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Author Press Kit

Short Bio

Kathleen Helen Lisson is board certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork and is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist.

She helps clients with lymphedema and lipedema as well as clients who have had plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery after cancer. 

She has spoken at the American Vein and Lymphatic Society, Fat Disorders Resource Society, International Society of Lymphology, MLD UK,

Society for Oncology Massage and National Lymphedema Network conferences. 

Kathleen’s writing focuses on providing education resources for her clients with lymphedema and lipedema and her fellow Lymphedema Therapists. She is the author of Swollen, Bloated and Puffy, Lipedema Treatment Guide, Plastic Surgery Recovery Handbook, Southern California Plastic Surgery CookbookMindful Strategies for Adults with Adverse Childhood Experiences and Stress Reduction for Lymphedema. She is a coauthor of the Standard of Care for Lipedema in the United States, which was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and published in the journal Phlebology.

While not working, Kathleen enjoys historical fiction, running and cycling. She lives with her husband Arun and their dog in San Diego, CA. 

Social Media for Stress Reduction for Lymphedema


Social Media for Mindful Strategies for Adults with Adverse Childhood Experiences

Social Media for Plastic Surgery Recovery Handbook


Extended Bio

Kathleen Helen Lisson’s passion for helping people recover from surgery started when she was 9 years old. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and she saw how difficult her recovery was. As a child, Kathleen saw the people who helped her mom through the process, including doctors, nurses and family friends, and now, as an adult, she is grateful to be able to be one of the people who helps others after a cancer diagnosis.  

A Career Change

Both of Kathleen’s parents passed away from cancer, so when she decided to make a career change at midlife, she chose massage therapy and took extra training to specialize in oncology massage. Kathleen uses massage to help people with a cancer history recover after plastic and reconstructive surgery. 

Training as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) was the next step, where she  learned about how to reduce swelling in clients with lymphedema using manual lymphatic drainage (MLD).

An Interesting Discovery

Diaphragmatic breathing is a part of every MLD session. Often, clients will share that they feel more relaxed after the breathing and remark that they really ought to do it more often. 

As a lymphedema therapist, Kathleen found that her clients kept on asking ‘what else can I do for my lymphedema’ or shared that they ‘want to do everything they can to keep lymphedema under control.’ The book Stress Reduction for Lymphedema came out of Kathleen’s desire to gather resources to help the person with lymphedema who wants to go from trying mind-body practices once in a while to making stress reduction a part of their daily self-care.

Kathleen found that many people with lymphedema have previously used stress reduction interventions like mindfulness and yoga to reduce the side effects of cancer treatment.  Australian researchers sent a survey to 247 members of the Lymphedema Association of Queensland and found that, in addition to using mainstream medicine treatments for lymphedema management, half of the respondents reported using at least one of 22 complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies to treat their lymphedema. CAM therapies included acupuncture, aromatherapy, meditation, tai chi and yoga.

Stress Reduction for Lymphedema shares evidence-based ways to modify stress reduction practices including acupuncture and yoga to be safe for people with lymphedema. The book includes step-by-step instructions and is a must-read for people with lymphedema looking for evidence-based approaches to reduce the symptoms of stress. 

Kirkus Reviews called the book "an inspirational, accessible handbook emphasizing self-compassion and effective stress reduction."

Kathleen's Additional Training 

Kathleen holds a Bachelors of Applied Science degree in Massage Therapy, and is an NHI (Natural Healing Institute of Naturopathy) Certified Master Aromatherapist, an MMI (McLean Meditation Institute) Certified Meditation Teacher, a Yoga Alliance Registered RYT 200 Yoga Teacher and an ACE-certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach. She is certified to present ‘Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster’ and ‘Empowered Relief’ pain interventions. Kathleen is a NCBTMB Approved Continuing Education Provider and has taught classes at IPSB Massage College in San Diego. She has  completed the Lymphedema Therapy Advanced and Review class at the Földi Clinic in Hinterzarten, Germany.

Biotone EduTalk Author Series Kathleen Helen Lisson

Stress Reduction for Lymphedema author Interview

Lymphie Strong hosts Kathleen Lisson,
Author of the Southern California Plastic Surgery Cookbook

LymphaPress Leadership Series, Kathleen Helen Lisson

La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast Kathleen Helen Lisson

Additional Media

Kathleen Lisson's Plastic Surgery YouTube Channel Media Kit:


Book Reviews:


Kirkus Review of Stress Reduction for Lymphedema


Podcast Guest


Breast Friends Podcast


Beauty Bytes by Dr. Kay podcast

Secret Scope Podcast


Secret Scope Blog Post:


Bring Your Own Kombucha Podcast


Quoted In ...

Prevention: 7 Little Distractions That Can Help You Ride Out A Craving


Aleteia: 40 habits of calm, centered women


Bustle: 11 Ways to Fit Relaxation into a Busy Schedule

Paper Magazine: I Bought a Fancy Rose Quartz Face Roller … Does It Work?


Massage Magazine: The Massage Therapist’s Guide to Foot Care

Massage Magazine: 7 Effective Ways to Ease Your Stress

Runners World: 11 tips from Cross-Country Coaches that you can still use

Newspaper Article 

Troy Record: Troy Woman, Husband to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

My Published Articles

Brighter Magazine

4 Stress Reduction Practices you can do with a Care Partner 

Alternative Balance Blog: The Benefits of Yoga for People with Lymphedema

Elephant Journal: Using My Childhood Superpower to help Families Facing Cancer.

Elephant Journal: Why We (Don’t) Meditate.

Labyrinth Pathways 10th Edition – The Labyrinth as a Healer’s Meditation Practice

Questions and Answers

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

I celebrated my 40th birthday by summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. I prepared for the hike by hiking in the Adirondack mountains almost every weekend for six months. This is when I started getting regular massage. Massage helped me stay on track with my training and make it to the summit.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?  

I learned a lot from summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro, including the phrase ‘pole pole’ which means slowly. Hikers cannot walk at their usual pace near the summit at over 19,000 feet of altitude, they must walk slowly to not get out of breath. Sometimes, ‘walking slowly’ through a tough situation down near sea level can reduce fear and self-doubt as well. I need to be able to stay in the moment and breathe through it. 

 Why do you write? 

In the student clinic at massage school, we were trained to give our clients a self-care resource after their session - something they can do between sessions. I graduated and found that I wanted to be able to give my clients a resource, so I wrote and published one. This was the inspiration for my first book. Ever since then, I have always written to provide a resource for my clients. I care for people who are recovering from surgery or are living with chronic illness, and they want to do everything they can to care for themselves. 

What motivates you to write? 

I love reading journal articles and discovering the evidence behind the advice that is given to people with lymphedema and other chronic illnesses. There is a LOT of good research out there that hasn’t been put into widespread practice yet, and I’m excited to be able to connect the dots and introduce my readers to new forms of self-care.  

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? 

I was born in Buffalo, New York and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. I spent over a decade in Upstate New York before moving to San Diego, where I live now. California is much more open to meditation and yoga than Back East.  

 How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? 

I read journal articles and write my books on a really old laptop, either in bed or on the couch. There is usually also a dog involved! 

 Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? 

Success in writing is serving a group of people who really connect with your writing and want to spread the word to others. 

 It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign? 

I love sharing my book first with my fellow Lymphedema Therapists. If they find value in my books, they will recommend it to their patients. I am also very grateful for blog, webinar and podcast interview opportunities, especially in the lymphedema community. 

 Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it? 

I wrote Stress Reduction for Lymphedema to share research I have gathered on stress management practices that have been specifically found to be effective for people with lymphedema. It was important to include step-by-step instructions so readers can try many of the practices themselves or with a caregiver or loved one.

As a lymphedema therapist, I figured that popular stress reduction practices like diaphragmatic breathing would be beneficial for the lymphatic system. We also recommend water exercise for people with lymphedema. I was curious to see what else had been researched in this population. 

Wow, was I surprised and excited to find published research on:

  • Breathwork protocols recommended for people with lymphedema

  • Mindfulness exercises from a lymphedema program in India

  • Holistic practices including acupuncture for people with lymphedema (yes you can have acupuncture!) 

  • Progressive muscle relaxation routine that may improve the effects of decongestive therapy

  • Movement-based activities like qi gong and taiso for upper limb lymphedema and yoga for upper and lower limb lymphedema

There is MUCH more out there besides self-MLD, deep breathing and aquatic exercise for self-care! 

 If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? 

I would invite my parents and grandparents and ask them to share family stories. I’d love to hear the stories again as an adult and listen to how they understand their own life stories.

 When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? 

I enjoy meditation, practicing yoga, spending time by the water and in nature and getting regular massages. 

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? 

I hope that reading my books makes them feel encouraged and inspired to add new practices to their self-care routine. A big concern for some is ‘have I tried everything? Am I doing everything I can to get healthy and care for my body?’ I want to give these readers peace of mind.

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