Health & Harmony

Bringing Reiki, life and wellbeing to Galashiels and the rest of the Scottish Borders

Reflexology research in USA

A Reflexology treatment can certainly be a special relaxing treat, but for cancer patients it can be so much more than that.

US researchers at the Michigan State University have uncovered strong evidence that reflexology can help cancer patients better manage their symptoms and go about their daily lives.

This was the first large-scale, randomized study of reflexology’s use along with standard cancer treatment. It’s the first time the benefits of reflexology have been documented. The results are strong enough that the lead researcher is hoping they represent a step toward moving reflexology out of the fringe and into the mainstream.

Reflexology is fascinating, really. It’s been practiced since the days of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt. The idea is that certain points on the feet are linked to specific organs and other parts of the body. Stimulating those points on the feet is thought to help those organs and body parts function better.

In the study, 385 women with advanced-stage breast cancer being treated with chemo or hormonal therapy were assigned randomly to three groups. One group received treatment from a certified reflexologist. The second received a “regular” foot massage. The third had no foot treatment.

When the researchers checked in with the patients at the five-week and 11-week marks, they found that the women who received reflexology had significantly less shortness of breath. This is a common symptom in breast cancer patients. Daily tasks like grocery shopping and getting dressed were also easier for the women receiving reflexology.

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