Ask for Quote
Ask for Quote

Get FREE answer to your questions

Saturday, 14 July 2012 10:48

Reflexology 'improves heart efficiency', claim researchers

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Reflexology can make the heart pump more efficiently, say researchers who think they have found the first scientifically robust evidence that it does have a physical effect.

Practitioners believe that certain parts of the feet and hands correspond to certain organs, and that massaging these points increases blood flow to those organs. Some reflexologists also claim reflexology can improve heart function.

Now a team at Stirling University in Scotland has found that when volunteers undergo reflexology massage of the heart point - located somewhere on the ball of the left foot - they exhibit a “subtle” improvement in cardiac output. This is a measure of how efficiently it is pumping.

But when they underwent a sham treatment, in which only the heel of the foot was massaged, there was no change in heart function. Jenny Jones, a PhD student, said the finding was “intriguing”, adding: “We have no idea what caused this change.”

However, she said the 15 volunteers only experienced the effect during treatment itself, and it faded within seconds.  Additionally, there were no differences in other cardiac measures, such as heart rate and blood pressure.

As it stood, Miss Jones admitted the finding, reported in the journalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, was “not clinically relevant”.

Two separate studies found reflexology was safe in patients with chronic heart failure and coronary artery disease. However, in these volunteers reflexology had no apparent effect on cardiac output. 
In all groups, both reflexology and foot massage made participants much more relaxed, but there was no difference between them.

Reflexologists claim there is a cumulative effect to treatment, and the Stirling University team wants to test this belief.

Reflexology is not cheap: a course of six to eight sessions can “easily be in excess of £400”, said the researchers.

Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary therapy at Exeter University, said the effect was "very small, not clinically relevant and probably a fluke due to multiple testing for statistical significance". He added: "Before I believe these results, I want to see an independent replication."

news source:  The telegraph

Read 2289 times Last modified on Saturday, 14 July 2012 11:12

Leave a comment

Comments can be moderated to keep the conversation civil and respectful. Thank You

ask your question

S5 Box

Login Form

New Member Register Here

Fields marked with (*) are required.