Is there research in reflexology?
Literally hundreds of reflexology studies have been conducted. Our survey of 170 studies show a positive result for 83% of areas researched. A Chinese survey of 8,096 case studies noted a 94% effective or significantly effective rate. Significant areas of study include: stress and anxiety; lessening of pain and cancer care as well as health concerns for individuals of all ages.
Stress and Anxiety
Lessening of stress and anxiety is demonstrated in twenty-nine reflexology studies with study participants including healthy individuals, senior citizens, women and cancer patients. The stimulation of reflexology‘s pressure techniques creates change in the body‘s basic level of tension as demonstrated by research showing that reflexology relaxes the body using a variety of measurements: brain waves (EEG), blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate, and anxiety.
Lessening of Pain
Reduction of pain is a significant result of reflexology work. The lessening of pain in response to reflexology is documented in thirty-six studies including individuals of all ages and health states: birthing mothers, menstruating women, phantom limb pain sufferers, lower back pain sufferers, cancer patients, kidney stone patients, senior citizens and individuals with pain resulting from surgery. Such results find explanation is what researcher Dr. Nancy Stephenson considers as affect on the neuromatirx of the brain, an expansion of the Fate Control Theory of Pain. According to Wikipedia: “Gate control theory asserts that activation of nerves which do not transmit pain signals, called nonnociceptive fibers, can interfere with signals from pain fibers, thereby inhibiting pain.“ Stimulating nerves that sense touch, heat, cold and pressure- as does reflexology- overcomes the action of the pain nerves.
Twenty-four studies conducted by nurses in ten countries show that reflexology helps with each stage of the cancer experience: following chemotherapy, post operatively, management of symptoms and during palliative/hospice care. Research demonstrates that cancer patients who receive reflexology work show significant improvements in physical and emotional symptoms: lessened pain, anxiety, depression and stress; reduced nausea and vomiting; lowered fatigue and improved quality of life.
Research by Age Group
Children : Aggressive and anti-social behavior in children, Asthma, Cerebral palsy, Colic, Encopresis (Fecal incontinence / Chronic constipation), Enuresis, Premature babies Pregnant Women : Birthing / Delivery: Pain killing, Lessened analgesia use and labor time; Lactation in new mothers; Post-partum women: Recovery from Cesarean section / Gastrointestinal function / Urinary system, Sleep, Anxiety and depression Adults : Headache, Sleep, Constipation, Kidney function, Intestinal function, Pancreas function, Circulation, Diabetes, Multiple sclerosis, Dyspepsia, Sinusitis, CholesterolWomen : Constipation, Fatigue and Sleep States, Cortisol, Incontinence, Menopause, Middleaged women (Depression, stress responses, immune system), Migraine headache, Polycystic ovaries, Premenstrual syndrome Men : Incontinence, Post prostatectomy surgery, Post traumatic stress syndrome, Prostate (Enlarged), Urination, Depression and fatigueElderly : Blood pressure, Constipation, Hypertension, Sleep, Depression, Falls (Control over), Nursing home patients with dementia (reduced pain, depression, blood pressure), Nursing home residents, Stroke