Reflexology Lymph Drainage

What is Reflexology Lymph Drainage?


Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD) is a form of the complementary therapy, reflexology. This therapy focuses on lymphatic reflexes on the feet that aim to stimulate and cause an effect on the Lymphatic System within the body. RLD treatment stimulates the flow of the fluid (Lymph) through the Lymphatic System which explains the reduction of swelling.


What is Lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is a long-term condition that causes the tissues within the body to swell as the body lymph is not drained properly. Whilst it can occur throughout the body, it is most common in the arms and legs. This swelling is a result of excess fluid in the tissues which is not drained due to the Lymphatic System being damaged, defective or blocked. This network of glands and channels is responsible for not only fighting infections but also removing excess fluid.

Secondary Lymphoedema occurs due to damage to the Lymphatic System, which could be a result of surgical removal of Lymph nodes in the treatment of Breast, Vulval or Penile cancer; radiotherapy directly to lymph nodes; invasion of tutor cells on the lymphatic vessels and nodes; infections; vascular surgery; or direct trauma to the body parts, e.g., burns, accidents, grazes or open wounds.


What is Lipoedema?

Lipoedema is a long-term chronic condition where there is an abnormal build up of fat cells in the legs, thighs, buttocks and sometimes the arms. This condition usually only affects women, although in rare cases it can also affect men.


How does RLD help?

The Lymphatic System is connected to three other body systems: cardiovascular, digestive and immune system. The specific area of the feet has thousands of nerve endings that correspond to other parts of our body. Stimulation of nerves supplying the feet can help improve blood and lymph circulation and restore energy flow.

RLD can help in a variety of ways. This includes:

  • Reduced swelling
  • Less pain and discomfort
  • A feeling of improved body image and wellbeing
  • An increase in the strength and mobility of the arm or leg
  • Improvement of general wellbeing 


What does RLD treatment involve?

During an RLD treatment, you will be asked to sit in a reclining chair and your therapist will then place precise pressure and massage specific areas of your feet. You won’t feel any pain, however, you may feel that some points are more tender than others. 

Each treatment will last from 45 to 60 minutes and is recommended to be carried out every week for 4-6 sessions to start with.