Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why Reflexology Improves Post-Operative Care

                                        Medical Applications for Reflexology Part 2

Research demonstrates the benefits of reflexology use with post operative patients: lessening pain, decreasing anxiety, speeding recovery as well as providing comforting touch. Explanation for such benefits is found in the impact on the nervous system by reflexology pressure technique application to the hands and feet.
Lessening of pain
The lessening of pain in response to reflexology work is documented in six post operative care studies. Similar results have been demonstrated in twenty-five studies with reflexology applied in areas such as birthing, phantom limb and the elderly. 
Such results find explanation in what researcher Dr. Nancy Stephenson of Eastern North Carolina University considers as affect on the neuromatrix of the brain, an expansion of the Gate Control Theory of Pain. According to Wikipedia: “Gate control theory asserts that activation of nerves which do not transmit pain signals, called non-nociceptive fibers, can interfere with signals from pain fibers, thereby inhibiting pain.” Stimulating nerves that sense touch, heat, and cold as well as pressure such as pressure sensors of the feet and hands affected by reflexology use overcomes the action of the pain nerves.
Decrease in anxiety
Decrease in anxiety for post surgical patients in response to reflexology work is demonstrated in two studies. Explanation is found in some twenty studies with individuals ranging from healthy individuals to senior citizens to menopausal women using a variety of measurements show that reflexology relaxes the body. The stimulation of reflexology’s pressure techniques creates change in the body’s basic level of tension as demonstrated by research using measurement of: brain waves (EEG), blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate, and anxiety. 
Speeding recovery
Speedier recovery of gastrointestinal and urinary functions is noted in five studies of post operative recovery as well as six studies in post-partum women. Explanation may be found in improved blood circulation to the kidneys and intestines due to reflexology work as found in previous research using Doppler sonogram measurement. 
Additional studies have found reflexology to impact functions of the digestive system and the kidneys. Improvements in bowel movement and constipation was found in multiple studies with a variety of individuals: the elderly, healthy individuals, children (2 studies), cancer patients, hospice care (2 studies), cerebral hemorrhage patients, coronary heart disease patients, women (3 studies), and college students. In two studies hand reflexology applied to hemodialysis patients found reflexology work improved multiple function of the kidneys. 
Comforting touchFinally, the comforting touch of a concerned care giver or professional cannot be over-looked in the responses of patients to reflexology work. Study after study notes the response of the reflexology’s human to human non-invasive touch. 

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