Massage therapist lends helping hand to patients

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Cindy Lichtenhahn operates Grand Mesa Therapeutic Massage and Lymphatic Enhancement Center in Grand Junction. Lichtenhahn offers therapeutic massages as well as treatments for the lymphatic system. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Cindy Lichtenhahn believes in the therapeutic benefits of massage to not only relieve pain and promote well-being, but also improve the function of the network of vessels and nodes that serves as a kind of drainage system for the body.

Lichtenhahn does both in operating Grand Mesa Therapeutic Massage and the Lymphatic Enhancement Center in Grand Junction.

Lichtenhahn offers a variety of therapeutic massage techniques she customizes for her patients, including Swedish and deep tissue massages as well as ortho-bionomy therapy.

She also offers lymphatic enhancement with manual techniques as well as instruments that stimulate the lymphatic system.

In addition, Lichtenhahn treats lymphedema, the swelling that occurs most often as a result of surgical or radiation treatments for cancer.

Lichtenhahn works with Sue Bird, who specializes in myofascial release to treat pain, injuries and other disorders.

Lichtenhahn said she became a massage therapist after discovering herself the benefits of massage to relieve the pain associated with compressed discs in her back.

What she said she initially thought was a luxury was, in fact, a treatment with healthful benefits.

In addition to becoming a licensed massage therapist, Lichtenhahn completed additional training in lymphatic enhancement therapy.

The lymphatic system consists of a network of vessels and nodes that rid the body of toxins, bacteria, viruses and wastes. “It’s a drainage system,” Lichtenhahn said.

Lymphatic enhancement through manual manipulation or the use of instruments that stimulate the system improve flow and function, Lichtenhahn said.

While diseases sometimes affect the lymphatic system, problems more often occur as a result of cancer treatments, she said. Vessels and nodes are surgically removed. Radiation can cause scarring and inflammation.

Mild and sometimes severe and painful swelling can occur as a result.

The affliction can’t be cured, but can be managed she said. Along with therapeutic techniques, Lichtenhahn offers compression bandaging as well as fittings for compression garments.

It’s important that those who experience swelling to seek out an assessment and treatment, she said. “They don’t have to suffer. They really don’t.”

Whether her patients need massage to relieve pain, improve lymphatic function or simply feel better, Lichtenhahn said one of the most rewarding aspects of her work is to offer help. “The thing I like, the best part of it, is it’s so effective.”

Grand Mesa Therapeutic Massage and Lymphatic Enhancement Center is located at 609 North Ave., Suite 2, in Grand Junction. For additional information, call 755-0284 or visit the website at www.gmtmassage.com.