Newsletter 6

Newsletter issue number 6

December 2008



From the desk

Latest research in massage

Lymphoedema – New hopes

Venous insufficiency




It has been a fulfilling year with the opening of the Albany Creek clinic in April. I take this opportunity to thank everybody who helped make this possible: particularly Ken Mewburn, my husband, for maintenance and his ongoing support – Kory Saw, massage therapist – Gary Lancaster, accounting – and Andrew Merrit, financial advisor.

Next year should be quite exciting and we have great news for secondary lymphoedema sufferers. As from January 2009, with the help of new technology, the Albany Creek clinic can now offer early detection of lymphoedema. It is a simple test that can be performed in 10 minutes and records are stored electronically for later comparison. (Read about it)

I would like to advise that the Samford and Albany Creek clinics will close from Friday 18th December until Tuesday 13th January 2009. 

I wish you and your loved ones a well deserved break, a Bright and Merry Christmas, a Wonderful and Healthy New Year.

Warmest regards




From Kory Saw – massage therapist

Dear All,

A great big hello to all of the new faces I’ve seen these past months, and a warm welcome to the rest of you. Hoping the Christmas break brings a well deserved bit of peace and quiet at the end of  the year.

Did you know the importance of regular massages for stress management, circulation problems, and even mind body connection? Through receiving regular massages and adopting deep breathing techniques whilst being massaged, I can help to reduce physical and mental tension, restore lost energy and promote general relaxation.

The action of massage reintegrates the mind with the body, increasing awareness, sensation and therefore even pain. This is an important part of the massage process however, as it allows me to establish what needs attention and will lead to an understanding of how the symptoms have appeared. Often posture takes the leading role in people’s complaints, attributing to most cases I have seen.

When I treat I consider lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet, the posture of the patient, their current stress levels, and tailor a massage regime suited to the above. When treating any condition, the whole person must be taken into consideration as every part of the person is affected even when they just have a headache.

My aim as a health care practitioner is to restore the sick to health through holistic means, and to do so with no harm to the patient. I look forward to the year ahead with Jeanine, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.




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Our goal as massage therapists is to help our clients to achieve their goal for good health. Massage therapy exists for thousands of years, but only in the last two decades, the main body of evidence has emerged – primarily to validate health fund rebates. Massage offers benefits such as:

  • Pain reduction, increase in range of movement, decreased swelling in conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis
  • Decrease in anxiety and depression
  • Reduction in intensity and frequency of  chronic tension headaches and migraines
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Decreased muscle soreness after exercise

You will find below some excerpts from studies that have been published regarding the effects of massage for certain conditions.



This study was designed to examine the effects of massage therapy versus relaxation therapy on sleep, substance P*, and pain in fibromyalgia patients. Across the course of the study, only the massage therapy group reported an increase in the number of sleep hours and a decrease in their sleep movements. In addition, substance P* levels decreased as well as tender points in the massage therapy group. (Field T., et al, Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. 8(2):72-76, April 2002.)


*Substance P is believed to cause pain and is involved in stress and anxiety.



The effect of massage therapy on chronic non-migraine headache showed that a muscle-specific massage therapy technique has the potential to be a functional, non-pharmaceutical drug intervention for reducing the incidence of chronic tension headache. (C Quinn, et al., A. AmJ Public Health. 2000 Oct,92(10):1657-61)


Massage therapy reduces anxiety, improves the quality of life and the behavioral responses to stress. The treatment also improves the long-term prognosis for the headaches as well as the health of the sufferer in general.

(Goffaux-Dogniez C, et al., Encephale. 2003 Sep-Oct;29(5):377-90)



Twenty-six pregnant women were assigned to a massage therapy or a relaxation therapy group for 5 weeks. Only the massage therapy group reported reduced anxiety, improved mood, better sleep and less back pain by the last day of the study. In addition, urinary stress hormone levels decreased for the massage therapy group with fewer complications during labour and their infants had fewer postnatal complications. (Field T, et al., J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 1999 Mar;20(1):31-8)



Two hours after exercise, massage subjects received a 30-minute athletic massage; control subjects rested. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and creatine kinase (CK) were assessed before exercise and after exercise. The results of this study suggest that sports massage will reduce DOMS when administered 2 hours after the termination of exercise and the massage group showed reduced levels of creatine kinase.

(Smith LL, et al, J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1994 Feb;19(2):93-9.)


Creatine kinase is an enzyme which breaks down muscle. Elevated levels indicate damage to either muscle or brain. Physical activity may cause a rise in CK




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About Lymphoedema


Lymphoedema is a chronic condition, which cannot be cured. It means swelling in one part of the body usually an arm or a leg, sometimes both and also in the trunk. The limb can feel heavy, weak, aching and it is accompanied by a decrease in the range of movement. Lymphoedema can be due to a genetic malformation of the lymphatic system or can be secondary to surgery.



Surveys in Australia demonstrate that secondary lymphoedema occurs mostly following treatment for cancer. Up to 300 000 Australians are diagnosed with the condition mostly in the arms and legs.



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The following facts are from the summary of the review of research evidence on secondary lymphoedema by Dr Sandi C Hayes on behalf of The National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, March 2008:


Prevalence of secondary lymphoedema


  • Lymphoedema is prevalent following treatment for breast cancer, affecting about 20% of survivors
  • 70-80% of patients with breast cancer develop lymphoedema within the first 12 months after surgery.
  • About 8000 Australians develop lymphoedema following treatment of other cancers including melanoma, bladder, gynaecological, prostate, head and neck.
  • The incidence of lower-limb secondary lymphoedema following inguinal node surgery seems to be at least as common as upper-limb secondary lymphoedema following axillary node surgery.


Benefits of Complex Lymphatic Therapy


  • Long term use of compression (low-stretch garments or compression bandaging) is effective in reducing and/or controlling limb swelling and may be an essential component of combination physical therapies.
  • Volume reductions of 104 – 156 ml were achieved by manual lymph drainage alone with lager reductions achieved when combined with compression therapy (47-260 ml).
  • Research on the effects of complex physical therapy, manual lymph drainage, compression and massage as options for the management of secondary lymphoedema has produced consistent results, with volume reductions demonstrated.



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  • Early detection and treatment
  • Patient compliance with self-management



Bioimpedance – Early Detection of Lymphoedema


To ascertain that Lymphoedema is present in the arm has always been problematic for breast cancer patients because it is difficult to evaluate the amount of excess fluid in the tissue. With bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) it is possible to evaluate tissue changes related to the presence of fluid in the tissue. This devise is a valuable tool for early detection of fluid build-up in the arms or legs.


Cancer sufferers can now also have a bioimpedance reading before undergoing surgery, which provides the optimum baseline for further readings, although the first reading at anytime also offers a valuable baseline for early detection and progression. What it means is that developing lymphoedema can be detected before clinical symptoms are visible. In one study, bioimpedance predicted the onset of lymphoedema up to 10 months before clinical diagnosis: “Early Diagnosis of Lymphoedema Using Multiple frequency bioimpedance” by B.H. Cornish et al. Lymphology No 34, 2001.


This bioimpedance test is fast and painless. It only takes approximately 10 minutes to perform. Early lymphoedema detection can mean prevention, early treatment, less impact on health and quality of life.



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The clinic is stocked up with support stockings and bandages and it only takes 2 to 3 days when ordering a medical compression garment.


Who wears support stockings?

  • People with healthy legs, standing or sitting for long period of times
  • Light varicose veins
  • Tired and aching legs
  • Traveling by plane or for long hours by car
  • During pregnancy


Who wears a medical compression garment

  • Patients with varicose veins
  • Varicose veins during pregnancy
  • Prevention and management of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Prevention of leg ulcers where varicose veins are present
  • Prevention of leg ulcer recurrence
  • Healing of venous leg ulcers
  • Maintenance of reduction of lymphoedema



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SNIPPETS about Venous Insufficiency


About 60 Qantas pilots and passengers were enlisted to test a compression garment, wearing it on one leg of a trip and flying tights-free on the return leg. This study, funded by a tights manufacturer.

“When subjects wore the (tights) they had a 60% improvement in their leg pain rating at the end of the flight, a 50% improvement in their leg discomfort rating and a 45% improvement in their leg swelling rating,” said Dr Lamberet, from Westmed Hospital in Sydney.


“There was also an 18% improvement in their energy level rating, a 13%improvement in their alertness level and a 12%t improvement in their ability to concentrate”


Lower-leg socks are known to relieve the problem of ankle oedema

(Article published in The Morning Herald, January 20, 2008

and The Courier-Mail on the same date by journalist Tamara McLean)




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We have a special request: "If unable to keep your appointment, could you please advise at least 24 hours in advance, so we do not deprive others of a vacancy"



JM Remedial Therapy & Lymphoedema Clinic

Newsletter issue number 6

December 2008

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