REFLEXOLOGY LYMPH DRAINAGE (RLD)
WHAT IS RLD?
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, practising reflexologist and researcher, whilst working in Cancer Care. The results she found appear to support the theory of reflexology.
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.
There are two main types of Lymphoedema recognised.
This refers to lymphoedema where there is an abnormality of the development of the lymphatics.
This refers where lymphatic failure is a result of damage to an otherwise normal lymphatic system e.g. due to surgery, radiotherapy, infection (such as cellulitis) or trauma.
Lymphoedema can cause complications such as skin damage, infection, aching Anschluss pain. It is important that anyone who has lymphoedema sees their GP or other medical professional for advice and assessment, as the earlier treatment is commenced the easier it is to minimise its severity and associated complications.
For more information please visit the British Lymphology Society BLS.