A very specific, gentle massage technique to help flush out swelling, direct fluid to other lymphatic pathways, and unblock or soften hard tissue.
Lymphedema is chronic swelling (edema) caused by a buildup of fluid (lymph). It is a lifelong condition that happens when the lymphatic system is either faulty or damaged and cannot function as normal. We can’t predict who’s going to develop Lymphedema. Your body may heal well after treatment and be able to manage the lymph flow in the damaged area, or the extent of damage to your lymphatic system may combine with other risk factors and trigger Lymphedema- during treatment or many years later.
Secondary Lymphedema can occur when a person’s lymphatic system is damaged by surgery or radiation therapy. People who are treated for cancer have a lifelong risk for Lymphedema if they have lymph nodes or vessels removed, or damaged during treatment.
Lymphedema due to “secondary” causes such as cancer treatment often develops in the part of the body where the lymphatic system is faulty or damaged.
The lymphatic system is part of your body’s circulatory and immune systems. It helps to keep your body healthy by keeping a healthy balance of fluid in tissues, transporting proteins and digested fats to provide your cells with nutrients, and helping to fight infection by removing bacteria, viruses and other germs.
The early signs and symptoms include:
· Swelling that can be sudden, gradual or occasional
· Clothing, shoes or rings/watch may feel tighter
· Feelings of heaviness, tightness, fullness or heat in the affected area
· Aches, shooting pain or pins and needles in the affected area
· Skin may feel tight or stretched, and sometimes its texture feels thicker
The best treatment is decongestive lymphatic therapy from a certified Lymphedema therapist:
· Compression therapy to reduce and contain swelling
· Lymphatic drainage to improve lymph flow, direct fluid to other drainage pathways, and unblock or soften hard tissue
· Skin care education on how to avoid infection
· Exercises to promote lymphatic function and flow
Many people with lymphedema lead full and active lives. It takes a team to manage lymphedema: you, your family members or close friends, a certified lymphedema therapist, a family doctor or nurse, and sometimes a naturopath, dietician and fitness specialist.
As a certified Combined Decongestive and Manual Lymphatic Drainage therapist, Alison looks forward to being a member of your team.
In addition to being used in the treatment of cancer related edemas, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) can also be used in the care of patients with a wide range of conditions.
MLD has a pain-relieving effect and can be used with recent trauma. Patients find the techniques soothing and relaxing with no side effects. It is a combination of gentle, rhythmic, massage-like movements, performed with a great deal of precision and requires a well trained therapist to achieve good results.
MLD can be can also be used with the following conditions:
Pre and Post Tummy Tucks and Liposuction
Swelling experienced in hands, legs, feet during pregnancy
Swelling due to venous insufficiency
Traumatic injury to the eye
Pre/Post oral surgery
Traumatic face injury
Hip Pathologies (arthritis or replacement)
Knee Pathologies (arthritis, injury, replacement)
Alison Tracey, RMT, CDT (ADP Authorizer)
Alison graduated with honours from the Oxford College of Business and Arts Massage Therapy diploma program and holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from McMaster University. She is also one of a select group of therapists trained and certified by the acclaimed Dr. Vodder School International, as a Combined Decongestive Therapist (CDT) to administer Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD). Alison is listed on the Lymphedema Association of Ontario website.