Taste buds in the lungs? That’s what new research is showing.
It seems taste buds in the lungs sense bitter taste, specifically that of illness-causing bacteria. “When the taste receptors in the lungs detect bugs that cause pneumonia and other serious illnesses, the muscles relax and the airways expand. This happens presumably to allow a person to breathe more easily and to clear the bacteria and related debris out of the airway to keep the bacteria from progression to a more serious infection…” Scientists find this new discovery to be important because it leads to new ideas to create drugs to treat asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Does reflexology have a similar impact, prompting muscles to relax and airways to expand? While reflexology research reports do not cite mechanisms of action, the studies do demonstrate that reflexology impacts respiratory-related illnesses and function:
• Reflexology helps with symptoms of asthma if applied sufficiently. Disappearance of symptoms is reported when reflexology is applied daily for 2 to 12 weeks but no when applied 60 minutes per week for 10 weeks.
• Reflexology increases oxygen saturation rates:
• The addition of reflexology to a medication regime speeds up the treatment time for infants with pneumonia from an average of 9.7 days as opposed to 12.3 days for infants treated with medication alone.
• Foot reflexology was found to be more effective than antibiotics in treating bronchitis in children.
Further research should show what creates the positive effects attributed to reflexology. Could the relaxing qualities of reflexology be used "to clear the bacteria and related debris out of the airway to keep the bacteria from progression to a more serious infection"?