What’s new in reflexology research? It’s what’s being researched. The following new studies were conducted in China. Considering these studies one is struck by:
(1) possible reflexology uses in medical care
(2) ever-expanding uses and results sought by a Chinese medical system that has conducted reflexology research for at least 30 years
(3) possible future uses of reflexology in medical systems all over the world
(4) the future job of a reflexologist / hospitalist, a reflexologist who is on call as needed to provide reflexology services to multiple categories of hospital patients, e. g. pre-operative, post operative, cancer care, hemodialysis, birthing, post natal.
• While pain and anxiety are subjects of many reflexology studies, 27 and 24 respectively, the new wave of reflexology research tests for pain and anxiety during the colonoscopy procedure; with mechanical ventilation insertion and following post operative after pacemaker installation.
• Reflexology application to those with constipation concerns has been researched previously for individuals in all age ranges: children, college students, middle aged women and the elderly. Recent research has investigated the effect of reflexology on constipation in individuals who have experienced a stroke in one study, coronary heart disease in another, cancer in a third study and dementia in a fourth.
• Easier child birthing has been documented through research and now new research is showing amelioration for the post natal period: reduction in pain after Cesarean section, improved sleep, improved recovery of urination and defecation; lessened depression and anxiety.
• Studies of diabetics has previously shown improved peripheral circulation following reflexology work through testing by tactile response and intensity of symptoms. New studies show peripheral circulation improvements through measurement of motor and sensory nerve conduction velocity.
• Research about the impact of reflexology on the elderly has demonstrated improvements in blood pressure, control over falls, and sleep. New studies show that the application of reflexology positively impacts the hospitalized elderly: vitality in one study and in another study, sleep, fatigue, vital signs and blood sugar levels in the elderly with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
• Physiologic measures: A study of uterine fibroids showed changes in prolactin, testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen.