Reflexology Lymph Drainage
What is Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD)?
Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD) is a form of the complementary therapy, reflexology. This therapy focuses on lymphatic reflexes on the feet that aim to stimulate and cause an effect on the Lymphatic System within the body. RLD treatment stimulates the flow of the fluid (Lymph) through the Lymphatic System which explains the reduction of swelling.
What is Secondary Lymphoedema?
Lymphoedema is a long-term condition that causes the tissues within the body to swell as the body lymph is not drained properly. Whilst it can occur throughout the body, it is most common in the arms and legs. This swelling is a result of excess fluid in the tissues which is not drained due to the Lymphatic System being damaged, defective or blocked. This network of glands and channels is responsible for not only fighting infections, but also removing excess fluid.
Secondary Lymphoedema occurs due to damage to the Lymphatic System, which could be a result of surgical removal of Lymph nodes in the treatment of Breast, Vulval or Penile cancer; radiotherapy directly to lymph nodes; invasion of tutor cells on the lymphatic vessels and nodes; infections; vascular surgery; or direct trauma to the body parts, e.g., burns, accidents, grazes or open wounds.
How does RLD help?
The Lymphatic System is connected to three other body systems: cardiovascular, digestive and immune system. The specific area of the feet has thousands of nerve endings that corresponds to other parts of our body. Stimulation of nerves supplying the feet can help improve blood and lymph circulationand restore energy flow.
RLD can help in a variety of ways. This includes:
Less pain and discomfort
A feeling of improved body image and wellbeing
An increase in the strength and mobility of the arm or leg
Improvement of general wellbeing
This is one of my case study's, lymphoedema under her arm, my client has had it for 15 years after 4 treatment this is what we achieved.
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. According to Cancer Research UK (2011), the lifetime risk of developing it in the UK is 1:8 for women and 1:1014 for men. Approximately 20% of these patients develop secondary lymphoedema of the arm following treatment for breast cancer.
Lymphoedema is defined as tissue swelling due to the failure of lymph drainage. After breast cancer, a person may experience psychological or emotional difficulties due to altered body image, and a swollen limb can exacerbate this. Research suggests that survivors with lymphoedema are more likely to suffer psychological and emotional difficulties, be more disabled, and experience a poorer quality of life than survivors without the condition. Improved breast cancer survival rates suggest that approximately 2:3 women survive the disease beyond 20 years. This means that more people are living longer with this debilitating side effect for which there is currently no cure.
MLD may be useful with the following conditions