Reflexology for multiple sclerosis…

Reflexology for multiple sclerosis…

reflexology for ms
…and other long term conditions

When it comes to the support and management of patients with other long term conditions there have been studies on reflexology for MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Dementia.

The studies in Reflexology for MS[1] show reflexology resulted in an improvement of various symptoms of MS to a statistically significant level.

No improvement was seen in the control group.

Reflexology improves spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients

Extraordinarily, the statistical improvement in spasticity (which is the continual contraction of muscles causing stiffness) and the statistically borderline improvement in muscle strength together are remarkable, as the standard drug intervention for spasticity normally results in muscle weakness with its inherent problems. The treatment of was safe with no adverse effects noted. Several other studies have agreed the beneficial effect of reflexology in this group of patients.

Parkinson’s disease

In Parkinson’s disease, the results suggest that during the therapy stage the specific outcome measure indicated improvement across all dimensions with the exception of communication which stayed the same. This could suggest that although benefits were not sustained with cessation of treatment, extended (and perhaps more frequent) treatments might continue to benefit and improve the well-being of people with Parkinson’s disease[2]

Dementia

Dementia is a costly long term condition which requires specialist care. When mild to moderate dementia[3] patients received reflexology, as compared to a massage control, the residents demonstrated significant reduction in observed pain and salivary alpha-amylase.

In conclusion

This study provides preliminary support for the efficacy of reflexology as a treatment of stress in nursing home residents. There has even been a study of reflexology on anxiety and sedation needs of patients in the ICU and reflexology was shown to greatly reduce the physiological signs of anxiety even under medical sedation, which suggests its effect is more than placebo. [4]

Sources

[1] Reflexology treatment relieves symptoms of multiple sclerosis: a randomised controlled study MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS Siev-Ner I, Gamus D, Lerner Geva L, Achiron A.2003 VOL 9 PART 4 pages 356-361

[2] Can reflexology maintain or improve the well-being of people with Parkinson’s Disease? Johns C, Blake D, and Sinclair A Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.2010  VOL 16; NUMBER 2,  page(s) 96-100

[3] The clinical efficacy of reflexology in nursing home residents with dementia. Hodgson NA, Andersen S. Center  for Applied Research on Aging and Health, Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA. nancy.hodgson@jefferson.edu

[4] Reflexology: its effects on physiological anxiety signs and sedation needs. Akin Korhan E, Khorshid L, Uyar M. Holist Nurs Pract. 2014 Jan-Feb;28(1):6-23.