use my profession as a massage and lymphatic therapist to help many people feel loved and cared for while they receive the medical care they truly need and deserve. 

About Lymphatic Therapy

I chose Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy because their program and philosophy of care is taken directly from Europe which is where lymphatic therapy and lymphedema management originated. The Norton School teaches the Vodder Method of Manual Lymphatic Drainage which is respected as the gold standard worldwide. They also teach the German style of complete decongestive therapy (CDT). Using the CDT method, much progress can be made in the way of reducing the volume of an edematous limb. The edematous limb, which is painful, inflammed, and distorted, can be made to more closely resemble the proportions of the non effected limb. This provides incredible relief, both physically and emotionally, for the individual suffering from lymphedema. CDT is carefully administered using manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) and then wrapping the edematous limb in several layers of European-style short stretch bandaging, foam, cotton padding, gauze and other components. It is truly an art to individually sculpt these custom designed “containers” which help remove the excess accumulated fluid. In most cases this fluid has become stagnant and often hard (fibrotic). This can cause a serious infection called cellulitis.  

Miracles of Healing  

My profession is not work, it is my calling. I truly consider the space I hold in my practice to be sacred ground where I am able to help one person at a time experience the miracles of healing.  to participate in the miracles of healing. I am rewarded with joy as I participate in each persons unique journey toward wellness.