RLDis 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 was the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia in 2013. In 2017 it was the most commonly diagnosed cancer in females.
"In 2009–2013 in Australia, individuals diagnosed with breast cancer had a 90% chance (85% for males and 90% for females) of surviving for 5 years compared to their counterparts in the general Australian population. Between 1984–1988 and 2009–2013, 5-year relative survival from breast cancer improved from 72% to 90%". https://breast-cancer.canceraustralia.gov.au/statistics
The National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre (NBOCC) review of research evidence on Secondary Lymphoedema states “conservative estimates suggest that 20% of breast, genitourinary, gynaecological, or melanoma survivors will experience secondary lymphoedema. More specifically the incidence of secondary lymphoedema associated with vulval cancer is estimated at 36-47%, breast cancer 20%, cervical cancer 24% and melanoma 9-29%. (1)
The incidence of lymphoedema following sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is reported to range from 4-8%. (4)
Coping with lymphoedema can be difficult because it changes the way your body looks and can have an impact on your lifestyle. It can be both physically and emotionally challenging.
There is, however, now hope for those with Lymphoedema! Unfortunately there is not a lot of support for this condition., apart from using compression garments, remedial exercise and lymph drainage massage (which may feel intrusive when you are already feeling lack of confidence from altered body image).
Reflexologists in Australia have had the opportunity in October/November 2017, to learn Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage by founder Sally Kay from the UK. This gentle treatment is done on the feet, (or hands), and helps reduce the swelling due to the failure of lymph drainage. It improves quality of life for sufferers. Clinical experience and further evidence from a growing body of case studies suggests RLD may also be useful for non-cancer related, auto-immune disorders e.g. Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, allergies, migraine and many other inflammatory conditions as well as breast cancer related secondary lymphoedema
Lymphoedema is the regional accumulation of excessive amounts of protein-rich fluid in body tissue causing swelling. It occurs when the demand for lymphatic drainage exceeds the capacity of lymphatic circulation. The condition usually affects the limb/s, although it can also affect the trunk, breast, head and neck or genital area.
Primary lymphoedema is a rare, inherited condition caused by problems with the development of lymph vessels in your body.
Secondary lymphoedema can be acquired following surgery, radiotherapy, trauma or other damage to the lymphatic system following treatment for cancer. Secondary lymphoedema can develop at any time after surgery or radiotherapy.
Key risk factors include extent of surgery, lymph node dissection and radiation treatment. Other factors include trauma, infection, body mass index (BMI) and immobility.
Lymphatic drainage massage (MLD) is used to treat conditions other than lymphoedema, and RLD may be used similarly. Prior to a RLD treatment, if possible we begin by taking incremental measurements along the affected arm, thereby recording the volume of fluid. After the RLD treatment, the arm is measured again and measurements recorded to obtain the difference in reduction of fluid. After just one treatment, the client may notice an immediate reduction in tension and stress in the body and the arms and legs may appear lighter. Best results are usually seen after the 2nd treatment and with a series of 4 - 6 weekly treatments to start off with. This can then be reduced to fortnightly and monthly as ongoing maintenance and management of the affected lymphatic system. Clients report not only less discomfort from the reduction of fluid, but also an increase in energy and an improvement in memory issues.