Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sleep … an elusive activity- Reflexology research

By rachel CALAMUSA (It's time to sleep  Uploaded by xiaphias) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Sleep … an elusive activity for many. Now research is showing how and why reflexology might help in the never-ending search for sleep.

Did you ever fall asleep during a reflexology session? Feel like it? Did a client ever fall asleep in the midst of your reflexology work? Did you ever wonder why this would happen?

Wonder no longer. “… the application of reflexology induces changes in the activity of brain waves in correspondence with the appearance of a high degree of sleepiness and sleep.”

“A previous study suggested a possible relation between the relaxation obtained during the reflexology session and the sleep” so  members of the Nursing Faculty at the Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain went to a sleep lab to look for answers.

Twelve adults were enrolled in the new study. Following a 35-minute reflexology session, the effects were measured by polysomnography, a record of brain waves, the blood oxygen level, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements. Nine of the study participants were found to “move toward” brain wave activity in correspondence with progressively deeper non-REM stages of sleep, stage N1and stage N2.

“Researchers note: “There is a gradual transition and an orderly progression from wakefulness to sleep, which could explain the effects of relaxation and well being obtained with this method, as well as many other benefits.”

Another interesting finding among results was the length of time effects were measured to exist: “After controlling for baseline data, nine of the participants did move toward N1 (p = 0.833) and N2 (p = 0.227) stages, remaining in these states between 4 min (minutes) and 25.5 min (minutes).” 

Ahh... sleep, sweet sleep.

N. Esmel-Esmel. E. Tomás-EsmelM. Tous-AndreuMaria Jimenez, Reflexology and polysomnography: Changes in cerebral wave activity induced by reflexology promote N1 and N2 sleep stages,” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Therapies, August 2017, Volume 28, Pages 54–64

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