Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in the UK, and following medical intervention 20% of breast cancer patients experience lymphoedema of the arm. Lymphoedema is tissue swelling due to the failure of lymph drainage. As well as physical discomfort, this also causes psychological distress for sufferers.
In 2011, the results of an exploratory research study at Cardiff Metropolitan University, found that treatment with a new reflexology technique known as Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD), (undertaken on the feet of participants), resulted in a statistically significant reduction in arm volume. Findings from this exploratory study indicated that RLD may be helpful in the management of secondary lymphoedema. A larger study on RLD was undertaken on 26 women in 2014, and this found that the women involved experienced a significant reduction in the volume of their affected arm, and that this lasted for over 6 months. In order for this to be classed as being attributable solely to reflexology, the study will need to be replicated on a much larger scale, and this is currently being investigated, however these initial results are very promising and encouraging for ladies experiencing lymphedema.
Here is a video of Sally Kay introducing her RLD technique.