Summer News From Jane Wigg of Lymphoedema Training Academy
Hello, what a busy summer we’re having. At LTA, we tend not to hold training over the summer due to many people enjoying the holiday period, giving us time to invest in areas we need to focus on with our admin team. Of course, our sister company, LymphVision, is still busy with ongoing lymphofluoroscopy mapping clinics and treatment, and staff will also take their well-deserved holiday time.
Throwback to before I started my Lymphoedema Journey!
Over the last semester, I’m pleased to say we have trained 41 new lymphoedema and MLD therapists, allowing more people with lymphoedema to gain access to more treatment. We have had nine therapists undergo our specialist-certified lipoedema training, in addition to our international training and 38 review students. Lipoedema training is an essential addition to lymphoedema training and management. My common thread line of ‘We don’t know what we don’t know’ becomes even more apparent with this training.
Our latest group feedback was
"The course is essential for all clinicians caring for this patient cohort; it is packed with in-depth, invaluable insights into the global perspectives of key opinion leaders. Every day in practice reinforces the value of my investment in this course".
"Thank you. You were a great source of information, and I have come away with a lot more confidence and knowledge. I've been looking at patients from a different perspective now."
Our next training will see us revisit, with updated research from the last year, any changes in lipoedema management due to this. It is live with our experts from the USA, Dr. Karen Herbst, Leslyn Kieth, Cathrine Seo, and Dr. Carmody, in addition to Prof. Keeley, Prof. Belgrado, and Sherie Fetzer, to name a few. We still have a few places remaining if you’re open to up-skilling to learn the specifics of this condition. The link is here: https://www.lymph.org.uk/slm.
On July 21, LTA celebrated 21 years of training healthcare professionals, and we are pleased to say we celebrated with cake and bubbles. Our ‘Audience with Prof. Mortimer’ was unfortunately cancelled due to train strikes and disruption, but we moved our ‘train the trainer’ day forward and forged through with plans for next year. We’re really excited as we advance programmes and training, understanding the changing world of lymphology, treatments, trends, and services. There is a definite need to combine the offering of both private and NHS services while respecting the limitations of both and how to unite to ensure the best treatment and care for those living daily with lymphatic conditions.
We also carried out our super-advanced training, "New insights into lymphatic conditions and management, and were privileged to receive expert training from Professor Belgrado.
His knowledge, dedication, and deep understanding of not only the lymphatic system but also the vascular system and all its connections and wider implications are incredible. The pure application of science, from physics to chemistry and biomechanics, means not only our training has changed but also our own independent practices moving forward. This was brand new knowledge for the delegates, but it’s the ongoing building blocks of LTA’s portfolio of knowledge that impact, essentially, patient care and how we need to modify and change treatment programmes in order to achieve better outcomes. We will be privileged again next year for Professor Belgrado to repeat this training to take our experts to an even higher level. One of our delegates gave feedback: "3 days wasn’t long enough; when you are in the company of someone so great, you need a lifetime! The knowledge he shared, based on his extensive research and years of experience, has opened my eyes to so much. I came away assessing my patients with different eyes and basing my treatment on clear evidence and physics. Thank you so much’.
In addition to all of this, and on a lighter note, I completed my training to become a Laughter Yoga trainer. You may question how we can go from such a scientific approach to laughter, but this is something that has captured my attention over many years. Understanding how ‘laughter (really) is the best medicine’ and how mindset assists with not only chronic illness but everyday living. It is all-inclusive, a great activity, and releases all the right chemicals to help us through life. Although it may not be for everyone, over the years, I have probably discussed this with every group of students, and although they think I’m slightly'mad' they mostly laugh—if their heads will allow them to do so! LTA will be establishing laughter yoga training in 2024 to allow for therapists to lead their own sessions with anyone who can be supported with this therapy—essentially everyone! Fitting nicely with our lifestyle sessions, ‘Turnabout’ and laughter yoga are available for all.
Besides training, we are always looking to support patients directly. We have started to embrace another new product known as Powerhands. You may know I love gadgets and innovation. I love laser or photobiomodulation (PBM) as one of my chosen electrotherapies for wound healing, tissue repair, and to reduce thickening of lymphatic tissue, but often simple solutions assist people with lymphoedema too. We have recently started using Powerhands, resistance bands for hands (and feet!) initially developed for muscle strengthening and to reduce conditions such as tennis and golfer’s elbow. To investigate, we asked a few ladies to use them while having ICG imaging and looked at the results. We could see enhanced movement of lymph in functioning channels compared to not using them or doing hand extension. Please remember that this is not research and only a simple observational investigation with a few people, but it has potential as a good, simple self-management tool. Working with Powerhands, there’s a 25% reduction code if you buy through LTA! https://www.lymph.org.uk/powerhands
One of our presentations accepted as an abstract for the BLS Conference in October is our survey into the addition of ozone therapy for lymphoedema. We are currently still inviting local patients to join us, but results are encouraging and will be presented at the BLS conference at www.thebls.com. We first started using ozone for patients with fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, auto-immune conditions, and joint pain or arthritis. You can find out more about ozone here and how it works with the immune system: www.lymphozone.com.
I think that’s enough for now as an overview. Thank you for taking the time to read, and thank you for all you do to help and support people with lymphatic conditions. As our mission states, people living with lymphatic conditions deserve better.
‘Till next time.