Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD)

The therapist is a certified Reflexology Lymph Drainage Practitioner trained by Sally Kay (UK).

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RLD is a multi-award-winning reflexology technique that isolates and systematically stimulates the lymphatic reflexes of the feet by using a problem-specific sequence. The treatment is adapted according to the site of secondary lymphedema, focusing on the reflexes to encourage the excess lymph away from the damaged area towards the nearest uncompromised lymphatic drainage area. This is a unique sequence researched and developed while working in Cancer Care by Sally Kay BSc (Hons). The theory of reflexology appears to be supported by the results.

Secondary lymphedema

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in SA. Approximately 26% of breast cancer patients develop secondary lymphedema of the arm following treatment for breast cancer.

Secondary lymphedema is a progressive debilitating condition, causing swelling in the body’s tissues when normal lymphatic drainage is disrupted, due to blockage or damage to the lymphatic system. It is an accumulation of proteins and macromolecules, and osmotic pressure causes extracellular fluid retention.

Complaints relating to secondary lymphedema included uncomfortable swelling in and under the arm, pain in the shoulder, weakness, and problems with everyday activity.

After treatment for breast cancer patients may experience emotional or psychological difficulties due to change in body image which can be exacerbated by a swollen limb. It is suggested by research that cancer survivors with lymphedema deem to be more disabled and experience poorer quality of life than those without lymphedema. Breast cancer survivor rates indicates that 2:3 woman survive cancer beyond twenty years. Therefore, more people are living with lymphedema for which there is currently no cure.

The following conditions other than lymphedema are treated with manual lymphatic drainage, and indications are that RLD may be used similarly as MLD: Arthritis, Chronic fatigue, Sinus problems, Muscular tension, Asthma, Migraines, Aches & pains, Eczema, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, Premenstrual syndrome, ME and others.

RLD differs from the generic reflexology treatment in the following:
It is a precision treatment.
Immediately measurable / quantifiable.

Potential uses for RLD
Auto-immune disorders: Systemic as well as General.
Digestive (IBS, Colitis, Crohn’s, Coeliac).
Endocrine (Thyroid-Hashimoto/Grave’s, Type 1 & 2 Diabetes, Addison).
Skin (Eczema, Psoriasis, Alopecia).
Respiratory (Asthma).
Reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to infection & disease, fatigue, lethargy.
Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Migraine, Fibromyalgia/CFS/ME, Allergies.
Post-operative recovery, Pregnancy related oedema, Eczema-Asthma, Allergies, Allergies-Hay fever.
Cancer patients while having chemo & radiation for detoxification – the following will just have to be adhered to – obtain acknowledgement from treating Physician that he/she was informed by the patient that patient is receiving RLD treatments.

RLD Treatment

The initial treatment starts with a consultation that will normally take half an hour longer as the following information is gathered and discussed; personal information such as individual and familial history of illnesses, allergies or intolerances, medical operations and relevant diagnosis, chronic and OTC medication used, sleep patterns, energy levels, relaxation, exercise regimen and nutrition. Information gathered will be used in order to allow for a lifestyle assessment.

Important: You will be advised that should you be under any doctor’s treatment at present, that you will proceed as prescribed.

Reflexology Lymph Drainage treatments thereafter generally takes about 60-90 minutes to complete all depending various other individual factors.

Every treatment starts with a short overview of the previous week. Detailed notes are taken by the Therapist.

Thereafter Limb Volume Circumference Measurements (LVCM) are taken before and after each RLD treatment. The arm is treated like a cylinder. Those before and after measurements can be reflected on a graph. Measuring this way result in any excess swelling/fluid around the back, chest wall, shoulder, under arm and hand unfortunately not to be included in the results. Although it excludes the aforementioned, the progress can be recorded by taking before and after photos.

Note: The leg can also be treated the same as the arm. Limb Volume Circumference Measurements (LVCM) are taken before and after each RLD treatment. The leg is treated like a cylinder.

Frequent question asked is how long it will take for Reflexology Lymph Drainage to bring about change to the condition (lymphedema). As there is no cure at present for this condition (lymphedema) continuous treatment is recommended by all concerned. The number of treatments will vary depending on the progress and severity of the condition (lymphedema). Well-established conditions will take longer to treat, but generally a change will be noticed after the first treatment (lymphedema). The efficacy of the treatments is influenced by the frequency and the ability of the patient to implement and adhere to lifestyle changes which are recommended by the therapist. Generally, treatments are given once or twice a week and as soon as there is improvement the treatments can be spaced out but always according to the body’s reaction to the treatment.