Preliminary Results from Michigan State University Study on Reflexology and
Reflexology improves by 10%
the physical function of women undergoing chemotherapy for stage 3 and 4 breast cancer according
to preliminary results from the much anticipated 5-year Michigan State University (MSU) study.
The results reflected less difficulty in breathing for study participants who received
reflexology with consequent improved abilities in activities such as walking, carrying groceries
and climbing stairs.
Such improvement in quality of life for the cancer patients was reported by lead
reflexologist Barbara Bower of Branch Reflexology noting the findings by Dr. Wyatt, principle
investigator and Dr. Alla Sikorskii, co-investigator and statistician of MSU. Barbara developed
the 9-step reflexology protocol utilized in the research.
385 women participated in the study with: 141 assigned to a reflexology group (1
session each week for 4 weeks); 143 assigned to receive "manipulation of the feet that was
designed to be similar to reflexology, but delivered by lay people" and 96 assigned to a control
group. "Women in the reflexology group had less trouble breathing compared to women in the
control group, and also compared to women who received lay foot manipulation."
More will be reported here as the official study results are released.
A $3.5 million National Institute of Health grant made possible the study.
Thanks to positive results, a grant in a similar amount will fund a further study of reflexology
and cancer care patients expected to begin later this year. Studied will be the impact of
reflexology administered by primary care givers trained in the 9-step protocol developed by
Barbara Brower. Barbara has launched an education program for teaching others the protocol.
Research Results from around the Globe: Reflexology
Aids Patient Care
Reflexology Aids Patient Care
Positive results from the Michigan State University (MSU) study, conducted within the
school's nursing department, bring focus to positive results from reflexology research by
nurses around the globe. The MSU research adds to 65 previously reported studies by nurses
with 24 about cancer care. The amount of funding-$3.5 million-and the number of
participants-385- demonstrates increasing interest in reflexology research in America. In
addition, the inclusion in the research of reflexology provided by lay people or
caregivers, pioneered by reflexologist and nursing professor Dr. Nancy Stephenson of
Eastern North Carolina State University, demonstrates the viable inclusion of reflexology
in efficacious and cost-effective patient care.
As with the MSU results, positive results from
recent reflexology research by midwives and nurses in Iran (dysmenorrhea and cesarean
section) as well as an MD. D. in India (epilepsy) demonstrate the world wide potential for
reflexology application in medical care. Comments in these studies note the universal
solutions sought for patient problems: a natural solution to lessening pain (dysmenorrhea)
avoiding complications of drugs; the benefits provided by reflexology of additional pain
relief following surgery when medication alone does not meet patients' physical and
psychological needs (cesarean section) and the challenge of treating intractable illness
where medical measures do not fully resolve patient's symptoms (epilepsy)
.Research conducted by Geneva Association of Nurse
Reflexologists (ACT) is anticipated, following analysis of research, will shed further
light on such use of reflexology as a solution to a problem not met by standard medical
practice. Reflexology was applied to 900 patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU) at The ICU
Surgical University Hospitals of Geneva to study its impact on the quality of agitation
experienced by post-surgical patients. "The assumption was that it is possible to prevent
episodes of agitation and their consequences in acting on the patient's environment with
the IR-afferents and methods of relaxation. The objective was to test using a prospective
randomized study (with control group) whether the introduction of relaxation methods
(music, reflexology) and afferent could prevent episodes of agitation."