Use of Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage (RLD) in Breast Cancer Related Lymphoedema

2019-09-11T14:34:26Z (GMT) by Judith Whatley
Reflexology is one of the most commonly used complementary therapies in cancer care. The original project was set up to explore the use of a particular technique of reflexology in people with swelling of the arm as a result of surgery for breast cancer.

The specialised technique of reflexology called ‘Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage or RLD’ was developed in response to a clinical need for a less invasive treatment for the condition. Current treatment modalities include the wearing of a compression sleeves to contain the swelling, or manual lymphatic drainage which is not widely available.

26 women who had undergone breast surgery and axillary node clearance, and who had then experienced swelling in one arm, were recruited from three areas of South Wales. For two weeks, they had both their arms measured and compared, and for the following four weeks they were given RLD. Their arms were measured before and after each of these reflexology sessions, followed by a week of measurement without treatment. They were asked about their main concerns, and a short interview was conducted asking them about their experiences of lymphoedema and how taking part in the study had impacted on them.

This video brings together some of the stories of this work.