Reflexology Lymph Drainage is a specialist reflexology technique which focuses on stimulating the lymphatic reflexes on the feet. It was initially researched and developed to relieve the symptoms of secondary lymphoedema associated with breast cancer and can also be helpful in the management of other conditions relating to the immune system.
Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD) is a unique sequence that has been researched and developed by UK reflexologist, Sally Kay, whilst working in Cancer Care.
The lymphatic system forms an important part of your immune system, producing the cells needed to defend the body from foreign bacteria and viruses and acting as a waste disposal system, removing and cleansing excess fluid and cellular waste from body tissues.
A poorly working lymphatic system causes tissues to become swollen with fluid. This is called lymphoedema. It can present in two main ways - primary lymphoedema, often caused by the underdevelopment of the lymphatic system and present from birth or secondary lymphoedema, caused by damage or trauma to the lymphatic system, often as a result of cancer treatment, injury, infection or lack of limb movement.
Whilst working as part of a team of therapists in a hospice, Sally Kay observed the positive effect that Manual Lymph Drainage massage (MLD) had in reducing the symptoms of secondary lymphoedema in cancer patients and as a result developed the RLD technique based on the anatomy, physiology and function of the lymphatic system, and the principles of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Simple Lymph Drainage exercises (SLD). RLD uses the theory of reflexology - that all systems and organs of the body are reflected in the feet - to mirror these principles on the corresponding reflexes of the feet.
In the same way that MLD is used to treat conditions other than lymphoedema, RLD can be used similarly and may be helpful in the management of autoimmune disorders and other conditions which affect the immune system, e.g. arthritis, asthma, eczema, sinus problems, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, ME, migraines and headaches, premenstrual syndrome.
You can read more about RLD in this Blog post...