Lymphatic Drainage Speeds Recovery and Reduces Pain

Our lymphatic system works to keep us healthy. Without our lymphatic system working we would swell up like a balloon and stagnant fluid would swamp our cells.  When our lymphatic system is sluggish we can suffer from aches, pains, and low energy. Lymph Drainage Massage can stimulate the opening of the Lymphatic one-way valves and increase the volume of lymph flow by as much as 20%.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage can be used both preoperative to prepare the tissue and post-operative to relieve discomfort, swelling and remove cellular debris caused by the trauma of surgery. Knee, hip, back and neck surgery recovery can be added by lymphatic massage therapy. Liposuction and plastic surgery can traumatize tissues, lymph vessels and the interrupted lymph flow can cause reduced healing, fibrosis scar tissue, dimpling and uneven skin. Poor lymph flow after surgery can cause the development of fluid pockets.

I also used KT tape to relieve pain and swelling between treatments.  Manual Lymphatic Drainage and massage can speed recovery and improve the results.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Deborah Karlan, L.M.T. has been a massage therapist Her Wellness From Within office is at 2158 Drew Street in Clearwater. Her information website is For questions and appointments and to find harmony and balance with massage, please call 7276418979. FL License MA4487, Est. MM27138.

So do you have a maintenance manual for your body

We did not come with a maintenance manual. But you must admit that it would be handy. As we age we loose flexibility, stamina, and the resiliency of our youth. Responsibilities for our family’s, our jobs or business, greatly increases our stress. It becomes more difficult to balance work, exercise; family, and time for ourselves, It is easy to find ourselves lost in our daily tasks of survival without a plan. A body maintenance program is important if we want to age gracefully and maintain our sanity and vitality.

To really work, your maintenance manual must be designed by you. You know if you are overeating, under exercising, stressed out and out of balance. So start with sensible changes. Write down how you are feeling. What you what to change and your reason to change. That is how you begin your manual. Then note what works and what does not work.

Ok, I can give you the summery of what I have developed. I eat healthy food. I take supplements that enhance my immune system and protect my heart and bones. I stretch and exercise 30 minutes a day and I get a chiropractic adjustment once a month. I get a massage every two weeks. I have maintained my balance and energy through the crisis and my program is the key to my health.

According to the Mayo Clinic studies have found massage helpful for: stress relief, managing anxiety and depression, pain, stiffness, blood pressure control, soft tissue injuries, and boosting immunity. Beyond these benefits massage can provide comfort and a sense of empowerment. I hope you will consider adding massage to you maintenance manual.


The problems of a “Finger Athlete”

Last week Mary came to me with severe pain in her hands, wrists and arms. She had been working overtime and spending long hours typing to complete an assignment. Her doctor said that she should rest, wear a wrist and hand brace and it should improve in time. She was afraid she could not finish her work due to the pain.

Understanding why and how finger, hand and arm activity develop and progress into painful problems can be the key to preventing and resolving them. Finger, hand and arm pain can be a debilitating problem. Many working people are plagued with carpel tunnel, hand and wrist pain. Court recorders, secretaries, programmers, massage therapists, chiropractors, and many others suffer from this common problem.

So why does this happen? Are we acting like finger athletes? Are we giving the preventative care that it requires? When we use a body part with a high level of activity it requires help to keep pain free. As we use our fingers, hands and arms our muscles tighten, and contract. Over time activities can cause shortening of the muscles and tendon fibers. When the muscle fibers shorten and we continue to demand the same level of activity from our muscles what happens? We get micro tissue tears and start to form scar tissue which binds and becomes inflamed. This often leads to tendinitis, muscles strains and in the wrist carpel tunnel. Simple stretching exercises, soaking in a hot tub and therapeutic massage can prevent and treat these problems. With some therapeutic massage and isolated active stretching she was able to complete her work.

If you are a “Finger Athlete” come in and learn how to treat and prevent problems.

Deborah Karlan, LMT

Habits to Help Stop Your TMJ

Simple Habits to Help Stop or Control Your TMJ
1. Avoid holding the telephone between your shoulder and ear. Instead, prop your elbow up on books and hold the telephone to your ear.

2. When sneezing or yawning, put your chin down on your chest.

3. Avoid activities that make your jaw pop or click.

4. Don’t open your mouth too wide or jiggle your jaw around unless you have been specifically instructed to do this.

5. Support groups or Pshychologist can be a big help in dealing with your pain.

6. Lips together – teeth apart, and tongue to the roof of your mouth.

7. Avoid tasks that require holding the muscles in a prolonges fixed position.

8. Simplify your life as much as possible.

9. Avoid pain behaviors.

10. Find ways to take your mind off the pain; reading, classical music, sports.

11. Watch your posture, especially when you are in pain.

12. A positive, hopeful attitude really helps.

13. Try different forms of stress reduction – yoga, biofeeback, meditation, relaxation exercises.

14. Relax.

15. Ask questions, be informed.

16. Use Cervical pillows.

17. Avoid jutting your jaw forward.

18. Take medications as prescribed and only as needed.

19. Discuss all your TMJ symptoms with your doctor, dentist and physical therapist.

20. Stay active, continue to see your friends.

21. Moist heat or cold can be used on both your face and neck. Some people use heat on their neck and ice on their face for 5 to 15 minutes, then switch with heat on the face and ice on the neck.

22. Massage your face, temples and neck.

23. Postural support bra (bestforms) helps pull your shoulders back and maintain an erect posture. It also helps distribute the weight of heavy breasts.


1. Avoid sit-ups, especially if you use your neck muscles to pull up.

2. Do not clench or set your jaw when you lift weights.

3. Walk 3 miles per day.

4. Scuba diving if hard on the jaw and should be avoided.

5. Try physical therapy.

Cleansing for Optimal Health

We live in a very toxic world, our food is sprayed with pesticides, GMO  adulterated, and our tap water contains chemicals, hormones, medications and pesticides. Many people have toxic over- load, they have difficulty concentrating, have unhappy digestive systems and have pain in the tissues and joints. A proactive approach to body cleansing can improve health.  To define body cleansing we must think of more than just colon cleansing.  Detoxification must be viewed as a total body process for all the organ systems and the channels of elimination. The 5 primary channels of elimination are the colon, the kidneys, the skin, the lungs and the liver. There are many approaches that can be used to detoxify the colon, kidneys, skin, lungs and liver. Some of the most effective ways are using dietary changes, herbal cleansing programs, colon hydrotherapy, saunas /steam baths and skin brushing, fasting, nutrient supplementation and exercise.

The first step is colon cleansing since a clogged colon must be cleared before the other channels of elimination can be detoxified.  Colon cleansing with herbs and colon hydrotherapy create a pathway for the rest of the organs to begin to detoxify. Colon hydrotherapy (colonics) is a safe and effective method of removing waste form the large intestine.  In my early 20’s I had a clogged colon and I was tired and unhealthy. In 1977 the doctor I worked for detoxified me with colonics, diet, fasting, and supplements and changed my life forever. Today I have an abundance of energy, my colon and digestive system work efficiently and I am rarely sick.  I encourage you to detoxify and restore you health.

Deborah Karlan, LMT

Craniosacral: The Other Body Rhythm

We are all aware of the rhythm of the breath and the rhythm of our heart beat.  There is also another important body rhythm, the Craniosacral Rhythm. The normal rhythm of the craniosacral system is between 10- 12 cycles per minute. Trauma and health issues can cause deviation from the normal rhythm.

Jamie came to me with complaints of headaches and low back pain.   About two years ago her pain began after a fall. She landed on her tail bone.  According to Jamie’s doctors report there was no structural problems to explain her pain. However, her fall could have caused a disruption of the craniosacral rhythm.  She responded well to a combination of therapy which included Craniosacral Therapy (CST), a light-touch approach that gently works with the skull and its cranial sutures, the diaphragms, and the bodies’ fascia and muscles to balance the craniosacral rhythm.

Craniosacral therapy releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. In this way, the restrictions of nerve passages are eased, the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord is optimized, and harmony is restored to the body.    Because craniosacral therapy is so gentle, it can be effective for all ages, from newborns to elders. The conditions that I have most helped with Craniosacral therapy are migraines, tensions headaches, and chronic neck pain, back pain, stress, tension related disorders, learning disabilities, dyslexia, fibromyalgia, and TMJ syndrome. Our Craniosacral rhythm is very important to our health, our structure and our immune system.

If you are interested in learning more about Craniosacral Therapy or to set up an appointment call Deborah Karlan, LMT  at 727-799-6066.

Florida License # MA4487
Deborah Karlan, LMT

Shoulder Imbalances

After gardening and playing tennis, Steve came to me with pain in his shoulder and upper arm. Injuries of the shoulder muscles and tendons are among the most common complaints of my clients. The majority of my client’s shoulders are forward due to poor posture patterns and repetitive motion or trauma. The muscles in the back of the body become overstretched and weak, and the muscles in the front of the body become tight and contracted.  This imbalance around the shoulder creates tensions in the joint, causing a neuromuscular attempt to restore balance.  This imbalance makes us more vulnerable to shoulder injuries.   By assessing the restrictions in Steve’s muscles, I was able to create a treatment protocol to address his pain.  I realized that the shoulder pain was most likely from myofacial restrictions and trigger points in the muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder. If left untreated, the pain in the muscles and tendons of the shoulder could continue for a long period of time without resolution. These shoulder problems can lead to joint degeneration and arthritis as the cartilage wears down and causes problems in the joint.

We as humans have a great range of motion and strength in our shoulders; however, the shoulder socket is not deep. Picture the shoulder joint like a shallow dish with a ball attached.  When we strained muscles and tendons, we can cause micro-tears to the muscle tissues. When the muscle tissues tear, matted scare tissue formx to repair the damage. The scar tissue binds and causes pain in motion. Trigger Points form which will refer pain up the neck and down to the back and arm.   The protocol needed to help the body to heal would include massage, myofacial release and multidirectional friction, eccentric scar tissue alignment, and stretching and toning to achieve pain free movement.

Deborah Karlan, LMT