In October, 2017 Voyage LA ran a feature of Lisa Gainsley and the work she does with The Lymphatic Message in Los Angeles.
Lisa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In the late 80’s in college in San Francisco, I studied Cultural Anthropology. I was really interested in how different cultures approached healing. I was specifically drawn to how the west assimilated healing modalities from around the world. At that time even acupuncture wasn’t as widely accepted in this country as it is today.
After college, I enrolled in massage school in Marin County in 1993. Lymphatic massage was one of my required courses. I fell in love with the work! Receiving regular lymphatic massages helped my digestive issues and acne. It relived my bloating and congestion and calmed my nervous system. I had never felt anything like it before, I was aware of how my gut health related to my overall well-being, I enjoyed working on the lymph system- the precision of the strokes which are gentle, but intentional in their direction and cadence.
I was fascinated by the science and biology of our lymphatic system- how it runs like rivers similar to the blood stream, absorbing, transporting and filtering our bodies waste before returning it to the bloodstream.
One day, my teacher told the class that if we continued taking advanced courses we would be able to work with cancer patients. I suddenly flashed back to when I was a kid, lying next to my mom with the sound of lily ponds and waterfalls playing on her cassette tape – intent on relaxing her body to fight her disease. We learned visual imagery and guided meditation as a family to help my mom battle cancer and its side effects. Right then I knew I found what I was supposed to do.
After taking all the courses in lymphatic drainage, and assisting my teacher for years. I went on to get two certifications, join the team at UCLA medical center, and then eventually go into private practice here in Los Angeles.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
For the most part, my career has been a smooth road. I have continued to follow what I love to do and what I am passionate about. I believe that if you follow what you are interested in, then opportunities and success will follow if you work hard, are kind and compassionate.
One of the struggles we face in our field is bringing awareness to the importance of lymphatic health and how it is integral to your immunity. Over the last two decades I have seen great strides in how doctors and nurses advocate for Lymphedema prevention. Our government has passed legislation allowing some treatments to be covered by insurance. Research and grants are advancing breakthroughs in the field. There is more work to do. Spokespeople like Kathy Bates, bring attention to the importance of the lymph system in maintaining health.
But there is more to do. My goal is to make lymphatic health a household term and bring lymphatic treatments to the forefront of the wellness industry.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the The Lymphatic Message story. Tell us more about the business.
Lymphatic treatments are beneficial for everyone whether you are invested in obtaining optimal health or are experiencing a health issue. Benefits include boosting your immunity and detoxifying your body.
I am known in the community for helping people reduce inflammation in their bodies. A large percentage of my clients are seeking relief from the side effects of medical procedures or cancer treatments. Lymphatic drainage is a gentle, specific modality which relaxes your nervous system, manages swelling, repairs tissue post-surgery and prevents Lymphedema.
What sets me apart from others is that I work preventatively. My training is extensive. MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) and CDT (compete decongestive therapy) is more common once swelling becomes chronic and difficult to manage. Early intervention and education is key reversing inflammation.
My goal with each client is you support their healing response. MLD allows the body to connect to its natural state of wellness and balance by encouraging elimination of daily toxins to relieve sluggish congestion.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I am lucky to have good fortune on my side in many ways. I have wonderful clients who put their trust and faith in me. They spread the message of lymphatic health by sharing their healing journey with friends and family. My clientele is based on word of mouth. I am lucky to have such meaningful work. It’s so rewarding to bear witness to those who are creating balance and health in their lives.
On the flip side, it was damn rotten luck that my mother passed away when I was only 13. Cancer sucks. I don’t recommend it to anyone- but it did lead me to my life’s work…