Meet Therapists who help clients after facelift

Meet Therapists who help clients after facelift


Tina B. Tsan


What brought you to massage therapy?


I explored it as an option about 14 years ago when I was waitressing and looking for a career change. 


How did you first get interested in helping people after facelift?


I have been working as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and got a call from someone who had a facelift. Having my own mobile business as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) put me on the map as someone who would have the skill to help with post-surgical swelling. 


What training do you have that helps in your work with post-surgical clients? 


My CLT training helped a little bit but it wasn't entirely catered for post-surgical cases. I have learned a lot through hands on experience, applying manual techniques that I learned for patients with lymphedema to patients with surgery. 


What did you find most valuable in each training class? 


I apply what I learned in my CLT classes to post-plastic surgery. It’s the same principles of compression, skin care and rerouting fluids. 


What advice would you give a massage therapist looking to help clients after facelift?


Be really careful of the sutures in front of and behind the ear. They are very tender and sore. Make sure your hands are very clean or wear gloves. Be very gentle. Have a good bedside manner, make patients feel calm when they are not their best selves. They are scared, nervous and in pain. 



Once you have a business of your own that specializes in post surgery swelling, your work will speak for itself. I have never paid for advertising. I get referrals because surgeons hear about me through their patient. Patients find me and report back to their surgeons. 


Angelica Magnetta


What brought you to massage therapy?


I’ve always enjoyed massage therapy and when I was working a corporate job I noticed how stressed out my coworkers were so I’d go around and massage them. My company relocated so instead of following them, everyone encouraged me to go to massage school. 18 years later my former coworkers still reach out and tell me they miss my massages or come see me.

I fell in love with MLD because I knew several people with cancer while I was in school. So I worked on them and others who were in their oncology support group. 


How did you first get interested in helping people after facelift?


When I began to work for a chiropractor before I finished school, one of his patients came in 5 days post facelift. I had never seen anything like it with all the bruising and swelling, she was unrecognizable. I convinced the chiropractor and the patient to let me do MLD and she was thrilled with the results. She told her surgeon who then referred to me. She continued to refer to me and word of mouth continued as well. 


What training do you have that helps in your work with post-surgical clients? 


Back then no one else was working on post plastic surgery patients. Since I had been doing post surgery MLD for so long, there weren’t many, of any classes offered. So I sat in with clients during their oncology appointments, I met with surgeons yearly and I read lots of literature on plastic surgery and also on Manual Lymphatic Drainage. 


When a new procedure began to trend, a client would call and let me know what she is having done, I would arrange a meeting with her surgeon or another surgeon willing to speak to me about the surgery process so I could figure out how to best help during recovery. It was only in recent years that classes began being offered. I’ve taken a few but it is a lot of what I have already learned or read on my own, they just compile the information. 


What advice would you give a massage therapist looking to help clients after facelift?


Aside from learning textbook and staying up to date on research, I recommend calling up and meeting with surgeons who specialize in face lifts, facial reconstruction and facial oncology. They are a wonderful educational resource. (I did the same for BBL, Tummy Tucks, Lipo etc.) 

When you have an understanding not just of the lymphatic system and benefits, but also knowledge of the surgical procedure and their technique, it really helps you provide unparalleled service for your clients. You also build relationships with surgeons who learn you’re not just another massage therapist and will happily refer their patients to you for post op care.



Heather Evans


What brought you to massage therapy?


I came into massage therapy while I was working as a licensed physical therapists assistant in a hospital based outpatient lymphedema clinic. I had patients asking me to work with them on their lymphedema outside the clinic once they reached a treatment plateau and were required to be discharged from the clinic. At this stage, a condition is deemed maintenance and is not covered by insurance. Patients must pay cash for this non-covered service.


Due to licensure, once cannot perform any Physical Therapy without a physician prescription and plan of care oversight, which is a needless barrier for maintenance self care at home. This is when I went to a massage therapy program to get my license to allow me to legally work with these folks. I found myself repeatedly saying "no" to these requests and realized what a great need there was for this type of lymphatic work. So I got my massage license and I bought a massage table and put it in the trunk of my car and I started saying "yes". I worked evenings and weekends for about 2 years until this became a full time job for me.


I started seeing lymphedema patients and this was my primary workload for several years. For 10 years I had this mobile business and I got my first office space.


How did you first get interested in helping people after facelift?


About 10 years ago I noticed that I was getting calls, not just from lymphedema patients, but from folks that had other conditions that created swelling. Arthritis, autoimmune conditions, post operative orthopedic conditions such as knee surgeries or hip replacements, and cosmetic surgeries. The caseload began to change from folks with chronic swelling from traditional lymphedema to those with temporary or acute type swelling. I credit social media and search engine optimization improvements for this. Patients are educating themselves by reading blogs and educational material online. They are looking for ways to heal faster and heal better.


What training do you have that helps in your work with post-surgical clients? 


What prepared me most for post operative work was the wound care knowledge that I gained in the hospital setting. When we worked with lymphedema patients there we were seeing the worst of the worst and often they had wounds. We worked closely with the wound care team. When I see post operative plastic surgery clients I am not performing wound care. I am not actually even touching their incisions until they have healed and we begin working with their residual scars, however I understand the healing process and I know what to look for with adverse reactions. I have an understanding of the physiology that is occurring as the body heals itself. What I am doing is helping the body do its innate job at a faster and more efficient pace by supporting that process.


Part of my education has been in going to talk to the plastic surgeon and working with them to understand their process and learn more about what they are doing during the surgery so that I can blend my anatomy and physiology of acute edema and wounds with that of my historical experience of chronic wound healing and lymphedema.


What advice would you give a massage therapist looking to help clients after facelift?


The advice I would give someone looking to get into this kind of work is:


1. Understand how the lymphatic system works and functions normally. So that you can really understand how it works during abnormal conditions.


2. Help the patient prepare their lymphatic system BEFORE surgery. Detox and clean up the diet and get some MLD sessions before surgery so that the system is well prepared to receive the extra fluid that comes with tissue damage, and can do its job most efficiently as soon as the first cut happens in the operating room.


Jessica Meirs 


What brought you to massage therapy?


I worked in theatre and film, entering the workforce just as the ‘08 stock market crashed. While I loved the creativity and artistic outlet my work had, it was highly stressful and I was constantly searching for the next job. I couldn’t see myself having a stable work/life balance including children in that picture, so I started massage as I always like anatomy and it was faster/cheaper than medical school.


How did you first get interested in helping people after facelift?


I found MLD about 3 years ago, 7 years into my massage career as just another CE I could take. I was immediately attracted to helping people post surgery and with intensive scar tissue. I am certified in MLD and have taken Advanced Scar Tissue continued education classes. I’ve also worked with athletes and post op clients for years.


What did you find most valuable in each training class? 


The most valuable thing I found in the classes was just the idea of adding to the tool shed; learning a new technique to use in different scenarios, how to work a specific area, suggestions you can give clients. Not to mention changing it up gives you a better idea of what truly does work best/doesn’t work. I also think the most valuable thing is realizing that every class you take, don’t think the teacher is the know-all-end-all expert. Everyone has a bias and there isn’t only one way of approaching a solution.


What advice would you give a massage therapist looking to help clients after facelift?


My advice to an MT is get certified in MLD from a well known school such as Klose or The Vodder School. Look into scar tissue CE classes, as well as k-taping. Self study on techniques they might use on face lifts and how that would affect the results. Develop relationships with plastic surgeons and nurses so you can gather as much information on clients as possible, thereby providing the most helpful and individualized care.



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