26th July

By Jan Richards, Bloomhill volunteer journalist

Thanks to a new hi-tech machine, the Lympha Press, lymphoedema sufferers have access to even more effective treatment.

Debbie Myers, Bloomhill’s lymphatic drainage specialist, says Bloomhill invested in the Lympha Press so that it could help not just clients, but also the wider community coping with lymphoedema.

“Lymphoedema develops due to a blockage or breakdown in the body’s drainage system (the lymphatic system) which causes a build-up of fluid,” Debbie says. “It can develop within days, weeks, months or even many years after treatment for cancer more commonly in the arms and legs, but can also occur in the neck, face, chest wall, upper and lower body.

Debbie says the Lympha Press prepares the client’s body so that when it is time for her hands-on treatment the therapy time is maximised for increased efficiency. Using the Lympha Press prior to traditional manual lymphatic drainage also affords us the luxury of additional clinic time to provide treatment for cording and/or scar work.

“The machine uses air compression delivered through garments which are wrapped around the affected area. There are leg, arm and chest compression garments, worn over light clothing, which are thoroughly cleaned after each use.”

As with all Bloomhill therapies the session begins with an assessment of client needs. Treatment commences with the patient being fitted with a Lympha Press garment to address the site-specific swelling.

The machine uses compressed air to stimulate lymph nodes and initiate movement of lymphatic fluid, sequential compression to move the lymph fluid then follows. Once the Lympha Press completes its sequencing Debbie uses her expertly trained hands to work on specific areas or concerns, such as excess swelling, fibrosis, scar tissue or cording.

“There has been little notable change in treatment for lymphedema in at least two decades,” Debbie says. “Rudimentary pneumatic pumps were used prior to the creation of CDT (complete decongestive therapy), but those pumps haven’t been good enough to mimic the hands of a therapist.

“With Lympha Press they have harnessed advanced technology. It can correctly sequence lymphatic drainage and stimulate lymph nodes, which they couldn’t do before. It makes my drainage massage more efficient and gives me more time to work on other structural issues. I can get more into one session.”

Another advantage will be that Debbie will also be able to help a greater number of clients as she can have one client utilising the machine while she works on another in a second treatment room.

Lymphoedema sufferers need to compensate for an impaired system that doesn’t properly move lymph fluid. It’s not healthy to have poorly managed swelling because the swelling is more than just water and stagnant oedema. Lymphatic fluid that is not regularly decongested puts the body at risk of infection and permanent vessel damage.

Debbie says there have been a number of studies showing the Lympha Press helps decongest, reduce pain and control the symptoms of lymphoedema.

The compression and release sequence also stimulates the lymph vessels to propel the fluid out of the area to decongest it of stagnant lymph fluid. The lymph nodes process the oedema so that it can be safely excreted by the body.

The garments include a four-chamber leg sleeve which fits all body shapes and sizes and moulds to the limb as it fills with air. The arm sleeve treats the entire arm and shoulder, while the torso garment treats the back chest and abdomen and can be attached to the arm sleeve.

All garments are easy to put on and remove, however, your Bloomhill therapist will take care of every aspect of your therapy. If you have lost touch with your previous therapist or thought that your body was beyond the time limit for you to see improvements – please reconsider and phone reception to book an appointment on 54 455 794.

The lymphatic drainage sessions are $55 for Bloomhill clients and for the wider community $110.

Image credit: Top image supplied by Joe Surace Photography