CDT - Comprehensive Decongestive Therapy
I have been a certified Lymphedema therapist since 2000 and I was one of the first 10 therapists in Ontario. Over the years I have been happy to help many people in the North Bay area and I ALWAYS have time to treat and advise my lymphedema clients. The first stage of treatments I help get the limb back to a good size and teach the client how to care for the lymphedema. After that I continue to be the resource person and I am always willing to answer a text or call for help or information from my clients.
Lymphedema is a condition that occurs when the lymphatic system becomes blocked in one or several parts of the body. An arm or a leg may begin to swell to many times its normal size. In Canada, this is often the result of a weak lymphatic system, physical trauma, or the side effect of cancer treatment. Until recently there was very little that could be done about this condition, so people would be told to get a compression sock or sleeve and just learn to live with it.
Complex Decongestive Therapy works by first reducing the size of the limb with a specialized type of lymph drainage therapy. The second step is wrapping the limb with combination of short stretch bandages in a specific pattern to keep it at the new, smaller size and to encourage more drainage. This is repeated daily until the normal size is reached and a compression garment is ordered. By this stage of the therapy the patient is able to do the daily maintenance routine on his/her own and is once again in control of his/her body. I always welcome family members or a person's support team to attend a treatment to learn how to help with the daily routine that will be needed to keep the lymphedema under control.
For ongoing lymphedema management compression garments are used on a daily basis and recently night time compression garments that are made of a stiffer fabric are often used instead of the bandaging. These new inventions are wonderful for saving time and for increasing the effectiveness of self lymphedema care.
I also function as a resource person for my lymphedema clients to help keep the self care on track, to help troubleshoot changes in the condition, to arrange for garments and keep my clients up-to-date on new and easier ways to manage their condition.
As a ADP authorizer I can also help my lymphedema clients access a government grant that helps cover the cost of the compression garments and night time garments. The Ontario Government will pay 75% of the cost of these necessary lymphedema garments with generally 6 a year being recommended for ongoing daily use. Please see my resources page for more information and website links related to ADP and lymphedema sites.