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Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

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  #1  
Old 21st May 2008, 07:13 AM
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Default Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

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The efficacy of reflexology: systematic review.
Wang MY, Tsai PS, Lee PH, Chang WY, Yang CM.
J Adv Nurs. 2008 Jun;62(5):512-20
Quote:
AIM: This paper is a report of a systematic review to evaluate the efficacy of reflexology in any condition. BACKGROUND: Anecdotal evidence has shown potential benefits of reflexology in a variety of health conditions. However, the efficacy of reflexology has yet to be determined.

DATA SOURCES: Cochrane library, PubMed, MEDLINE, EBM review, ProQuest Medical Bundle and SCOPUS databases were searched using the following medical subject headings or key words: reflexology, foot reflexotherapy, reflexological treatment, foot massage and zone therapy. Chinese articles were searched through the Chinese electronic periodical services and Wangfane database. The publication date was limited from 1996 to 2007.

REVIEW METHODS: Studies were selected if they were written in English or Chinese, used a controlled clinical trial design, used reflexology as a stand-alone modality, and reported such outcomes as symptoms relief, quality of life and patients' perceptions of reflexology. Study quality was reviewed based on the evidence rating system of the United States Preventive Services Task Force, and studies with the evidence rating of II-2 fair or above were included in this review.

RESULTS: Among the five studies suitable for review, there was only one report of a statistically significant treatment effect. Among the 12 outcome variables examined, the treatment effect size for urinary symptoms was large, whereas the effect size for other conditions was negligible.

CONCLUSION: There is no evidence for any specific effect of reflexology in any conditions, with the exception of urinary symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. Routine provision of reflexology is therefore not recommended.
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Old 21st May 2008, 07:18 AM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Effects of reflexotherapy on acute postoperative pain and anxiety among patients with digestive cancer.
Tsay SL, Chen HL, Chen SC, Lin HR, Lin KC.
Cancer Nurs. 2008 Mar-Apr;31(2):109-15.
Quote:
Even after receiving analgesia, patients with gastric and liver cancer still report moderate levels of postoperative pain. The purpose of the study was to investigate the efficacy of foot reflexotherapy as adjuvant therapy in relieving pain and anxiety in postoperative patients with gastric cancer and hepatocellular cancer. The study design was a randomized controlled trial. Data were collected from 4 surgical wards of a medical center in 2005 in Taipei, Taiwan. Sixty-one patients who had received surgery for gastric cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma were randomly allocated to an intervention (n = 30) or control (n = 31) group. Patients in the intervention group received the usual pain management plus 20 minutes of foot reflexotherapy during postoperative days 2, 3, and 4. Patients in the control group received usual pain management. Outcome measures included the short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire, visual analog scale for pain, summary of the pain medications consumed, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Results demonstrated that studied patients reported moderately high levels of pain and anxiety postoperatively while patients were managed with patient-controlled analgesia. Using generalized estimation equations and controlling for confounding variables, less pain (P < .05) and anxiety (P < .05) over time were reported by the intervention group compared with the control group. In addition, patients in the intervention group received significantly less opioid analgesics than the control group (P < .05). Findings from this study provide nurses with an additional treatment to offer postoperative digestive cancer patients.
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Old 25th May 2008, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Related threads:
Reflexology
Threads tagged with reflexology
Threads tagged with alternative therapies
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Old 21st June 2008, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

The effectiveness of foot reflexology in inducing ovulation: a sham-controlled randomized trial.
Holt J, Lord J, Acharya U, White A, O'Neill N, Shaw S, Barton A.
Fertil Steril. 2008 Jun 18. [Epub ahead of print]
Quote:
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether foot reflexology, a complementary therapy, has an effect greater than sham reflexology on induction of ovulation.

DESIGN: Sham-controlled randomized trial with patients and statistician blinded. SETTING: Infertility clinic in Plymouth, United Kingdom. PATIENT(S): Forty-eight women attending the clinic with anovulation. INTERVENTION(S): Women were randomized to receive eight sessions of either genuine foot reflexology or sham reflexology with gentle massage over 10 weeks. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): The primary outcome was ovulation detected by serum progesterone level of >30 nmol/L during the study period.

RESULT(S): Twenty-six patients were randomized to genuine reflexology and 22 to sham (one randomized patient was withdrawn). Patients remained blinded throughout the trial. The rate of ovulation during true reflexology was 11 out of 26 (42%), and during sham reflexology it was 10 out of 22 (46%). Pregnancy rates were 4 out of 26 in the true group and 2 out of 22 in the control group. Because of recruitment difficulties, the required sample size of 104 women was not achieved.

CONCLUSION(S): Patient blinding of reflexology studies is feasible. Although this study was too small to reach a definitive conclusion on the specific effect of foot reflexology, the results suggest that any effect on ovulation would not be clinically relevant. Sham reflexology may have a beneficial general effect, which this study was not designed to detect.
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Old 7th July 2009, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst Taiwanese postpartum women.
Li CY, Chen SC, Li CY, Gau ML, Huang CM.
Midwifery. 2009 Jul 3. [Epub ahead of print]
Quote:
OBJECTIVE: to examine the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve sleep quality in postpartum women.

DESIGN AND SETTING: randomised controlled trial, conducted at two postpartum centres in northern Taiwan.

PARTICIPANTS: 65 postpartum women reporting poor quality of sleep were recruited from July 2007 to December 2007.

INTERVENTIONS: participants were assigned randomly to either an intervention or a control group. Participants in both groups received the same care except for reflexology therapy. The intervention group received a single 30-minute foot reflexology session at the same time each evening for five consecutive days. Sessions were administered by a certified nurse reflexologist.

MEASURES AND FINDINGS: the outcome measure was the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI), and this was performed at baseline and post test. Mean PQSI scores for both groups declined over time between baseline and post test. Using a generalised estimation equation to control several confounding variables, the changes in mean PSQI were found to be significantly lower in the intervention group (beta=-2.24, standard error=0.38, p<0.001) than in the control group.

CONCLUSION: an intervention involving foot reflexology in the postnatal period significantly improved the quality of sleep.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: midwives should evaluate maternal sleep quality and design early intervention programmes to improve quality of sleep in order to increase maternal biopsychosocial well-being. Midwives interested in complementary therapies should be encouraged to obtain training in reflexology and to apply it in clinical settings if it is allowed
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Old 9th February 2012, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Effects of Foot Reflexology on Fatigue, Sleep and Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
Lee J, Han M, Chung Y, Kim J, Choi J.
J Korean Acad Nurs. 2011 Dec;41(6):821-33
Quote:
PURPOSE:
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of foot reflexology on fatigue, sleep and pain.

METHODS:
A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted. Electronic database and manual searches were conducted on all published studies reporting the effects of foot reflexology on fatigue, sleep, and pain. Forty four studies were eligible including 15 studies associated with fatigue, 18 with sleep, and 11 with pain. The effects of foot reflexology were analyzed using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis Version 2.0. The homogeneity and the fail-safe N were calculated. Moreover, a funnel plot was used to assess publication bias.

RESULTS:
The effects on fatigue, sleep, and pain were not homogeneous and ranged from 0.63 to 5.29, 0.01 to 3.22, and 0.43 to 2.67, respectively. The weighted averages for fatigue, sleep, and pain were 1.43, 1.19, and 1.35, respectively. No publication bias was detected as evaluated by fail-safe N. Foot reflexology had a larger effect on fatigue and sleep and a smaller effect on pain.

CONCLUSION:
This meta-analysis indicates that foot reflexology is a useful nursing intervention to relieve fatigue and to promote sleep. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effects of foot reflexology on outcome variables other than fatigue, sleep and pain.
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Old 9th February 2012, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Foot reflexology can increase vagal modulation, decrease sympathetic modulation, and lower blood pressure in healthy subjects and patients with coronary artery disease.
Lu WA, Chen GY, Kuo CD.
Altern Ther Health Med. 2011 Jul-Aug;17(4):8-14.
Quote:
Objective Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has long been used by people to postpone the aging process and to reverse disease progression. Reflexology is a CAM method that involves massage to reflex areas in the feet and hands. This study investigated the effect of foot reflexology (FR) on the autonomic nervous modulation in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) by using heart rate variability analysis.

Study Methods Seventeen people with angiographically patent coronary arteries and 20 patients with CAD scheduled for coronary artery bypass graft surgery were recruited as the control and CAD groups, respectively. The normalized high-frequency power (nHFP) was used as the index of vagal modulation and the normalized very low-frequency power (nVLFP) as the index of vagal withdrawal and renin-angiotensin modulation.

Results In both control and CAD groups, the nHFP was increased significantly whereas the nVLFP was decreased significantly 30 and 60 minutes after FR, as compared with those before FR. The systolic, diastolic, mean arterial, and pulse pressures were significantly decreased after FR in both groups of participants. In the CAD group, the percentage change in heart rate 30 and 60 minutes after FR was smaller than that in the control, and the percentage change in nVLFP 60 minutes after FR was smaller than that in the control. In conclusion, a higher vagal modulation, lower sympathetic modulation, and lower blood pressure can be observed following 60 minutes of FR in both controls and CAD patients. The magnitude of change in the autonomic nervous modulation in CAD patients was slightly smaller than that in the controls.

Conclusion FR may be used as an efficient adjunct to the therapeutic regimen to increase the vagal modulation and decrease blood pressure in both healthy people and CAD patients.
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Old 9th February 2012, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

We also had this thread recently:
Reflexology is not an effective treatment for any medical condition
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  #9  
Old 21st September 2012, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

The Effect of Foot Reflexology Massage on Pain and Fatigue of Patients undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
Masoumeh1 Bagheri Nesami, Nahid ZargaR , Afshin Gholipour Baradari ,
J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci 2012, 22(92): 51-62
Quote:
Background and purpose: Pain and fatigue are complications after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Because of non- pharmacological methods are the preferred pharmacological agent therefore; the purpose of this study was assessment of effect of foot reflexology on pain and fatigue in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG).

Materials and methods: This study was a randomized controlled clinical trial, conducted on 80 patients hospitalized in the Heart Center of Mazandaran in 2011. Sampling was in manner of Non-random and accessible. Patients were age and sex matched and divided randomly in two equal groups of case and control. The reflexology group received 20- minutes left foot massage, from the second day after surgery for 4 consecutive days. In the control group, patient's left foot without applying any pressure and only for 1 minute was fat. Variables pain and fatigue before and after the intervention was recorded by the use of visual analogue scale at the time mentioned. The findings were analyzed by using the software SPSS version 17, descriptive and inferential statistics and tests of x2 and Repeated measurments.

Results: Results showed that there is a significant differences in pain levels before and after the intervention between experimental and control groups (P= 0.0001). Also, a significant difference confirmed in before and after fatigue levels between experimental and control groups (P= 0.0001).

Conclusion: According to the study results, Foot reflexology massage, as one of the branches of complementary alternative method can reduce fatigue and pain in CABG patients. Because of its the low cost, the lack of side effects and ease of the procedure to reduce pain and fatigue reflexology massage can be recommended in patients with CABG.
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Old 21st September 2012, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

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This study was a randomized controlled clinical trial
yet:
Quote:
Sampling was in manner of Non-random
The full text is in Iranian, so I can not check, but I suspect.....
Quote:
Repeated measurments.
Quote:
Results showed that there is a significant differences in pain levels before and after the intervention between experimental and control groups (P= 0.0001). Also, a significant difference confirmed in before and after fatigue levels between experimental and control groups (P= 0.0001).
...they did a within groups comparison when the analysis this type of study should be a between groups comparison.
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Old 24th September 2012, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Effects of foot reflexology on pain and physiological parameters after cesarean section
Mehrnoosh Khoshtarash , Atefeh Ghanbari , Mohammad Reza Yegane , Ehsan Kazemnejhad , Parvine Rezasoltani
Koomesh. 2012; 14 (1) :109-116
Quote:
Introduction: Pain is a common phenomenon after all surgical operation. Although using analgesia is usual to relieve pain, its complication, unavailability, necessity of taking less drug, especially analgesia, and also ineffectiveness of using analgesia alone, to relieve pain has focused therapeutic system on complementary treatments such as foot reflexology. Therefore, this study was performed to investigate the effects of foot reflexology on pain in patients who underwent cesarean section.

Materials and Methods: This clinical trial study was carried out on 62 women referring to cesarean section in Alzahra Hospital (Rasht city). They were randomly divided into two groups of case and control. The reflexology group was received a 30-minute foot massage in two sessions, with 24-hours interval. Data gathering tool included a demographic form, step-visual analogue scale and pain score form.

Results: In the case group, severity of pain after first stage (day one) was significantly lower than before reflexology session and the control group (p<0.001, p<0.0001, repectively). The severity of pain after second stage was significantly reduced in the case group in comparison with the control group (P<0.001). In the case group, physiologic parameters (systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate and respiration rate) showed no significant differences assumed with the control group.

Conclusion: In general, foot reflexology appears to be a useful method to reduce postoperative pain, but no effect on physiological parameters
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Old 24th September 2012, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

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In the case group, severity of pain after first stage (day one) was significantly lower than before reflexology session and the control group (p<0.001, p<0.0001, repectively).


Yet another flawed analysis; they did a within groups analysis when they should have done a between groups analysis!!!!!
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Old 24th September 2012, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Payne View Post


Yet another flawed analysis; they did a within groups analysis when they should have done a between groups analysis!!!!!
As this is a fairly obvious protocol one would have to ask could it really be a genuine mistake!?

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Old 3rd October 2012, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

The Effect of foot reflexology on anxiety during of labor on primiparous
Soheila Moghimi Hanjani, Mahnaz Shoghy, Zahra Mehdizadeh Torzani, Golnoosh Ahmadi, Mitra Khodadvastan Shahraki
Full text (PDF)
Quote:
Abstract
Background: Fear of labor pain is one of the problems that raise rate of caesarean section in Iran.
Midwives can use one of the nonpharmacological pain relief methods such as reflexology and encourage
mothers to use normal vaginal delivery. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of reflexology on
anxiety during labor in primiparous.

Materials and Methods: This clinical trial (IRCT: 0022) was carried out on 80 primiparous women with low
risk pregnancy that referring to Karaj hospitals. Patients were randomly assigned in two groups. Intervention
group received reflexology for 40 minutes. Level of anxity before and after intervention was measured with
Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Questionnaire. The data was analyzed by t-test and Repeated measure
ANOVA tests.

Results: There was no significant differences between two groups before the intervention (p=0.15). After
intervention the difference in anxiety score was significant between two groups (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Reflexology can lead to decrease anxiety during of labor. Therefore, this noninvasive
technique can be used for decrease of anxiety and encourage mothers to use normal vaginal delivery.
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Old 13th October 2012, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Reflexology has an acute (immediate) haemodynamic effect in healthy volunteers: A double-blind randomised controlled trial.
Jones J, Thomson P, Lauder W, Howie K, Leslie SJ.
Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2012 Nov;18(4):204-11.
Quote:
Reflexologists claim that massage to specific points of the feet increases blood supply to internal organs. This study measured changes in cardiovascular parameters in subjects receiving reflexology to areas of their feet thought to correspond to the heart (intervention) compared with other areas which are not (control).

METHOD:
16 reflexology-naive healthy volunteers received an active and control reflexology treatment in an RCT, double-blind repeated measures study.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
'Beat-to-beat' continuous measurement of selected cardiovascular parameters, State Anxiety Inventory.

RESULTS:
Cardiac index decreased significantly in the intervention group during left foot treatment (LFT) (baseline mean 2.6; standard deviation (SD) 0.75; 95% CI ± 0.38 vs. LFT mean 2.45; SD 0.68; CI 0.35), effect size (p = 0.035, omega squared effect (w2) = 0.002; w = 0.045).

CONCLUSION:
Reflexology massage applied to the upper part of the left foot may have a modest specific effect on the cardiac index of healthy volunteers.
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Old 13th October 2012, 01:18 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Quote:
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A double-blind randomised controlled trial
Based on the abstract, that was NOT a double-blind randomised controlled trial! It looks more like a repeated measures study with subjects acting as their own controls. .... also not sure what they think double blinded means, but surely the person providing the "reflexology" was not blind to themselves applying it!
...need to get the full paper on Monday!
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Old 14th October 2012, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Payne View Post
...need to get the full paper on Monday!
Got the full paper; it was not a double blinded RCT; it was a crossover design. The researcher doing the heart measurements and the subject were blinded as to the intervention being used, but the person applying the intervention was obviously not blinded.

There appears to be issues with multiple comparisons and given the p was 0.035 for just one of the multiple outcome variables, we can put this one to bed.
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Old 18th October 2012, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Is There a Specific Hemodynamic Effect in Reflexology? A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.
Jones J, Thomson P, Irvine K, Leslie SJ.
J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Oct 16.
Quote:
Objectives: Reflexology claims that the feet are representative of the body and that massage to specific points of the feet increases blood supply to "mapped" organs in the body. This review provides the first systematic evaluation of existing reflexology randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to determine whether there is any evidence to suggest the existence of a reflexology treatment-related hemodynamic effect; to examine whether reflexology researchers used study designs that systematically controlled for nonspecific effects in order to isolate this specific component; and to highlight some of the methodological challenges that need to be overcome to demonstrate specific and beneficial hemodynamic effects.

Design: Fifty-two RCTs of reflexology published from 1990 to September 2011 were initially retrieved. Setting/Location: Cardiorespiratory Department, Highland Heartbeat Centre, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness.

Subjects: Adult subjects.

Interventions: Studies using reflexology foot massage techniques as the intervention versus sham reflexology treatment, simple foot massage, conventional treatment, or no treatment as the control were then selected.

Outcome measures: Outcome measures included any hemodynamic parameter potentially involved in the regulation of circulating blood volume and flow, including heart rate and systolic and diastolic arterial blood pressure.

Results: Seven RCTs suggested that reflexology has an effect on selected cardiovascular parameters; however, five of these delivered the reflexology intervention as a whole complex treatment, with the data collector often delivering the intervention themselves.

Conclusions: This systematic review found that although reflexology has been shown to have an effect on selected hemodynamic variables, the lack of methodological control for nonspecific general massage effects means that there is little convincing evidence at this time to suggest the existence of a specific treatment-related hemodynamic effect. Furthermore, the review found that few studies of reflexology controlled for nonspecific effects in order to isolate any specific active component, despite the hemodynamic claim being a key part of the therapeutic value of reflexology. Therefore, further research approaches using more innovative designs and robust methods that can allow a treatment-induced, therapeutically beneficial hemodynamic effect to reveal itself are needed to help reflexology purchasers make a more informed decision about the safety and product quality of the reflexology hemodynamic claim and for reflexologists to be able to guarantee minimum product quality, validity, and safety standards in their practice.
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Old 18th October 2012, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

A Proposed Reductionist Solution to Address the Methodological Challenges of Inconsistent Reflexology Maps and Poor Experimental Controls in Reflexology Research: A Discussion Paper.
Jones J, Thomson P, Lauder W, Leslie SJ.
J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Oct 16.
Quote:
Reflexology is a complex massage intervention, based on the concept that specific areas of the feet (reflex points) correspond to individual internal organs within the body. Reflexologists trained in the popular Ingham reflexology method claim that massage to these points, using massage techniques unique to reflexology, stimulates an increase in blood supply to the corresponding organ. Reflexology researchers face two key methodological challenges that need to be addressed if a specific treatment-related hemodynamic effect is to be scientifically demonstrated. The first is the problem of inconsistent reflexology foot maps; the second is the issue of poor experimental controls. This article proposes a potential experimental solution that we believe can address both methodological challenges and in doing so, allow any specific hemodynamic treatment effect unique to reflexology to experimentally reveal itself.
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Old 31st October 2012, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

Health-Related Quality-of-Life Outcomes: A Reflexology Trial With Patients With Advanced-Stage Breast Cancer.
Wyatt G, Sikorskii A, Rahbar MH, Victorson D, You M.
Oncol Nurs Forum. 2012 Nov 1;39(6):568-77
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Purpose/Objectives: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of reflexology, a complementary therapy that applies pressure to specific areas of the feet.Design: Longitudinal, randomized clinical trial.

Setting: Thirteen community-based medical oncology clinics across the midwestern United States.

Sample: A convenience sample of 385 predominantly Caucasian women with advanced-stage breast cancer receiving chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy.Methods: Following the baseline interview, women were randomized into three primary groups: reflexology (n = 95), lay foot manipulation (LFM) (n = 95), or conventional care (n = 96). Two preliminary reflexology (n = 51) and LFM (n = 48) test groups were used to establish the protocols. Participants were interviewed again postintervention at study weeks 5 and 11.

Main Research Variables: Breast cancer-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL), physical functioning, and symptoms.

Findings: No adverse events were reported. A longitudinal comparison revealed significant improvements in physical functioning for the reflexology group compared to the control group (p = 0.04). Severity of dyspnea was reduced in the reflexology group compared to the control group (p < 0.01) and the LFM group (p = 0.02). No differences were found on breast cancer-specific HRQOL, depressive symptomatology, state anxiety, pain, and nausea.

Conclusions: Reflexology may be added to existing evidence-based supportive care to improve HRQOL for patients with advanced-stage breast cancer during chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy.Implications for Nursing: Reflexology can be recommended for safety and usefulness in relieving dyspnea and enhancing functional status among women with advanced-stage breast cancer.
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Old 13th November 2012, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Systematic review of the efficacy of reflexology

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Originally Posted by NewsBot View Post
Health-Related Quality-of-Life Outcomes: A Reflexology Trial With Patients With Advanced-Stage Breast Cancer.
Wyatt G, Sikorskii A, Rahbar MH, Victorson D, You M.
Oncol Nurs Forum. 2012 Nov 1;39(6):568-77
Press Release:
Ancient foot massage technique may ease cancer symptoms
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A study led by a Michigan State University researcher offers the strongest evidence yet that reflexology – a type of specialized foot massage practiced since the age of pharaohs – can help cancer patients manage their symptoms and perform daily tasks.

Funded by the National Cancer Institute and published in the latest issue of Oncology Nursing Forum, it is the first large-scale, randomized study of reflexology as a complement to standard cancer treatment, according to lead author Gwen Wyatt, a professor in the College of Nursing.

“It’s always been assumed that it’s a nice comfort measure, but to this point we really have not, in a rigorous way, documented the benefits,” Wyatt said. “This is the first step toward moving a complementary therapy from fringe care to mainstream care.”

Reflexology is based on the idea that stimulating specific points on the feet can improve the functioning of corresponding organs, glands and other parts of the body.

The study involved 385 women undergoing chemotherapy or hormonal therapy for advanced-stage breast cancer that had spread beyond the breast. The women were assigned randomly to three groups: Some received treatment by a certified reflexologist, others got a foot massage meant to act like a placebo, and the rest had only standard medical treatment and no foot manipulation.

Wyatt and colleagues surveyed participants about their symptoms at intake and then checked in with them after five weeks and 11 weeks.

They found that those in the reflexology group experienced significantly less shortness of breath, a common symptom in breast cancer patients. Perhaps as a result of their improved breathing, they also were better able to perform daily tasks such as climbing a flight of stairs, getting dressed or going grocery shopping.

Wyatt said she was surprised to find that reflexology’s effects appeared to be primarily physical, not psychological.

“We didn’t get the change we might have expected with the emotional symptoms like anxiety and depression,” she said. “The most significant changes were documented with the physical symptoms.”

Also unexpected was the reduced fatigue reported by those who received the “placebo” foot massage, particularly since the reflexology group did not show similarly significant improvement. Wyatt is now researching whether massage similar to reflexology performed by cancer patients’ friends and family, as opposed to certified reflexologists, might be a simple and inexpensive treatment option.

Reflexology did not appear to reduce pain or nausea, but Wyatt said that could be because the drugs for combating those symptoms are generally quite effective, so the women may not have reported them to begin with.

Although health researchers only recently have begun studying reflexology in a scientifically rigorous way, it’s widely practiced in many parts of the world and dates back thousands of years.

“Reflexology comes out of the Chinese tradition and out of Egypt,” Wyatt said. “In fact, it’s shown in hieroglyphics. It’s been around for a very long time.”

Wyatt’s co-authors include MSU statistics and probability professor Alla Sikorskii and College of Nursing research assistant Mei You, along with colleagues from Northwestern University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
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Old 6th December 2012, 02:51 AM
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Default reflexology may aid cancer sufferers manage symptoms

michigan university study says reflexologymay help cancer sufferers manage thier condtion. . is this abit like saying anna nicole smith married for love.why just massage the feetl lets have a comparative study between indian head massage and foot massage. I am sure any type of massage will provide patients with a positive outcome. i personnally last month had a full body massage and facial at a top spar as a freebie it was fantastic but at around 200 pounds for 3 hours it is a little excessive. dont think i would have liked to pay the bill.
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