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Manual lymphatic drainage

Posted 14 Jan 2020 at 23:38

I have posted recently about my dad losing ability to walk very rapidly due to failing lymphatic system. 

My dad described in detail the exact moment he felt a switch in his body and he realised something was very wrong.  It happens almost 60 mins after his 5th radium 223 injection.  

He felt the instant effect and then his legs swelled up. 

Has anyone has manual lymphatic drainage massage for swollen legs in advanced cancer, and does it help.  

I spoke to someone who does this and reports after a few weeks the movement improves and if done daily can be hugely beneficial.   Especially combined with oscillation machine and compressive bandages.  

But a level 3 qualification is required.  Seems to be a real shortage of people offering this.  I will do the course myself and perhaps consider a career change!


Has anyone has this?  Is it beneficial.  I would give my own legs up to see my dad walk again.  





Posted 15 Jan 2020 at 08:13
It can do more harm than good. I'd be very wary of doing this.

Best wishes,


Posted 15 Jan 2020 at 08:31
As Chris says, it can be dangerous so although a patient with lymphodema due to other causes may get LM via an odema clinic, etc., generally the only people qualified to do this for someone with advanced cancer will be employed at the local hospice or in palliative care services. My daughter is qualified in LM as a palliative physiotherapist but would never do it for someone at end of life, only where odema is a side effect of treatment.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 15 Jan 2020 at 23:15

I am worried as did not realise the manual lymphatic drainage could be dangerous?


A well respected practitioner in manual lymphatic drainage informed it was very useful if done daily and combined with a machine that delivers deep Oscillation Called Hivamat 200.   This machine helps with pain relief and reduces swelling significantly in most of the patients she has treated who have advanced cancer such that they get some movement back.  

She is so booked up and uses Vlodder technique combined with Hivamat Machine.  Most of her clients are suffering from advanced cancer.  

I have looked further into the Hivamat 200 machine and found a local hospice are using also along with massage. But we are out of area slightly so can’t access it there. 

Has anyone heard or used Hivamat 200 machine?


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