Pain Management through a different mechanism
Several studies have shown reﬂexology to be eﬀective for pain management in various ways. In a double-blind study conducted in 2017 with nurses, subjects who received a 40 minutes reﬂexology treatment, three times a week, reported a signiﬁcant reduction of their chronic back pain. There was a reduction in the intensity of the pain as well as the subjects’ perception of pain. This same decrease in pain was also observed in a group of breast cancer patients who received 30 minutes foot reﬂexology from a certiﬁed reﬂexology therapist, in a study conducted by scientists from the University of Southern California. A third way reﬂexology therapy proved eﬀective for pain management was through increasing the pain threshold, which is the point at which pain is starting to be felt. The eﬀects of reﬂexology on pain intensity, perception of pain and pain threshold was valid in situations of chronic, as well as acute pain.
Less Anxiety through Reflexology
Reﬂexology therapy received prior to, during or after diﬀerent medical interventions were successful in reducing the patient’s anxiety scores. Various studies showed this decrease in anxiety through reﬂexology in speciﬁc situations, like women during the ﬁrst two stages of labour or patients prior to surgery. Lower anxiety also resulted when Reﬂexology was used for longer term ailments. Postmenopausal women who received reﬂexology sessions had decreased levels of anxiety and depression. Lung and breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy also had lower anxiety scores with periodic reﬂexology therapy.
Relief for the young
Reﬂexology has been shown to be eﬀective at all stages of life. When performed on infants suﬀering from colic, a decrease in colic severity was observed. Studies have also shown reﬂexology to be eﬀective for acute pain management in infants. Children aged between 1-12 years old suﬀering from chronic constipation, after reﬂexology sessions, were able to have more bowel movements and saw an overall decrease of all symptoms.
Relief for Seniors
Nursing home patients suﬀering from mild to moderate dementia were able to reduce their stress and pain levels through daily reﬂexology therapy. A reduction of stress levels also resulted in better sleep quality and decrease in insomnia for patients who underwent weekly foot reﬂexology. For the elderly suﬀering from rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms of fatigue were also alleviated through reﬂexology.
A great complement to cancer treatment. Various studies have demonstrated that as result of using reﬂexology along with cancer treatments, patients had a better quality of life overall. This is due to reﬂexology reducing stress levels, anxiety and the intensity of the side eﬀects that patients commonly experience during treatment.