Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nursing and Reflexology Research

Touch has always been a part of the nursing mandate and reflexology has become a part of this reach out to patients. The causal use of reflexology by nurses has now been explored through research, creating an evidence base for its uses.

The use of reflexology by nurses is easy and practical as noted by one nurse researcher who writes: “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.”

The following abstracts of sixty-two studies by nurses illustrate the uses, doses and value of reflexology application. For example, research shows benefits of 10 minutes hand reflexology applications: a single application provides post-operative pain relief; a 5-day series helps cancer patients and a 5-day per week/5 weeks course of treatment improves kidney function for dialysis patients. Whether applied as hand reflexology or foot reflexology or taught for partner use, research shows reflexology to be a useful adjunct for nursing.

Barbara Kunz

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