Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K., published in August 2007 an article called “Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice”. This examined the effectiveness of reflexology in a hospital or healthcare setting, with some participants undergoing reflexology and a control group receiving no treatment. The research determined that reflexology in this type of setting strongly reduced anxiety. The report ultimately concluded that, given the recognized connection between stress and well-being, the ability of reflexology to lessen stress may prove beneficial for patients.

October 2009 edition of “Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing” published a paper which tried to determine whether reflexology could help premenopausal middle-aged women improve blood circulation. 40 women nurses were divided into two groups: an experimental group of 20 and a control group of 20. The experimental group performed 40 minutes of foot reflexology on themseves two times a week for 4 weeks on both feet. The control group did nothing during the study. The results showed that fatigue was lower and sleep state higher in the experimental group. Foot reflexology was found to decrease fatigue and increase sleep states in clinical nurses.

The NICE guidelines, designed to advise GP’s on the preferred treatments for each health condition, recognise that Reflexology could reduce a range of symptoms associated with Multiple Sclerosis. For example; improvements in balance, bladder control, sleep, circulation, pain, pins and needles, spasms, constipation, feeling in the feet, and general wellbeing – as reported by the Multiple Sclerosis Trust. Since 2003, NICE has said patients could consider Reflexology as a pain relieving treatment for patients. Nice is the governing body of the NHS that approves medication & treatments. It authorises treatments that have been proven with evidence based trials showing a statistical effectiveness. (Fiona Tait, BSc (Hons) Nursing, Multiple Sclerosis Specialist Nurse, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough)

Jirayingmongkol P, Chantein S, Phengchomjan N, Bhanggananda N, “The Effect of Foot Massage with Biofeedback: A Pilot Study to Enhance Health Promotion.” 20 subjects, both male and female, ages 19-61 yrs old, were given foot massage by 4 trained researchers. Vital signs changes were measured and biofeedback was done before and after sessions. Results: biofeedback and temperature were lower and the pulse & respiratory rate and blood pressure were higher before the foot massage. All subjects reported positive feedback about the foot. Foot massage was shown to be effective in providing good circulation, relaxation, and comfort.

Gao, W., Wang, Z., and Liu, H.(1996). “Preliminary Exploration of Treatment for Insomnia.” 1996 China Reflexology Symposium Report, Beijing : China Reflexology Association.70 patients with insomnia were given foot reflexology. Group A was given 10 sessions twice a day and Group B was given 10 sessions once a day. Group A showed 88.57% improvement after five days and 100% after ten days. Group B showed 22.86% improvement after 5 days and 91.43% after 10 days. Foot reflexology was found to be effective for the relief of insomnia.

(Journal of the Danish Reflexologists Association, FDZ), Number 6 ‘Sick Days, Reduced Use of Sick Days.’1992 A study was done regarding the effectiveness of company paid reflexologists. Foot reflexology was given to Danish employees for a 6-month period. It was noted that there were 2499 less hours of sick leave. It was proven cost effective since they did not have to pay for extensive sick pay, so they continued providing this service for their employees. Reflexology was proven to be effective in maintaining employees’ health and performance.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists have recommended Reflexology as a tool to ease the feeling of distress in Post Traumatic Stress Disorders

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