Photo of Debra Cox, licensed massage therapist

Welcome!

I'm Debi Cox, a licensed massage therapist with post-graduate training and certification in Manual Lymph Drainage and Combined Decongestive Therapies from the Dr. Vodder School.

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) helps move excess fluids out of swollen tissues and joints, relieving related problems; and it's an effective therapy for lymphedema.

I've worked in healthcare for over 30 years, and I understand that stress is a primary contributor to many illnesses. Massage is a powerful tool to mitigate this risk factor; and it has become my passion.

Education
  • over 700 credit hours of education through the Oregon School of Massage
  • hundreds of hours of post-graduate continuing education, including Vodder certification and recertifications
  • B.S. in Public Health from Empire State College
  • Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health
Healthcare background
  • rural county public health outreach
  • health education
  • administration
  • many non-clinical functions in hospitals. For example, I was a clinical data analyst at Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland.
  • numerous awards from employers and for my volunteer work
Memberships
  • Oregon Massage Therapists Association (OMTA)
  • North American Vodder Association of Lymphatic Therapy (NAVALT)
  • Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP)

I am also a member of a group of certified manual lymph drainage and combined decongestive therapists from the Oregon and Washington communities of Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tualitin, Gresham, and Vancouver.

In addition to private practitioners like myself, all of the major hospitals with certified therapists in the area are represented in our group. This group of professionals is dedicated to sharing information and approaches and expanding our knowledge and skills.

Contact me at

Northwest Manual Lymph Drainage & Massage
In the ‘Body of Work Wellness’ offices
3220 NW 185th Ave, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97229

I’d love to hear from you!

Manual Lymph Drainage

also known as manual lymphatic drainage

Manual lymph drainage (MLD)* relaxes and invigorates the lymphatic system, encourages improved lymph flow, and – in cases where the lymphatic system has been damaged – redirects flow to other channels.

When the lymphatic processes become impaired, significant problems can develop, including metabolic waste and fibrotic tissue build-up, edema (fluid retention), and swelling.

MLD is valuable in pre- and post-operative situations, and is used primarily to treat
  • burns
  • fluid retention in joints and tissues
  • lymph node removal
  • lymphedema
  • venous insufficiency
  • edema
It also has been proven effective therapy for
  • acne
  • allergies
  • chronic fatigue
  • chronic mastitis
  • chronic sinusitis
  • cosmetic surgery
  • migraine headaches
  • scar tissue
  • stress and anxiety
  • whiplash

MLD is a gentle, soothing, medical massage therapy that leaves you feeling pleasantly relaxed and pampered. It is specifically recommended for some weight loss programs such as the Fat Flush diet; and I believe it greatly enhances the effects of the cellulite reduction protocol I use (Lypossage).

Manual lymphatic drainage is a demanding protocol to master. Dr. Vodder certification requires a minimum of 160 hours of lymph drainage training in the classroom, followed by an exacting examination process. Recertification training sessions are required biannually.

If you suspect that lymph drainage may benefit you, it is well worth your time to research the qualifications of your therapist.

Lymphedema Therapy

I am a national lymphedema network affiliate lymphedema therapist

Lymphedema

is a medical condition characterized by swelling of one or more parts of the body due to retention of lymphatic fluid. It can occur spontaneously, with no known cause; or it can result from damage to the lymphatic system caused by injury or surgery. Some people are just born with insufficient capacity in their lymph vessels.

Studies indicate that up to 20% of all patients who have had lymph nodes removed or who have undergone radiation therapy develop lymphedema. It can appear weeks, months, or many years after the procedure.

Signs of Lymphedema
  • swelling of your arm, hand, leg, or neck on the side of your surgery
  • a puffy or “full” sensation in your back, neck, or limb
  • swollen or “tight” feeling skin
  • decreased flexibility in your hand, wrist, or foot
  • a swollen ankle
  • trouble fitting into clothing in one specific area
  • a tight ring, wristwatch, or bracelet

Please consult a physician if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and have not been diagnosed.

There is no known cure for lymphedema, but it can be managed and controlled with proper care.

Lymphedema therapy

begins with a series of closely-spaced sessions during which I use manual lymphatic drainage to reduce the volume of retained lymph in your affected area, followed by careful bandaging. The bandaging is essential to help maintain the reduced volume between treatments, and special bandages are necessary.

Once the size of the area has stabilized, I measure you for a specially-fitted compression garment. You will wear this garment in your daily activities to control swelling and maintain more normal function.

I can supply you with both bandages and compression garments.

I will also teach you simple techniques for self-treatment, and we will discuss self-massage, exercise and diet. Lebed movement, breathing exercises, and swimming are some activities that have been shown to be very helpful.

From time to time, you should return for maintenance sessions or garment refitting.

There are many excellent resources for lymphedema information. I suggest you start with the National Lymphedema Network (NLN).

The NLN website also provides links to several lymphedema support groups, both online and off. There is probably a group that meets near you.

Other useful web resources include the Circle of Hope Lymphedema Foundation, the Northwest Lymphedema Center, and Lymph Notes.

Lebed movement training


If your lymphatic system has been compromised, gentle exercise can help move lymph through and out of the affected area, reducing the risk of edema and other complications.

The Lebed* method was developed specifically to give people like you a simple, gentle, fun, and effective way to help control the effects of lymphatic damage and surgery. It helps you regain strength, flexibility, and confidence.

And the results have been proven in clinical tests.

I’ll be happy to teach you Lebed exercises that address your specific condition.

Just ask!

Lypossage

for cellulite reduction

Lypossage:  The all-natural way to a beautiful body

Lypossage

* is a research-based massage technique that has been proven to reduce cellulite. In clinical studies, 95 out of 100 subjects lost dimension in their targeted zones; and 86% lost 5 inches of cellulite or more. The median loss was 6.75 inches.

Several of my clients have had better results than the research: One lost 14 inches in her waist, hips, and thighs; and another lost 19 inches! I suspect that my certified manual lymph drainage technique improves the elimination of cellulite.

Unlike other techniques, lypossage is non-invasive. It is a way to naturally stimulate and vitalize the body to help it return to a more healthful appearance. There are no surgical procedures, and no special drugs or chemicals are used. It's safer than any other technique — and more fun!

I am one of the first lypossage practitioners in the Portland area, and I'm the only one certified in manual lymphatic drainage. I’m happy to report that my clients consistently remark that they feel GREAT after one of our sessions!

I have witnessed excellent benefits to the body and spirit of people undergoing this great body work.

If you want to firm up a particular area of your body, return to a smoother, healthier appearance, or optimize the visible results of an exercise or weight-loss program, lypossage might be right for you!

Learn more about lypossage here.

Massage Therapy

types and techniques

As a trained massage therapist, I am familiar with several massage techniques and have a good understanding of human physiology. This enables me to tailor a massage to address your unique needs in terms of health, relaxation, and comfort.

I provide both chair and table massages; and I can administer a gentle medical massage that specifically addresses the lymph system.

Debi giving a chair massage

Relaxation chair massage

is a simple, structured, choreographed massage applied through your clothing as you repose in a specially designed chair. It is a great introduction to massage; and a small investment of time yields a great return: reinvigoration and wellness. It's also a very affordable means of managing chronic pain.

Table massage

is performed on your bare skin using lotions or oils as lubricants. By carefully draping your sheets, I expose only those muscles being worked; so neither you nor I feel uncomfortable with the degree of exposure at any time.

The optimal massage session is normally about an hour – long enough to address the major joints and limbs of your entire body. You are always in control. You determine the areas of your body to be worked on; and you determine the length of the massage.

My personal meld of the following table massage techniques is designed to give you an experience of total body relaxation, revitalization, and integration:

  • Swedish massage

    utilizes long, soothing strokes on your muscles, combined with kneading, friction, and stimulating percussion.
  • Myofascial massage

    is a powerful technique for releasing stuck connective tissue that causes pain or restricted movement. It is also effective in reducing and softening scar material.
  • Reiki

    is a subtle gift of healing energy and caring.
  • Reflexology

    applies pressure to specific points on your body (usually feet, hands, or ears) to affect a release and healing elsewhere.
My office is handicapped-accessible, and my electric-lift table lowers to wheelchair-height.

Massage For Support

a caring touch during times of illness

Portrait of Debra Cox, licensed massage therapist

If you are living with cancer or another difficult condition, caring massage can be a wonderful support.

Some kinds of massage might not be appropriate when your body is under medical stress, though. A sensitive and skilled massage therapist can adapt to meet your needs.

And while others on your medical team are treating your illness, your massage therapist can focus her energies towards supporting the aspects of your being that are healthy.

I have trained in massage for people living with cancer and lymphedema. As a rule, my emphasis is on gentle, caring, and effective massage techniques that make you feel better right now.

I'm a professional with heart. When we are together, I try to connect as deeply as possible and to serve you to the best of my ability in that moment. I will always do that whenever you need my support.

Your caregivers often need care, too.

I've supported several families as they shared a hard journey. My life has been remarkably enriched by these wonderful people, and I feel honored that they chose to include me. I always try to give my best.

My office is handicapped-accessible, and my electric-lift table lowers to wheelchair height. I hope to make your massage a truly positive experience.

Hours, payment, and other services

Monday11:30am - 6:00pm
Tuesdayclosed
Wednesday11:30am - 6:00pm
Thursday9:30am - 6:00pm
Friday11:30am - 6:00pm
Saturdayclosed
Sundayclosed

I accept cash, checks, or prepaid gift certificates at time of service only.

I do not accept credit cards or debit cards.

I do not bill insurance.

Compression garment fitting (for clients only)

I am certified to fit Jobst Elvarex, JoViPak, Juzo, and Solaris compression garments; and I bandage for edema as well.

Massage supplies, bandages, and compression garments (for clients only)

I sell massage supplies, bandages, and compression garments to my clients. I do not sell over the web, by email, mail, or telephone because I want to focus on care, not retailing.

Gift certificates

I sell gift certificates for any occasion, but please allow three days for us to make an exchange. I'm often not available because I'm with clients.

Directions to my office


Northwest Manual Lymph Drainage & Massage
In the ‘Body of Work Wellness’ offices
3220 NW 185th Ave., Suite 100
Portland, OR 97229

Office: 503-466-0581

My office is in the Beaverton/Portland area, just off the Sunset highway (US 26)/185th Ave exit, convenient to Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, and Hillsboro Oregon.

The building is handicapped-accessible, and I use an electric-lift massage table suitable for my wheelchair clients.

From Portland
  • Take highway 26 west to 185th Ave. (exit 64).
  • Turn right onto 185th Ave. (north).
  • Turn right at Bronson (the second light).
  • Immediately turn left into the shopping complex.
  • My office is in the Body Wellness Center, in the back of the complex (east side).
  • You can drive around the complex in either direction, but I recommend you turn left and drive around the north side.
From the coast
  • Take highway 26 east to the 185th Ave. exit (exit 64).
  • Turn left onto 185th Ave. (north).
  • Turn right at Bronson (the third light).
  • Immediately turn left into the shopping complex.
  • My office is in Body of Work Wellness, in the back of the complex (east side).
  • You can drive around the complex in either direction, but I recommend you turn left and drive around the north side.

Click here to view a Google map to my office.