Reflexology & Lymphodema

I am currently having chemo and would like to have reflexology. My onc says it is okay. But it has occurred to me. Is it okay as regards lymphodema as apparently they work on the lymph system although of course not the arms. I do not have lymphodema and am anxious to avoid anything that may trigger it. Would welcome others experiences.

Hi Starfish

The following link will take you to a publication which you may find helpful to read, it is a factsheet containing information about lymphoedema prevention:

You are welcome to contact our specialist nurses regarding your specific query, please call our helpline on 0808 800 6000 or you can also email our specialist nurse team via the ‘Ask the Nurse’ service which you will find on the front page of the website.

Best wishes

I have just started a course of reflexology (15 mths after end of chemo). I have mild LO. My therapist does other stuff including lymphatic drainage and so I doubt there would be any problems starting it off as surely clearing the system must benefit or even prevent this happening. If I remember, I’ll ask her on thurs.


Many thanks Irene. I am just a bit worried. I am sure it is ok.

Hi Starfish,

I had reflexology sessions with Breast Cancer Haven in London after my chemo 6 months treatment but during my radiotherapy treatments.i decide to register with them on my first BC in 2006.I thought to male my trip to London daily for 25 days, i might as well register with them and received my choice of treatments.I had previous sessions privately,on my one, even before I was DX and found it to be relaxing, feels great to my system.As much as it is administered in the feet, it is meant to be for the whole body…you will be assessed on first consuultation.I might do it again when i start my Radiotheray sometime in Dec08-Jan 09.

For now, i try to do Home Tai Chi exercises using DVD,at my leisure,in my front roomanytime i feel stiff like tree trunk and i found that it is rejuvenating,helps flexibility and i hope reduces risks of lymphodaema.Hope this helps…


Hi Stafish

I have reflexology through the local hospice and i already have lymphoedema, cant have blood pressure, needles or anything on affected arm and have to have an antibiotic while on holiday in case i cut and get infected but reflex is perfectly ok my lymphoedma nurse recommended it for me and it is bliss, i really look forward to my 40mins of relaxation!

Hoope that helps

Thanks for all your advice. I will go for it! I also plan to take tai chi when the treatment is hopefully over. I have had it recommended as a lymphodema preventative.

thanks everyone.