This specialised treatment is for people who suffer primary or secondary Lymphoedema (excess fluid retention in arms, feet, ankles, legs) and is also very useful in the recovery stage for anyone who has undergone liposuction or surgery where Lymph Nodes have been removed.
The lymphatic system requires body movement to pump lymph fluid through the body, and also works with your immune system helping to remove excess fluid, waste, toxins and bacteria.
If you live a rather sedentary lifestyle this is an option to help reduce any excess fluid (swollen feet, ankles, legs or arms) and boosts your immune system. Sometimes your Lymphatic System needs a bit of help if you’ve been a bit under the weather and poorly, or have undergone surgery.
Unlike a regular massage, this treatment is actually very light and gentle, moving the lymph fluid that lies between the skin and muscle, acting as a pump for the body.
Lymphoedema cannot be cured, but regular Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatments will help to manage your symptoms. It is vitally important to exercise so regular walking, swimming or yoga is recomended. If you have impaired mobility then do plenty of chair exercises to move your toes and ankles and it is really important to keep your legs elevated as this will help your lymphatic system drain the fluid from your feet and ankles, reducing the swelling. If your feet are on the floor whilst seated for most of the day, the force of gravity keeps the fluid in your feet and ankles and they will feel heavy and uncomfortable. You are likely develop fluid blisters in the lower limbs if the fluid build up is not relieved by leg elevation or compression socks, which increases your risk of infection. Please speak to your GP before self treating any lymphoedema issues.
Be careful with uninformed usage of compression socks particularly if there are underlying heart or kidney issues. A Doppler test, and an ABPI test would be needed to confirm that compression socks are not contra-indicated, which could potentially cause harm. If both these tests are cleared by a medical professional it may be beneficial in the management of this condition to have specially measured compression socks.
ABPI and Doppler test explained
Measure the ankle-brachial pressure index (ABPI) in both legs using a Doppler machine. It is the ratio of the ankle to the brachial systolic pressure. If the ABPI is: Less than 0.8 — compression stockings are contraindicated, as severe arterial insufficiency is likely (source https://cks.nice.org.uk)
A Doppler ultrasound is a test that uses high-frequency sound waves to measure the amount of blood flow through your arteries and veins, usually those that supply blood to your arms and legs. Vascular flow studies, also known as blood flow studies, can detect abnormal flow within an artery or blood vessel.
MYTH-BUSTER! Drinking less fluids DOES NOT help reduce excess fluid in your system. Quite the opposite, in fact. It is therefore important to drink 2 to 3 litres of fluid (water preferably) daily to help flush excess fluid (lymphatic fluid is protein, not just water) from your system.
CONTRA-INDICATIONS! If you suffer heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease please check with your Doctor first. I would need a letter from your Doctor approving Manual Lymphatic Drainage for you as this treatment could potentially put pressure on the affected organs.
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