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What is Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage (RLD)

Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage (RLD) is an award-winning reflexology technique which was developed through clinical practice while working in cancer care, using complementary therapies to support people going through cancer treatment. It focuses on stimulating the lymphatic reflexes on the feet.

Here at Lifestyle Holistic Therapies we try and keep up to date with lots of interesting and relevant courses.  Lynn Paalman was lucky enough to train with Sally Kay on a couple of workshops gaining certificates in Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage.  Sally won the Excellence in Practice Award 2012 for Research and Development in RLD and the management of secondary lymphoedema in patients affected by treatment for breast cancer.

It was recorded that patients on the trial who received the complementary therapies particularly RLD experienced less discomfort and swelling and an increase in strength and arm mobility.

As a pattern began to emerge in patients who received RLD, so did the potential for measuring the effect of reflexology and during this process the protocol which Sally teaches on her workshops was formalised.

As the function of the lymphatic system interacts with three other body systems; cardiovascular, digestive and immune it can be so debilitating to have persistent tissue swelling due to the blockage or absence of the lymph drainage channels.  The physical side effects of lymphoedema can vary from pain, distorted limb shape, impaired function, decreased elasticity and mobility of the skin, dry skin and acute inflammatory episodes.

Sally's research suggests that survivors of breast cancer who develop lymphoedema are more likely to suffer physiological, psychological and emotional difficulties, be more disabled and experience a poorer quality of life than survivors without it. And since breast cancer survival rates have improved dramatically 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.

It is suggested remedial exercise, skin care, lymph drainage massage and compression garments can all help with the symptoms.

RLD is not just for cancer care though. Studies show that there are many benefits including for the following conditions:

  • Arthritis and other Aches & Pains
  • Digestive issues such as IBS, collitis, Crohns
  • Asthma
  • Eczema 
  • Chronic fatigue & ME
  • Fibromyalgia and other auto-immune disorders
  • Sinus problems
  • Migraines & headaches
  • Muscular tension  
  • Premenstrual Syndrome

Lynn Paalman works for LHT on Wednesdays. If you you would like to book with Lynn for RLD or with Rachel for Oncology massage or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Useful sources of further information:

BLS – British Lymphology Society http://www.thebls.com

The lymphoedema support network http://lymphoedema.org/

Prof. Peter Mortimer http://www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk

Dr Vodder School http://www.vodderschool.com

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