Foot Reflexology Research

Foot Reflexology Research

The purpose of this study was to test the reliability and validity of the reflexological diagnosis method. Between the two reflexological examinations, a statistically significant correlation was found in 14 out of the 18 body systems, and in only 15 out of the 32 system components. The reflexology method has the ability to diagnose (reliable and valid) at a systematic level only, and this is applicable only to those body systems that represent organs and regions with an exact anatomic location.
– Zhang H, et al. — Treatment of adult diabetes with jiangtangjia tablets. J Trad Chin Med 7(4): 37-39, 1986.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of foot massage with biofeedback. Foot massage, a Thai primary self-care custom, has been found to enhance blood circulation, relaxation, and one’s own healing power. In addition, touch has been found to stimulate secretion of endorphins and reduce pain and anxiety. It appears therefore that foot massage, or reflexology, promotes a healthy lifestyle for all age groups. Results showed that the average biofeedback and temperature were lower before than after the foot massage. The average pulse rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure, however, were found to be higher before rather than after the foot massage. It was concluded that the foot massage provided good circulation, relaxation, and comfort. All subjects expressed positive feelings when they received the foot massage. These findings appear to indicate that foot massage is beneficial both for physical and mental conditions. Foot massage, however, is just one key to achieving a full range of primary health-care services.
– Nurs Health Sci. 2002 Aug;4(3 Suppl):A4. — The effect of foot massage with biofeedback: a pilot study to enhance health promotion. — Jirayingmongkol P, Chantein S, Phengchomjan N, Bhanggananda N.

An influence on organ-associated blood flow is considered as a possible mechanism of action of reflex zone massage of the feet (FRZM) therapy. The reduction in the resistive index observed in the treatment group supports the assumption that FRZM improves blood flow in the organs considered to be associated with the specific foot zones, at least during the therapy process.
– Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2001 Apr;8(2):86-9. — Influence of reflex zone therapy of the feet on intestinal blood flow measured by color Doppler sonography — Mur E, Schmidseder J, Egger I, Bodner G, Eibl G, Hartig F, Pfeiffer KP, Herold M.

Foot reflexology is both a diagnostic technique and therapy. It is an alternative therapy which is considered useful in pain management. Its effectiveness as a therapy has been studied at the Mestre hospital where a clinical study has been undertaken to determine the effectiveness of reflexology in the reduction of pain. A group of 40 persons suffering almost exclusively from a lumbar-sacral disc hernia received three treatments of reflexology massage for a week. The results found that 25 persons (62.5%) reported a reduction in pain, (rating at 0.75 on a scale of 0-4). These results however did not take into consideration the relationship between the effectiveness of foot reflexology and variables such as the persons physicality (Body Mass Index), or their psychological or social status.
– Prof Inferm. 2000 Apr-Jun;53(2):80-7. — The effectiveness of foot reflexotherapy on chronic pain associated with a herniated disk — Degan M, Fabris F, Vanin F, Bevilacqua M, Genova V, Mazzucco M, Negrisolo A.

Repeated measures analysis of variance indicated there was no significant effect from the intervention on peripheral oxygen saturation. However, a significant decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and respirations was observed during the foot massage intervention. Results indicated foot massage had the potential effect of increasing relaxation as evidenced by physiological changes during the brief intervention administered to critically ill patients in intensive care.
– Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 1999 Apr;15(2):77-82. — Immediate effects of a five-minute foot massage on patients in critical care. — Hayes J, Cox C.

These findings support the hypothesis that organ-associated foot reflexology is effective in changing renal blood flow during therapy.
– Forsch Komplementarmed. 1999 Jun;6(3):129-34. — Changes of renal blood flow during organ-associated foot reflexology measured by color Doppler sonography — Sudmeier I, Bodner G, Egger I, Mur E, Ulmer H, Herold M.

Mapping the following areas on human feet: 1) Middle (3rd) toe on the sole side represents the following starting from the tip: A) Head, B) Face with eye, ear, nose, and mouth (1st Digit) C) Neck and organs within the neck (narrow band of space between 1st crease after the 1st digit and crease at the junction of the beginning of the sole); 2) 2nd and 4th toe represent upper extremities, the beginning tip being fingers and hands. The crease at the base of these toes represents the shoulder. The 2nd toe represents right upper extremity, and the 4th toe represents left upper extremity; 3) 1st and 5th toes in both the right and left feet represent lower extremities with the tip being the toes and soles of feet. The crease at the base of these toes represents the inguinal area. The 1st toe of each foot represents right lower extremity, and 5th toe represents left lower extremity. The sole of the foot is divided into the following 3 distinctive sections. 1) Upper (1st) section represents organs in the chest cavity including 2 thymus glands, trachea, 2 lungs, with the heart between them, and with the esophagus appearing as a narrow band outside of the lung near and below the 1st and 2nd toe depending upon the individual. Chest section occupies the first 1/3 to 1/5 (on a relatively long foot) of the entire sole. The boundary between the chest and G.I. system can be approximately estimated by extending the length of the entire toe or up to 25% longer to the sole, but it can be accurately determined using a diaphragm tissue microscope slide as a reference control substance. 2) Middle (2nd) section represents Gastro-Intestinal system, including lower end of the esophagus, liver, stomach, spleen, gall bladder, pancreas, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, appendix, colon, and anus.
– Acupunct Electrother Res. 1994 Jun-Sep;19(2-3):153-90. — Accurate localization of organ representation areas on the feet & hands using the bi-digital O-ring test resonance phenomenon: its clinical implication in diagnosis & treatment, Part I. — Omura Y.

The aim of the study was to investigate the possible usefulness of foot reflexology on the recovery after a surgical intervention. The simple massage turned out to be a relaxing, positive experience, whereas foot reflexology had various effects, some of them were even negative. The conclusion was that foot reflexology is not recommended for acute, abdominal postsurgical situations in gynecology because it can occasionally trigger abdominal pain.
– Forsch Komplementarmed. 1999 Feb;6 Suppl 1:38-40. — Foot reflexology massage: a clinical study — Kesselring A.

last update: August 2009

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