Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Beef Stew Approach to Therapeutic Massage

How do you prepare a Beef Stew? A little bit of carrot, a little bit of celery, onion, garlic and spice, you don't just use one big potato.

This is how I like to treat my clients/patients. I start with a complete evaluation, previous medical history and review of medications. We will discuss your concerns and short and long-term goals. I will develop a treatment protocol for you.

We don't always need to do a full-body massage. If your chief complaint is low back pain on one side, we should focus on that area if we have a time constraint.

I will test your range of motion, assess the texture and temperature of your skin, and
determine if hot or cold therapy is indicated. If we need to increase circulation, we can start with warming up the fascia with compression, swedish massage, warm moist towels, or hot stones. I often incorporate myofascial release to create space in the connective tissues. Gradually the fascia will soften allowing for deeper strokes to separate muscle fibers and break down adhesions and scar tissue. Often, trigger point therapy is indicated.

If the client is under a lot of stress or has a difficult time relaxing, I can incorporate CranioSacral Therapy to calm the nervous system that will induce the parasympathetic response to promote relaxation.

Trust me to take care of you. I will do everything I can do make you feel comfortable and relaxed to promote a healing atmosphere.

Contact Christina M. Mitchell, LMT, PFT, MLD/CDP at (239)-293-0960. MM22673
Email: Website:

Christina M. Shirley, LMT


What should you expect at your initial evaluation for lymphedema?

Bring with you to your first appointment:

A list of you medications and supplements.
Any compression garments you are currently wearing or have worn in the past.
Any bandages or foam you may have.
You can bring a family member or caretaker, or anyone that will be assisting with you care.

A complete history will be taken to determine what is causing the edema. We will ask you about the symptoms you have noticed, such as swelling, tingling or a heaviness, as well as the frequency, onset and triggers.

During the manual examination, your therapist will palpate or feel for any signs of fibrosis, or scarring of the soft tissue under the skin.

Your therapist will talk to you about your goals. We will take photos and measurements of the affected areas. We check the integrity of your skin, looking for fragility, woulds, skin color, or signs of infection.

Your therapist will determine if a Manual Lymph Drainage treatment is appropriate for you at that time. We will discuss exercise, diet and skin care.

If compression bandaging is determined necessary, we will schedule an appointment in a few days to start the bandaging process.

I want my patients to feel positive and empowered, knowing they are doing everything possible to treat their condition.

If you need an evaluation for your chronic swelling, you can contact Christina M. Mitchell, LMT, Certified Lymphedema Therapist, (239) 293-0960.