I am a Registered Nurse with over 19 years of nursing practise. I’ll work with you to prevent and manage lymphoedema.


You’ll be amazed at the difference that this treatment can have to your quality of life.

Lymphoedema causes various degrees of life limitation but can usually be well managed with correct assessment, care and management. As a registered Nurse, I have seen first-hand the benefits lymphoedema treatment for people with a range of health conditions. Lymphoedema is not curable however in most cases it can be controlled with treatment. My objective is early detection and prevention of lymphoedema if possible. 

Massage Therapy



I support and assist people in both prevention and management of lymphoedema. The basis of my services are the education and facilitation of: Lymphoedema Management, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, Compression Therapy, Skin Care and Exercise.

What is lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is swelling that can affect the limbs, torso, chest and/or breast. It  can also occur in and around the head and neck area. It is caused by traumatised, damaged or growth of abnormal lymphatic vessels. There are two types, Primary and Secondary Lymphoedema. Both require ongoing assessment and monitoring. Lymphoedema is not curable but it can usually be well managed.

Primary Lymphoedema occurs when a person is born with lymphatic vessel abnormality. 
Secondary Lymphoedema is caused when there is damage to the lymphatic system, damage from surgery,  trauma or cancer treatment such as surgery or radiation.


These sessions will provide the client with an overview of lymphoedema, how to care for themselves, including lymphoedema prevention, post treatment self care and exercise.

New clients will have a 60 minute consultation / assessment where we will create an individual treatment plan.
Ongoing client consults will be 30-45 minutes and as frequent as needed per individual. 

Advise on self management and care, diet and exercise tips and other support. Just talking about your own personal experience can be helpful.


Treatment includes Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), gradient compression bandaging and compression garment measuring and fitting. Lymphatic taping aids in alleviation congestion of lymph fluid and stimulates the mechanism that facilitates movement of lymph fluid.

This client-focused training programme concentrates on safe and research based exercise, body strength and conditioning, providing the knowledge and tools to allow the client to build confidence and gain independence in a safe environment. We focus on regaining fitness and strength.

Axillary Web Syndrome is a condition that may develop after disruption to the axillary lymphatics.  It is a visible and palpable web of tissue that becomes taut with shoulder abduction.  Sometimes it is called cording. It can be painful and limit a persons range of movement to the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. This requires a therapist assessment and treatment which usually involves things such as stretching and strengthening exercises to increase the range of movement and resolve the cording.

Paula is proudly a provider for the Breast Cancer Foundation of New Zealand. See their website for funding applications for your lymphoedema treatment.

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ Logo


Paula Cooper is a New Zealand trained registered nurse with more than 16 years of clinical experience. Paula started her career in general surgical nursing, prior to moving on to Oncology and Haematology at Waikato Hospital, while also working as a Practice Nurse for a Breast and General Surgeon. 

She currently works at Waikato Hospital in the Oncology Outpatients department and the Lymphoedema clinic as well as running her own business.

With experience in surgical, orthopaedic  and oncology nursing, her extensive knowledge as a Registered Nurse and specialist interest in Breast Cancer with specific techniques to provide a holistic treatment and/or a basic treatment and exercise plan for you.


  • Lymphoedema Therapist training with leading New Zealand practitioner and trainer, Yvonne Ferguson. Here I also completed the Klose Training and Consulting. 

  • Strength After Breast Cancer Module (SABC). This training enables me to assess and educate clients at risk or who currently have lymphedema, about appropriate, effective and individualised exercise techniques

  • I have completed my Axillary Web Syndrome Module.

  • Lymphatic Taping alleviates congestion of lymphatic fluid or haemorrhage under the skin. Stimulates the mechanisms that facilitate the movement of lymph. 


  • New Zealand registered Lymphoedema Therapist

  • Member of the Australian Lymphology Association (ALA)

  • Klose Strength after Breast cancer Certificate (SABC)

  • Bachelor of Nursing RN (Registration 155676)

  • New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO)

  • Breast cancer Foundation of New Zealand Provider

I believe in increasing wellness and preventing illness through education, awareness and health promotion.

I have a special interest in oncology, palliative care, breast care and lymphoedema therapy. 



What are the signs and symptoms of lymphoedema?

Feeling of heaviness or tightness, restricted range of movement, aching or discomfort, recurring infections, hardening and thickening of the skin, swelling of part or all of your arm or leg sometimes including the toes and fingers. swelling can also occur in the chest and/or back area too.

What happens if lymphoedema is left untreated?

Left untreated, lymphoedema will usually worsen and can cause severe swelling and permanent changes to the tissues around or under the skin such as infections, leaking fluid of the limb (as it is unable to move through the lymph channels), thickening and scarring.

What can I do for myself to prevent lymphoedema?

Maintain a good healthy weight and well balanced diet, exercise such as walking and swimming, care for your skin by keeping it well moisturised and avoiding sunburn, cuts and abrasions to the area, apply antibacterial cream as soon a if they were to occur. Keep fingernails and toe nails clean and well clipped, dry between webspaces and keep feet covered when outdoors, protect your skin by wearing gloves in the garden. Try to avoid activities that will put extra strain on the lymphatic system or stop lymph flow such as sunburn, hot baths, spas or saunas, strenuous exercise in hot weather, poorly or tight fitting clothes or shoes. And see a doctor as soon as possible if any signs of an infection appear.

How long will lymphoedema last and how long am I at risk for?

Lymphoedema is a life long condition and generally worsens without treatment. It can be managed with regular and consistent self care and the care of a trained lymphoedema therapist. The risks of lymphedema life long from the time of surgical and/or radiation induced disruption of the lymph nodes.


Paula makes you feel at ease, is caring, warm and highly effective in reducing your lymphedema through personalised massage therapy. Having gone through Grade 3 Right Breast Cancer in 2017, and the removal of 25 lymph nodes, I developed grade 3 lymphedema in my right arm. Unfortunately due to lack of information about the side effects of so many lymph nodes being removed through surgery, I waited 18 months before I sought professional help to relieve the feeling of heaviness, swelling, aching and general discomfort.


I came across Paula Cooper on the Registered Lymphedema Therapist Site. I hit the jack-pot! Paula’s light cosy treatment clinic (with fabulous art work adorning the walls), offered a perfect environment for measuring, massaging and discussing my progress. The range of arm motion increased and my arm felt less swollen and tight, I also felt an overriding sense of calmness throughout my body after only two massages. Paula also focuses on building arm strength and a few simple exercises for me to maintain my lymphedema on a daily basis.


Paula offers solid information on the benefits The Cancer Society can offer cancer patients with this condition and the use of quality compression garments. Lymphedema massages will be ongoing for me and I can’t think of a better person than Paula to help me through my journey. I highly recommend Paula without reservations, oh did I mention “no parking problems”!


– Bridget




11 Queenwood Ave, Hamilton, 3210, New Zealand
021 750 298

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