What is Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD)?
It is an award winning, research based Reflexology technique that was developed by Sally Kay through extensive clinical practice carried out in cancer care outpatient settings.
The aim of RLD is to stimulate the lymphatic system to work better and thus ease the discomfort and swelling in the body.
RLD was developed by translating the Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) protocol into a specific Reflexology sequence to improve lymphoedema.
Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage (RLD) may be used in a very similar way to Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD). RLD is performed using a specific sequence on the feet or hands, with aftercare techniques shown on the hands. MLD is also used to support and improve conditions other than lymphoedema, and RLD may be used similarly for some of the following:-
- Chronic fatigue (CFS/ME)- Hayfever
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Muscular tension
- Sinus problems
- Aches and pains
- Premenstrual syndrome
- for some pregnancy related oedema
- to aid recovery following a cosmetic surgery
The advantage of RLD over MLD is that the patient only has to remove his/her shoes and socks - that is if he/she is to have Foot Reflexology. With Hand Reflexology no clothing needs to be removed.
If you are concerned about swelling in your body or it comes on suddenly and unexpectedly please DO seek medical advice first.
N.B. Reflexologists do not claim to diagnose, cure nor prescribe.
The Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is closely connected to the blood circulation and plays a very important role in the immune system.
A clear fluid called lymph surrounds and bathes the body's tissues. It contains a high number of lymphocytes that help fight infection.
The lymphatic system works similarly to the circulatory system. It is made up of a network of lymphatic vessels that drain lymph towards the heart. When the lymphatic system is compromised this fluid may build up in the body's tissues.
Lymph is circulated around the body mostly by muscle contractions, hence the importance of regular exercise.
What is Lymphoedema?
Lymphoedema is tissue swelling due to the failure of lymph drainage. This can be caused by damage or disruption to the lymphatic system.
There are two main types of lymphoedema:
•Primary lymphoedema – which is caused by faulty genes.
•Secondary lymphoedema – caused by damage to the lymphatic system as a result of an infection, injury, trauma, or cancer.
Secondary lymphoedema often develops as a side effect of cancer treatment.
Surgery is often necessary to remove lymph glands to prevent a cancer from spreading, this can damage the lymphatic system.
Radiotherapy where controlled doses of high-energy radiation are used to destroy cancer cells, can also damage the lymphatic system.
What is Lipoedema?
It is a chronic condition where there is an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the legs, thighs and buttocks, and sometimes in the arms. It is quite painful.
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