Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage (RLD)
Health and Healing for All is one of only two Practitioners in Cumbria qualified to offer this amazing Reflexology treatment and we had the privilege of learning from the founder Sally Kay BSc (Hons) herself. It is an invaluable reflexology treatment for supporting those affected by cancer, whatever their age. However, as it actively works on the lymphatic system it encourages the body to rid itself of waste, therefore is good for supporting not only people with lymphoedema but also those suffering from bacterial, viral, parasitic & fungal infections and hormonal imbalances as well as clients with fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other immunocompromising conditions.
RLD is an award winning reflexology technique which focuses on stimulating the lymphatic reflexes on the feet. The aim is to cause an effect on the lymphatic system in the body. It is a unique sequence that has been researched and developed by Sally Kay BSc(Hons), whilst working in Cancer Care.
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.
RLD was developed through clinical practice while working in cancer care outpatient clinics, using reflexology for patients suffering from all kinds of cancers at all stages of the disease. Many of the patients had been treated for breast cancer and consequently suffered secondary lymphoedema. Complaints relating to lymphoedema often included, a swollen arm, painful shoulder, uncomfortable underarm swelling, weakness and problems with everyday living activities. In the summertime, patients found the support sleeve uncomfortable in the heat as well as unsightly and it was often described as “a label”, and “a constant reminder”.
Patients who had received this treatment experienced less discomfort and swelling and an increase in strength and arm mobility and as a result, an RLD protocol was developed and formalised, it is performed on the feet and is tailored to the affected arm. It differs according to which side has been treated for breast cancer. If needed it can be performed on the hands instead.
Lymphatic drainage massage (MLD) is used to treat conditions other than lymphoedema, and RLD may be used similarly such as for the conditions shown below:
Aches and pains
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2 hours – Applied Kinesiology session – a fuller range of tests are completed
1.5 hours – Kinesio-Reflex session – a lesser range of tests are completed but a Reflexology treatment is also included.
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