Massage Therapists haven’t always been closely associated with Lymphatic Drainage.
When I qualified with a Diploma of Lymphatic Drainage back in 2007, lymphoedema was hardly talked about, let alone recognised as a true medical condition. As a massage therapist in Australia, sadly I wasn’t acknowledged as someone worth employing to work with patients who had this condition.
More than a decade down the track and we are finally seeing this condition recognised by the medical field, health funds and government, and although most places still won’t employ a massage therapist, many physiotherapist and occupational therapists recognise the importance of massage therapists in this field and refer patients to them. As someone who loves the hands on aspect of massage, I can’t understand why it took so long to accept massage therapists here in Australia into the fold of lymphoedema treatment.
Now that we have so many people living for decades post cancer treatment the incidence of lymphoedema has increased in society. A condition that cannot be cured and needs to be maintained for life, lymphoedema is unpleasant and uncomfortable, costly and can have an emotional and mental aspect as well as the physical. Many cancer centres are now offering lymphoedema services where patients can be measured, garments ordered and exercise prescribed, however all of this takes time and often the hands on massage (manual lymphatic drainage – MLD) is left out due to time constraints.
The benefits of seeing a massage therapist who is trained in lymphoedema management means you can increase your rehabilitation to enhance your outcomes. They can teach you self massage techniques so your condition can remain stable between measurement appointments with the rest of your care team. The benefits of manual lymphatic drainage are not just physical. The slow, gentle motion that moves lymphatic fluid also elicits the relaxation response which in turn allows a calming of the mind, a slowing of breathing rate, relaxing of muscles and better sleep. This treatment should not be underestimated for the benefits you receive, physically and mentally.
Interested in lymphatic drainage? You can book Amy today by booking a callback below this in-depth oncology massage video…