To Top

Meet Kathleen Lisson of Solace Massage and Mindfulness in Pacific Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathleen Lisson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a Certified Lymphedema Therapist who specializes in reducing that tight, heavy feeling that comes with swelling (edema) after plastic surgery procedures like facelifts and tummy tucks. I am passionate about helping my clients because I have experienced swelling and the trauma of facial surgery not one but two times in my life. My first adult experience with swelling happened on the side of a ski slope in Western Massachusetts.

I was in my thirties and had gone skiing to get out of the house after a particularly insane breakup with a boyfriend. I was on a ‘green’ hill, taking my time, and skied over to the side to let the lady behind me pass me by. I saw her coming, coming, coming and SMASH. Long story short, I was rescued by the ski patrol, strapped onto a toboggan, hauled down the mountain, and driven by a friend to the local ER in my town later that day. My right cheekbone was shattered and I needed reconstructive surgery.

Over the next ten years I sprained my right ankle and had Mohs surgery on my face to remove skin cancer. The one thing all these incidents had in common? Swelling. Unsightly facial swelling that affected my ability to return to my career in the public eye as a PR rep, ankle and foot swelling that affected my ability to pursue my passion of long distance running, and swelling under my eye after cancer surgery that affected my ability to read. In every instance I was told the swelling was normal and that the best thing to do was to wait patiently for my body to heal itself. I wanted to heal as fast as possible and was willing to try anything!

After starting a second career as a massage therapist, I learned about this style of lymphatic massage that was proven to reduce swelling and used in hospitals across America and Europe. I signed up for the training, eager to help people who were suffering with swelling like I had and I am a Certified Lymphedema Therapist with additional training in head and neck lymphedema and orthopedic swelling. I have had the good fortune to be able to help clients with lymphedema after cancer surgery as well as ladies recovering from mommy makeovers, tummy tucks, facelifts and revision facelifts, both in my office in Pacific Beach and in the comfort of their homes.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have had some pretty emotional experiences in my life – seeing my mother suffer through chemotherapy and radiation and undergo a mastectomy, mourning both my parents’ deaths at my wedding, undergoing my own cancer surgery and recovering from reconstructive surgery. I have seen the importance of having support and reducing stress in each situation versus trying to go it alone. Ultimately, each of these situations have given me the experience I need to give my best to my clients.

My life experiences have also given me the patience I needed to let my business grow and unfold naturally. Listening to inspirational speakers like Gabrielle Bernstein and Deepak Chopra helped me use manifestation to really get clear on my business and life goals. To be brutally honest, I was a horrible massage therapist the first six months of my career. and for the next six months, I didn’t have regular private clients. I had to become comfortable with my skills and let my personality shine through instead of trying so hard to be the person I thought everyone expected a massage therapist should be. When I put my own spin on everything and opened up to people, everything became much easier and opportunities started appearing.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Solace Massage and Mindfulness – what should we know?
Solace Massage and Mindfulness is my company. I provide manual lymphatic drainage to clients before and after surgery including plastic, cosmetic, orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. I also help clients on a long-term basis to control their lymphedema after cancer surgery. I am most proud of my book, ‘Swollen, Bloated and Puffy,’ which is a guide I give to all my patients with tips on reducing swelling after surgery and balancing the immune system. The book is also on Amazon and it has gotten some very nice reviews from fellow Lymphedema Therapists and people with a lymphedema diagnosis. Plastic Surgeons in San Diego recommend me to their clients with swelling issues because I get results.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I am constantly supported by a wonderful tribe of fellow bodyworkers who have studied and taught at IPSB college. A group of us work together in our office space and I connect with others online and in person regularly. I am also mentored and supported by Certified Lymphedema Therapists in the Klose Training organization and around the country. My deepest support comes from my husband Arun. He has stood by me and supported me from my father’s sudden death from lung cancer through schooling, my own cancer diagnosis and now cheers on my successful business.


  • 50 minute lymphatic massage in office $100
  • 50 minute in home lymphatic massage in San Diego $125
  • 50 minute in home lymphatic massage outside San Diego $150

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in