Moreland first started working with Tidewater Physical Therapy in early 2015 as a student while attending ECPI University, Medical Careers Institute in Newport News. After earning her degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant, and Lymph Certification through the Academy of Lymphatic Studies, she began treating patients in May.
Lymphedema occurs when the natural drainage function of the lymphatic system is impaired, often by cancer treatment, trauma, or genetic predisposition, and fluid builds up in the tissues. That build up – lymphedema – can lead to stiffness, pain and infection.
“Sometimes people come in and it’s really overwhelming to have this new condition that they don’t understand,” Moreland said. “I show them that it is manageable and doesn’t have to be life altering.”
Tidewater Physical Therapy’s certified lymphatic therapists are trained to naturally rid patients of the trapped fluid using Complex Decongestive Physical Therapy.
Moreland is specifically trained in the Vodder technique, a form of manual lymph drainage that when combined with the use of compression garments helps assist with the removal of lymph fluid from the body.
While a large portion of Moreland’s current patients are breast cancer survivors, she sees her treatments as a way for any patient living with this lifelong illness to learn how to better manage it and remain as active as possible in their lives.
“What I do as a therapist is help them learn to manage lymphedema at home, prevent flares and infection,” Moreland said. “This way, especially with cancer patients and those who are recovering from other surgeries or trauma, they can focus on healing their bodies, and spending time with their families, instead of dealing with this illness.”
Originally from Georgia, Moreland always wanted to go into health care. She was fascinated by human anatomy and chose the physical therapy route, she said, because it allows her to be much more hands on with patients and get to know them personally.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the patients that I’ve met so far, and getting to know them,” Moreland said. “I spend every single day with them for four solid weeks for their treatment, so I really get to know them personally.”
And Moreland hopes they’ve enjoyed getting to know her, too, and have learned something.
“I hope they have noticed my attention to detail and my patience,” Moreland said. “There is a lot of education involved in lymphedema treatment and everyone’s learning style is so different. Some people are very visual, for example, so it can be very difficult to make sure each person fully understands their unique condition and how to manage it at home. But when they do learn, and understand their bodies more, it is very rewarding.”
Located in the New Town Professional Center and near the shopping and business district, in addition to lymphedema therapy, the Williamsburg Hand Therapy Center features a certified hand therapist, an arthritis and osteoporosis program and dynamic and dynamic splinting. The clinic is open Monday and Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information about the Williamsburg Hand Therapy Clinic, visit www.tpti.com/locations/williamsburg-hand-therapy/ or call 757.565.3400.
ABOUT TIDEWATER PHYSICAL THERAPY
Founded in 1986, Tidewater Physical Therapy remains a physical therapist-owned, independent, outpatient physical therapy practice, with 35 locations across Southeast and Central Virginia and three Performance Centers.
Learn more about the Tidewater Performance Center at www.tidewaterperform.com.
The physical therapists at Tidewater Physical Therapy Inc. hold Direct Access Certification through the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy allowing them to evaluate and treat patients without a prescription. As part of a healthcare team, a physical therapist will make an assessment of a patient’s condition and create a plan to start on the road to wellness. The Tidewater Physical Therapy team will communicate with a patient’s physician or dentist of record and obtain a referral, if necessary, for continued treatment. Tidewater Physical Therapy will also work with insurance carriers to make sure services are covered by a patient’s plan.