Sixty-two studies by nurses illustrate the uses, doses and value of reflexology application
• One nurse-researcher notes: “Foot reflexology is a way to enhance the nurse-patient interrelationship. It offers a strategy to fulfill the goals for human touch and holistic nursing care. It can be performed at any location, is non-invasive, and does not interfere with patients’ privacy.”
• 10 minutes of hand reflexology work was found to be effective in providing: significant pain relief for post operative patients, improvement in feeling, an increase in skin temperature and a high rating for nurse-patient relationship.
• 10-minute hand reflexology sessions over 5 days helped cancer patients with: significantly lower degrees of fatigue and anxiety; improved mood states and lower systolic blood pressure and pulse rate.
• A series of 10-minute hand reflexology sessions over 5 days for 5 weeks with hemodialysis patients demonstrated significant improvements in four measures of kidney functioning. In addition, patients experienced significant increases in vigor, mood, uplifts and self care agency.
• For menopausal women, reflexology work lessened symptoms.
• Foot reflexology makes a real time, right now difference for cancer patients, easing pain and anxiety following a ten-minute session in one study and a thirty-minute session in another.
• Sixteen studies from seven countries demonstrate that reflexology helps cancer patients with: nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, and anxiety as well as providing relaxation.
• In separate studies of reflexology, middle-aged women showed: reduced urinary incontinence; reduced depression and stress responses, and strengthened the immune systems; reduced perceived stress and fatigue and helped blood circulation; and relieved pain and depression for those with osteoarthritis.
• In separate studies of postpartum women, reflexology was shown to significantly decrease depression and improve sleep quality as well as gastrointestinal function.
• Separate studies found that elderly women were helped with reflexology: a self-help program lowered depression; reflexology work decreased blood pressure and fatigue as well as helped with sleep and fatigue.
• A hospice program found reflexology (and other complementary therapies) “offer(ed) a voluntary, non-invasive and holistic opportunity for patients to experience increased comfort and relaxation in the midst of their treatment experience.”
• An end-of-life program found that reflexology applied by family members had a beneficial effect on the morale of both cancer patients and their families.
• Research “supports the use of reflexology in nursing home residents with mild/moderate dementia with results demonstrating a significant decrease in symptoms of pain, depression and physiologic measures of stress.”
Evidenced-based reflexology information: research shows how much and how long to apply reflexology to create positive effects.