REFLEXOLOGY LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE (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 BSc(Hons), whilst working in Cancer Care. The results 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.  Lymphatic drainage massage (MLD) is used to treat conditions other than lymphoedema, and RLD may be used similarly. 

RLD may be also be useful with the following conditions 

Arthritis

Asthma

Eczema

 Chronic fatigue

 Fibromyalgia

ME 

Sinus problems

Migraines

RESEARCH BY SALLY KAY

Use of reflexology in managing secondary lymphoedema for patients affected by treatments for breast cancer:

a feasibility study Authors: Judith Whatley, Rachael Street, Sally Kay Philip Harris 

Abstract Purpose: The aim of this feasibility study was to examine the use of reflexology lymphatic drainage (RLD) in the treatment of breast-cancer related lymphoedema (BCRL) with a view to further research.

Methods: An uncontrolled trial was conducted with 26 women who had developed lymphoedema in one arm following treatment for breast cancer. Changes in upper-limb volumes and in participant concerns and wellbeing were measured. Qualitative data were also collected.

Results: A significant reduction in the volume of the affected arm was identified at follow-up compared to baseline. This reduction in volume appeared to be maintained for more than six months. Participant concerns were significantly reduced and their wellbeing significantly increased. No serious adverse effects were reported. 

Conclusions: RLD may be a useful intervention for BCRL although the results could not be attributed to the reflexology intervention because of research design limitations. The main conclusion was, however, that there was sufficient evidence for further research using a randomized controlled trial.


During an RLD treatment measurements will be taken before and after each treatment and the volume loss calculated.