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Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage (RLD)

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, a treatment that includes surgery or radiotherapy to the axillary lymph nodes. The axillary lymph nodes or armpit lymph nodes (of which there are 20 to 49 in number) drain lymph vessels from the lateral quadrants of the breast, the superficial lymph vessels from the walls of the chest and upper abdomen above the level of the navel, and the vessels from the upper limb.

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, a swollen limb can exacerbate this. Research suggests that survivors with lymphoedema are more likely to suffer physiological, psychological and emotional difficulties, to be more disabled and experience a poorer quality of life than survivors without it.

Statistics indicate improved breast cancer survival rates, with approximately 2 out of 3 women surviving 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.

Results from recent research (publication pending) showed a positive trend and suggest that Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RDL) may be helpful in the management of secondary lymphoedema following treatment for breast cancer. Findings appear to support the theory of reflexology.

Early indications suggest that RDL may also be useful with other conditions as listed below:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • CFS/ME
  • Allergies
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Migraines
  • Digestive Issues
      • IBS
      • Colitis
      • Crohn's Disease
      • Coeliac Disease
      • Type 1 Diabetes
      • Thyroid
        • Hashimoto's Disease
        • Graves Disease
        • Post operative recovery
        • Pregnancy related oedema
        • Muscular tension
        • Aches and pains
        • Premenstrual Syndrome

        What is Lymphoedema?
        "Persistent tissue swelling due to blockage or absence of the lymph drainage channels with accumulation of interstitial fluid" (Mortimer 1985)

        Cancer causes of secondary lymphoedema

        • Surgery
        • Radiotherapy
        • Spread of cancer
        • Site of the tumour

        Physical side effects of lymphoedema
        • Pain
        • Distorted
        • Impaired Function
        • Decreased elasticity and mobility of skin
        • Fibrosis
        • Dry Skin
        • Acute Inflammatory Episodes

        Psychological and psychosocial problems
        • Anxiety
        • Loss of confidence
        • Altered body image
        • Uncomfortable wearing certain clothing
        • Altered ability to complete everyday tasks
        • Employment
        • Leisure activities
        Aims of Reflexology Lymph Drainage
        "To stimulate the function of the lymphatic system and drain excess lymph from the damage and area"

        Fertility - Male & Female