Welcome to July y'all. Life has been very busy here for me of late. In early May I went to Denver (Colorado) for the Klose Lymphedema Conference. It was a wonderful experience - so many brilliant speakers, and the nicest people to mingle with and share ideas with. I stayed with another Austin CLT/LMT (Geri Ruane) and flew back wtih another Austin CLT/LMT (Destiny Lehew).
Then we soldiered on to the end of the school year on May 24. While the kiddos slept, I took off to the Austin Lymphedema Research Forum. This was an intense 3 days of presentations from world class researchers into the field of lymphatic studies. There was much talk about research on mouse models, chemical signalling, advances in cancer care, engineering, genetic studies into lymphatic disorders etc. For most of the time, I had no idea about what was being discussed. New terminology was being thrown around, and I felt like I needed to learn a new language to keep up. It has given me a deeper insight into the complexities of research and perhaps a slight ability to further appreciate reading heavy scientific articles. I am sure with google, I may be able to decipher the science and terminology a little further. I was fortunate to catch up with Christina Hankins, an Austin CLT/PT - we sat together and scratched our heads together!
Once this forum was over, we were into June. And the time rapidly passed and I got the whole family to accompany me to Chicago. This was so I could attend the International Lymphedema Federation Conference in mid June. Here we go again - many great presenters and posters, lots of networking with both researchers, clinicians and lymphies (people living with lymphedema). Another great conference. Trouble is, I now have bags full of notes - and I need to get organised to present some of the information I have gathered to an enthusiastic group of clinicians in Austin in 2 weeks' time. What have I learned overall? That lymphedema is still a bugger to treat. The more we learn, the more we find we don't really understand how to help each individual. Each person has a unique system, and the research is still in its infancy. There are not many high quality articles out there, and not many done over a long period of time. But they are coming. With the increasing use of ICG videofluoroscopy, it appears that therapists will be changing the routes they take when doing MLD/lymph massage on their clients. Compression is still in - but how much compression, and when to use it, remains controversial. No one size fits all, for sure!
Along with all the travel that I have done this year, I still have another city on my hit list - Boston! So the boys and I shall take off for there next week for a few days - to check out the sites, sounds and flavors - and, of course, the history!! Can't wait.
Once the kids return to school in late August, I hope to return to working more steadily - with a focus on lymphedema, oncology, and perhaps, Lomi Lomi! Yes, another course is coming up for me at the end of July. I look forward to learning another modality for relaxation massage. Stay tuned! :)