“I find anatomy–the way God created our bodies, and how we are affected by food and exercise–fascinating,” says Lymphatic Drainage Massage Therapy (LDT) certified therapist, Delmie DePuma-Aparicio. “I always wanted to not just be a licensed massage therapist, but a medical massage practitioner that helps people heal. Years ago, as my stay-at-home-mom job was ending, I studied and got certified in lymphatics.”

The lymphatic system delivers lymph fluid throughout the body, forming an integral part of the body’s immune system. When the lymph system works well, the body feels healthy, and there’s a strong defense system against infection and illness. But when the lymph system is blocked due to surgery, injury, or childbirth, increased swelling and bruising is likely, and the body becomes more susceptible to infection. Lymphatic massage opens up the lymph nodes, allowing the lymph fluid to flow freely throughout the body, healing the body.

For five years, Delmie worked for a Houston-area group of plastic surgeons. “I was mentored by some of the best doctors who also believed in lymphatic massage for healing,” explains Delmie. “But I always had it in my heart to own my own business. I read a meme that changed my life, ‘Follow your dream, or you end up working for someone who followed theirs.’ At that very moment, I said to myself, ‘If God could do it for others, he would do it for me.’ I gave my two weeks notice, thanked the practice for the opportunity, and I followed my dream.”

Delmie opened True Recovery Lymphatic Massage in 2008, and she’s never looked back. She’s one of the few massage therapists in the country that specializes in plastic surgery recovery, helping individuals reach optimal results after plastic surgery procedures. When Delmie’s daughters started having babies, she realized the same concept could be applied to postnatal recovery of the body. “Using lymphatic massage, I helped my girls get their pre-pregnancy bodies back. Postnatal lymphatic massage is a new concept, but one that’s really taken off among my daughters’ friends and mommy groups.”

“I believe my purpose and my calling ARE my healing hands,” continues Delmie. “I love what I do. I help others heal from plastic surgery recovery and postnatal recovery. I’m passionate about self-care and self-love, and I believe success comes when you love yourself. At True Recovery, I want every patient to feel loved. Healing is our main priority. Each patient’s true recovery begins by developing a customized treatment plan to maximize the body’s ability to heal. We optimize the best results for after plastic surgery procedures, and help new moms’ bodies bounce back after delivery. We support every patient as they become the very best version of THEMSELVES!”

This post originally appeared on the “Up Close Magazine” website.