Since becoming an accredited Instructor with Vodder Schools International I have received numerous emails and questions from people wanting to know about ‘other’ training programs.
I can’t comment on the content or quality of any other courses but there are some facts that prospective students should be aware of.
Recognition of your qualification
If you are planning to treat people with lymphoedema then you should only consider courses which are recognised for entry to the National Lymphoedema Practitioner Register (NLPR). The NLPR is an assessed register which means that everyone on it has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications suitable for lymphoedema management.
The NLPR is managed by the Australasian Lymphology Association which is the peak body for lymphoedema therapists in Australia and New Zealand. You can read more about the ALA and the NLPR at lymphoedema.org.au
Benefits of listing on the NLPR are:
- Access to client services. Some institutions such as DVA now require the therapist to be a member of the NLPR in order to provide rebates. Most garment schemes also have this requirement.
- Validity of your services. Because the register is assessed it is used and trusted and by health professionals who want to refer patients
What technique is being taught?
There are two primary techniques used for lymphatic drainage.
- Lymphatic effleurage. Performed with a flat stroking movement. It acts like squeezing a tooth paste tube. You clear the fluid inside the lymph vessels by applying a light pressure along the lymph pathway.
- Manual lymph drainage (MLD) which is a very precise movement of the skin in a circular direction. This triggers a reflex in the lymph vessels which increase their pumping activity. It is like turning on the vacuum cleaner, the increased movement in the vessels will ‘suck’ the fluid from the extracellular space into the distal end of the lymph vessel. This increased lymph motoricity has been shown to last for several days after the treatment.
“Stationary Circles” The foundation technique in MLD. The skin is stretched in a circular pattern with an increasing pressure and then passively returned to a zero phase. This precise pressure (imagine the weight of a couple of coins resting on the skin) and movement of the skin is what activates the lymph vessels to pump harder.
What other conditions will I be able to treat?
People with lymphoedema often have complex needs – frozen shoulders, knee and hip replacements, carpal tunnel etc. Any increased inflammation in the body will exacerbate lymphoedema, and the symptoms of these conditions seem to be exacerbated in the lymphoedema limb. Only the Dr Vodder course provides training in drainage of all deeper structures such as joint capsules, skeletal-muscular attachments and trigger points.
And what most people don’t realise is that you can use these same techniques to treat everything you might have previously treated with deep remedial techniques. With MLD you will get a better result faster without pain for the client and without stressing out your own body. Sounds too good to be true right? Have a look at some of the case studies on the Facebook Page
Quality in training is a key component of the Vodder School philosophy
and I am proud to be accredited by them to teach this important technique. The courses offered by Vodder Schools International meet and exceed the Australian Lymphology Association (ALA) Training Guidelines for Lymphoedema
The Vodder School also offers a review class to keep therapists current with clinical practice and research on an international level. Practical trainers accredited by the school (like me) undergo an intensive 4 – 8 week training program at each level and must pass stringent practical and theory exams. Instructors must also renew their accreditation annually.
This ensures that every instructor is completely up to date with latest research and clinical practice and to maintain a high standard of technical expertise. Lymphoedema assessment and theory is taught by internationally recognised academic and medical experts in their field. In Australia this is often Professor Neil Piller.
A biography of all instructors can be viewed at vodderschool.com.