Further great news about lymphoedema. This research was also sponsored by Tenovus the Welsh charity which has supported our reflexology research, along with a further grant from the Welsh Government. The research team including Lymphoedema specialists , surgeons, and physiotherapists has devised a technique which 'repairs' the channels for lymph to flow. The surgeon describes it as 'plumbing' . I see potential collaborative links here....read the download for more details.
In the discussions about where to take the research next, should we be considering adapting Sally's RLD protocol to test the effects on the leg? I've been having great success treating a client this way. Sally tells me there has been a lot of success with Fibromyalgia and other pathologies also. There are so many possibilities.
This lady's leg trouble occurred after surgery for cancer, and removal of groin lymph nodes. Interestingly, as the fluid was struggling to exit via its normal channels, the kidney on that side showed signs of strain, as indicated in the picture below of the kidney point, left foot.
We’ve begun our final set of arm measurement on our ladies who took part in the research in the Spring and Summer. We are already getting some good results. One of those who was involved in the research told me that her arm had stayed down since her last treatment, and she hadn’t had any reflexology or RLD since. Her last treatment was in April, that’s 6 months. This might be a one-off of course, but if we can demonstrate longevity of effect – that is – sustainability of fluid loss after a series of only four treatments, then we can surely make a case for the inclusion of RLD in the lymphoedema services.
The next step is thinking about how we want to extend the research, there is much debate about this in our small team, and amongst my students. The logical step is to make the next study larger - and perhaps extend it to other places outside Wales. We might also want to consider using one or more control groups to measure against. - MLD and SLD are my preference. Some have suggested we compare against other types of reflexology, and some have suggested we remove the human factor altogether. What do you think?
Sorry its been a bit quiet on here lately, but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening. We in the office have been working on a series of reports which inform interested parties about the progress on the research. We held a tea party in September for all the lovely ladies who took part, and it was lovely to hear their positive feedback about what the Reflexology lymphatic drainage has meant for them.
Here is one of their comments: It’s absolutely amazing because people do suffer with lymphoedema for years and it’s so painful, if something as pleasant as this can do something it’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing.”
The T party was really an opportunity to present the research findings to the ladies, and also to the funder, who had only had the summary data thus far. What they were most pleased about was the opportunity to talk to those who had been involved and had been suffering with pain and swelling for years, with very little being done to help them.
From a reflexology perspective, what was also interesting was the limited research available to show that the usual methods of treatment are actually effective. ‘There is no convincing evidence……’ is something that we hear a lot in academic circles when discussing reflexology research, but surprisingly, there is no convincing evidence that compression garments are actually a good treatment either. They work for some people, of course, otherwise they wouldn’t be used, but they do very little for others, and sometimes they can actually make the problem worse. This is why the RLD results are potentially so explosive, if we can demonstrate that there is an effect for many more people, then we’d really be on to a winner.
Progress is being made on the academic papers which need to be published in peer reviewed journals, to stand any chance of being read by the policy makers and fund holders. Sadly I only have one pair of hands, and as I also have a full time job at Cardiff Metropolitan University, I need to fit the research paper writing in around that. The full time job also encroaches on my weekends, and last week I was delighted to be able to help out at the massage stand at the Cardiff Half Marathon, with four of our lovely graduate therapists.
I’m shortly off to teach my second years, and you can be sure that one of the topics will be the ongoing research.
I'll keep you posted.