Linda-Anne Kahn, President of Lymphatic Therapy Services of San Diego, is an internationally acclaimed practitioner with over 35 years of experience in treating conditions like Lymphedema, Lipedema, Dercums, Chronic Venous Insufficiency, and Lyme disease. Trained in various prestigious institutions worldwide—including the Dr. Vodder School in Austria and the Dr. Foeldi School in Germany—she’s a certified expert in Manual Lymph Drainage. Linda-Anne’s integrative approach blends lymph massage with tailored nutrition, customized essential oils, and lifestyle counseling, providing personalized care that instills confidence in every client. MysticMag has the opportunity to chat with Linda-Anne.
Linda Anne, can you tell us a little about your journey which has led you to where you are today?
I’m from South Africa, born in Johannesburg. I pursued a career as a Beauty Therapist, although such an extensive training for skin care wasn’t available in the United States. The journey was fascinating. As I graduated, an English Aromatherapist, Arnold Taylor came to our school and presented short courses on aromatherapy and lymphatic drainage and those two courses fascinated me. Little did I know, these courses would shape the rest of my career and my life. I initially got into skincare as I married a pharmacist and I began working in our pharmacy, performing facials and selling skincare.
The first time I smelled ylang-ylang essential oil, I felt transported to another dimension.
Despite being young and inexperienced in the spiritual realm, it evoked feelings of being in Egypt.
When I arrived in the United States, I opened a small salon, offering facials and massage. I attended massage school here and expanded my training. This small clinic has grown over the years to become a large Day Spa and Wellness Center.
My journey with lymphatic drainage began when I stumbled upon an advertisement for Dr Vodder’s lymph drainage training, in a skincare magazine. I was drawn to immediately enroll, without even knowing the price. That marked my journey into the lymphatic world. I furthered my studies with Professor Hildegard Wittlinger from the Dr. Vodder School and then, the Foeldi School in Germany and DR Casey Smith school in Australia.
My journey into aromatherapy started with Eve Taylor of London and continued with studies with Tisserand, Penoel.,many teachers in the USA and several French doctors. After attending an incredible conference that merged different holistic spiritual practices, I began integrating aromatherapy, aesthetic and spiritual meditation.
Today, I run a Day Spa and a Wellness center, focusing on integrating these practices. I also teach an aromatherapy certification, combining all my skills and experience.
My clinic has weathered many storms, and economic changes, including the pandemic. It has been 42 years since I opened my doors.
I lecture extensively at National and International conferences and am a guest on many podcasts, roundtables and summits.
Recently, I gave a talk on aromatherapy for lymphedema and lipedema, blending the emotional and spiritual aspects of chronic illness
Your extensive expertise spans across various holistic therapies such as massage therapy, aromatherapy, and lymphedema treatment. How do these integrative approaches contribute to a more comprehensive and effective treatment for individuals dealing with lymphatic disorders like lipedema?
Just recently I was speaking to a group of people about how aromatherapy complements traditional treatments like complex decongestive therapy for conditions such as lymphedema. In our treatments, we utilize meticulous skincare, lymphatic massage, and compression garments. However, I’ve introduced additional elements like nutrition, aromatherapy, self-care, and breathing exercises.
Aromatherapy aids in managing anxiety, depression, and sadness alongside physical conditions. For patients with lipedema, inflammation is a significant issue, and many have faced skepticism from doctors about their weight. Aromatherapy helps manage both their physical pain and the emotional strain they’ve endured over their whole lives. I’m preparing to speak about pain management at an upcoming conference this year.
In addition, I work with patients dealing with Lyme disease, which is prevalent in the USA, South Africa, Australia and many parts of Europe. It’s surprising how widespread it is in various regions, including Slovenia. I was scheduled to speak at an Aromatherapy conference in Slovenia , which was delayed because of the pandemic. Eventually, the conference took place online, due to the circumstances. Lyme disease’s prevalence remains a mystery in many places, and integrating lymphatic drainage and aromatherapy has been an integral part in managing it.
“Beauty Kliniek” has been recognized as a leading day spa, offering a range of services that focus on overall well-being. How does this holistic approach foster a sense of balance in body, mind, and spirit for your clients, particularly those undergoing lymphedema treatment?
I pour my heart and soul into my patients, hearing about their struggles, anxieties, and frustrations with conditions like lymphedema or lipedema. I do lymph massage which balances the autonomic nervous system, reduces pain and inflammation and calms the mind. I’m totally present for my patients physically and emotionally, supporting and educating them on their journey to healing. I create personalized essential oil blends to help support emotionally or physically. Recently, I made a blend called ‘Peace,’ which has been sent to people in areas where there has been war.
Aromatherapy blends serve as a calming touch for patients dealing with infections, chemotherapy, or radiation. As an Integrative health coach, I combine nutrition and aromatherapy to aid their well-being. In the current chaotic times, people come to me anxious, and I remind them to focus on self-care and love. I aim to nurture and uplift my patients, bringing spiritual joy to both them and myself.
Lipedema is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed, leading to challenges for patients. How does your practice aim to raise awareness and offer effective treatment options for individuals dealing with this condition?
When it comes to dealing with lipedema, I can speak from personal experience as both an advocate and a patient. I struggled with weight fluctuations most of my life. My waist was small, but my legs were larger, which is typical of Lipedema, and I despised it. I was only diagnosed when I was graduating as a lymphatic therapist in Austria in 1992. Yet, through understanding the foods that caused inflammation for me, and managing my selfcare, I managed to avoid progressing beyond stage one. So, my journey serves as an example for patients seeking inspiration.
I am committed to raising awareness and providing effective treatment—when I work with patients, I can identify symptoms that are consistent with lipedema, though I don’t formally diagnose. I’ve built a reputation for aiding individuals in identifying if they might have lipedema, often differentiating it from other conditions.
Additionally, I lecture extensively, engaging with various groups and platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and medical meetings. My presence in the media has led people from around the world, even South Africa, to reach out seeking advice and guidance. I actively participate in initiatives like the Lipedema Roundtable, a weekly Lipedema Education Group (LEG). I am a co-author of the Standards of Care for Lipedema. Being part of organizations like the Lipedema World Alliance and the LEG for lipedema has been incredibly rewarding. The goal is to create awareness, educate professionals, and support those affected by this condition.
As a specialist in lymphatic therapy and a sought-after speaker at various professional conventions, could you share how your experience has shaped your mission to support and treat patients dealing with lymphedema, autoimmune diseases, and other related health concerns?
I am a regular presenter at the FDRS (Fat disorder Resource Society) which is for patients with Lipedema and Dercums disease., Patients come from all over the country, to learn and connect. Being with them in a group setting really touches my heart; they have this way of connecting that’s truly powerful.
I work with patients regularly, but being with them at FDRS is something else. Sometimes, people reach out to me for help, even if it’s just through text or email, and I’ve ended up supporting them for up to a year. It’s made me feel deeply connected to that community.
I remember this person from South Africa who recently had surgery to remove 50 lipomas; it’s intense. Lipedema mostly affects women, but Dercum’s can also impact men. It’s tough—those very painful lipomas under the skin, and there can be other complications like cardiac issues and brain fog.
It’s a lot to handle, but being there for these individuals is really rewarding.
I volunteer on a LEG( Lipedema education committee) and our mission is to benefit the lives of patients suffering with lipedema.
I am also on a monthly panel for lipedema patients which is very meaningful and we have lofty goals and in addition, am also a volunteer for a research committee for a National Aromatherapy association – AIA.
Your commitment to education and certification in various holistic health fields is impressive. How do you envision the future of integrative therapies like aromatherapy and manual lymph drainage in mainstream healthcare, particularly concerning conditions like lymphedema and fat disorders?
I’ve found a way to merge my work in the lymphedema community with my expertise in aromatherapy. Initially, when I started, I felt a bit out of place among doctors and physical therapists. Initially, I did not share my knowledge about aromatherapy at medical conferences, but over the last 15 years, I’ve made it an integral part of my talks. Now, I’ve been invited to speak at various conferences and associations about Clinical Aromatherapy. Integrative care is crucial, and I’ve worked hard to bring evidence-based research to support the role of aromatherapy therein.
For me, it’s not just about the sensations—like experiencing the aroma of essential oils—but also understanding the science behind it. When I talk to lymphatic therapists or those selling compression garments, I emphasize the importance of aromatherapy in our holistic approach. I’ve spoken about aromatherapy at multiple events, establishing a reputation for integrating it into traditional practices.
I’m not alone in this endeavor; colleagues of mine have also delved into complementary approaches. For instance, a colleague recently authored a book on stress management and breathing techniques for lymphedema and lipedema. She’s both a meditation/mindfulness teacher and a lymphedema therapist, showcasing the bridge between different disciplines.
Let me tell you, aromatherapy can truly elevate your state of being. Take this blend I’ve crafted—it contains Fragonia from Australia, which opens the heart, Palo Santo that connects to the spiritual realm, and Neroli, known for its ability to help with grief and trauma while boosting endorphins. These oils, when combined, uplift your spirit and raise your vibrations—it’s incredible.
It’s all about merging different approaches to create a more comprehensive way of caring for individuals dealing with these conditions.
If you would like to find out more about Linda-Anne Kahn, please visit https://lymphatictherapyservices.com/