Reflexology and Pain
In dealing with pain, Reflexology will help for a number of reasons and break the pain cycle in several places:
Reflexology is extremely relaxing and can be used to relax a specific area in pain. It is well documented that relaxation and pain are closely associated. (Bulbrook, 1991). Reducing stress reduces pain....reducing pain reduces stress.
2. Anxiety and depression.
The caring touch of someone taking time out to help can make a significant difference
psychologically to someone suffering acute or chronic pain.
3. Fatigue and lack of sleep.
With the relief from tension and quietening of the nervous system most patients experience relief from insomnia.
4. Specific pain reduction.
Sedation of the reflex point specific to the painful area can in many cases relieve or even eliminate the pain even when acute. This has been documented in cases of quite severe pain such as toothache, sciatica, headache, trauma to the eye and neck pain.
5. Side effects of medication.
A Danish study into the affects of reflexology on constipation (Eriksen, 1994) and anecdotal evidence indicates that reflexology stimulates the colon and reduces constipation - a major side effect of analgesics.
Research into Reflexology and Pain
Although little formal research has as yet taken place, indications are that Reflexology is very effective in this area.
Premenstrual Symptoms: A randomised controlled study conducted in America showed a 43% reduction in physical symptoms (Oleson et al, 1993)
Headaches and Migraines: Funded by the Danish Government this study showed a reduction in symptoms in 55% of the 220 participants; 19% stopped taking their medication altogether(Eriksen, 1995).
Reflexology in Relation to Birth: A discussion paper following a study of 68 women who were given Reflexology during childbirth comments that Reflexology appeared to be "just as good as any other form of pain relief treatment" (Feder et al, 1988).