Some of our therapists who provide reflexology and body massage recently completed a course in Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD). This treatment was primarily designed to help reduce secondary lymphedema, a swelling in the arm following treatment for breast cancer.
However, swollen feet and ankles are common in multiple sclerosis (MS) and are caused by an accumulation of lymphatic fluid (lymphedema). They are considered to be a secondary symptom of the disease, because they most often develop due to a lack of mobility instead of arising as a direct result of demyelination.
Lymphatic fluid delivers nutrients and other substances to and from organs in the body. Normally, the contractions of active leg muscles move this fluid along in lymphatic channels, propelling it upward towards the body cavity. When the body becomes less mobile, as may happen with MS, the kneading action does not occur, the fluid leaks from the channels and accumulates by gravity in the ankles and feet.
Many of our members have experienced a reduction in swelling in the feet and ankles following RLD and full body manual lymphatic drainage.
“I started having reflexology with KMSTC therapist, Penny Rickards last year – I have had reflexology since being diagnosed with MS and she introduced me to Reflexology Lymph Drainage.
I have suffered with swollen feet all my adult life and the impact following my very first session was instant – I left the room with feet that were not puffy! The effect initially lasted a couple of days but as I progressed with the weekly treatment the effect was longer lasting and my feet were not swollen at all. Now I can miss a week and my feet do not swell unless I have a particularly long session on my feet but another session of RLD brings them back down to normal size again. Since having regular RLD, sitting with my feet up for a short while has immediate impact.”
Lorraine Bant, Centre member