The system lifts and firms tissue and helps remove stagnant lymphatic fluid.
By L. CROW
During these hot summer months when most of us bare our skin, we want to look our best. Women, especially, often get frustrated when they put on a swimsuit and don't like what they see in the mirror. There is, however, a relatively new massage technique for body contouring, called Lypossage, developed by internationally recognized massage therapy educator and practitioner Charles W. Wiltsie in the late 1990s. The method has its healthful benefits, too, and massage therapist Julie Beaumier of Boardman has integrated it into the wide range of techniques she practices.
Beaumier received her license in massage therapy in 1997 from the National Institute of Massotherapy in Akron. She traveled to Las Vegas to study Lypossage with Mercedes Jordan in February 2004, who had studied with Wiltsie himself. She has been doing this technique with her clients, and has seen some amazing results.
"With Lypossage, you don't lose weight; you lose inches," says Beaumier. "Most women can drop two dress sizes. One woman lost 151/2 inches. We work mostly on the lower abdomen, buttocks, hips and thighs. The technique tones and contours the body because it lifts and firms sagging tissue."
How it works
From a health viewpoint, Lypossage helps cleanse the body of toxins. Wiltsie developed this method by combining other massage techniques, such as deep tissue and manual lymph drainage. According to the official Lypossage informational literature, "Lypossage cleanses the body of stagnant, stalled lymphatic fluid [Lymphoedema] that can create lumps and bulges we know as figure imbalance. The deeper Lypossage strokes break up adhesions under the skin that can contribute to the dimpled, uneven appearance of cellulite."
The literature also notes that congested (fatty) tissue is often cool to the touch because circulation is poor in these areas. "The body is being cleansed of toxins and retained fluids, so there is also an enhancement of energy and mental clarity," Beaumier says. "And of course, most women's self-esteem improves when they look great."
The treatments require a commitment of six weeks, three times a week, without missing an appointment, resulting in 18 sessions. Beaumier does one session for the client before the client decides if she wants to commit to the whole treatment. "This technique involves deep massage and vigorous work on the body, which some women can't handle," Beaumier says. But she also says that so far, all of her clients have opted for the whole program.
Each treatment begins with the client on her stomach. Beaumier starts with the legs, in a motion called "skin rolling," pulling the skin from the inner to outer leg, with light, medium and deep touch. "Wringing" is like a kneading action, also light, medium and deep. "Tapotment" is a fast and vigorous pounding, to break up adhesions. Then she works on the buttocks, also skin rolling and tapotment, and adding "compression," a pulling forward and down motion, and "twisting." She follows that with "effleurage" on the legs, smoothing the skin upward using cream. The client then turns over, and Beaumier works on the abdomen using skin rolling, wringing, effleurage and "myofascial massage," a pulling of the skin as the client inhales and exhales. She then performs "inguinal strokes," gentle pumping to move the lymph, on the abdomen and repeats the technique on the front of the legs.
Therapy and relaxation
Beaumier also does therapeutic and relaxation massage and is devoted to helping her clients find relief from their pain. "I am always thinking and seeing each person healed before I walk into the room," says Beaumier. "We learned in school that intention is 90 percent of the business, and I understand what that means. I always ask a higher power for guidance. I do a combination of techniques. Each client is different, and they come to me for different reasons. I always let my clients know that they should tell me if something I am doing is uncomfortable. Some people like deep tissue massage, but others prefer a lighter touch."
Beaumier works to help alleviate pain on clients with fibromyalgia, arthritis, injuries and stress. She also works with workers' compensation clients. Her clients appreciate her reliability and say she goes the extra mile to help and accommodate them, often staying late at her office. Joe Corpa of Struthers injured his neck and cracked his back in a tow motor accident in 1993 at Hynes Industries. He continued to work for nine more years, until the pain became intolerable. "Julie can feel in my neck and spine where I need work, and gives me 2-3 days of relief from the pain," he said. "She is so good-hearted. Whenever I need to see her, she fits me in."
Other satisfied clients
Jack Martin, battalion chief for the Youngstown Fire Department has been going to Beaumier for seven years for relaxation massage and relief from stress.
"Julie is the first massage therapist I ever went to," said Martin. "She has really strong hands, and can work tension out of my back, neck and shoulders. It's so relaxing, I want to go to sleep."
Perhaps one of Beaumier's more senior clients is 93-year-old Thomas DiCarlo, who was in pain for five years. "I went everywhere I could go to ask for help," he said. "They told me at The Cleveland Clinic I had a clogged artery. No one would do surgery on me because they said I was too old. I spent all kinds of money and got lots of shots, but nothing helped." Finally, a friend told him about Beaumier, and he went to her for one massage. "She worked on me, and the pain is gone," he said. "And I don't limp anymore." He said he is now able to help out his wife and goes out to feed the birds. He's still taking it slow but plans to get back on the golf course and start walking to church again.
XLaughing Crow is a practitioner of holistic healing. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.