Reflexology for cancer patients — evidence based research

Reflexology for cancer patients — evidence based research

Reflexology for Cancer Patients

In the field of Reflexology for cancer patients and cancer care,  in 2009 62% of cancer units in the UK provided reflexology and it was second only to counselling[1]. This vulnerable and very unwell group have nothing but good things to say about reflexology massage cancer care, with the only complaint being lack of availability of appointments:

‘The improvement in my lower back pain has been staggering’

‘My sleep has improved and I feel relaxed and content’

‘I found having treatments helped me focus and be more positive and able to deal with incidents that made me feel fragile.’[2]

When Reflexology for cancer patients was evaluated in a busy London hospital there was a 28% change in perceived well-being. [3]

‘Patients appear to perceive complementary therapies as enhancing compassionate care and providing comfort during an extremely difficult clinical experience.’

Even in a palliative care setting all participants in the Reflexology for cancer patients felt their quality of life had improved and words such as relaxed and comforted were used while symptoms were reduced.  [4]

When considering mental health, a study of reflexology on the psychological effect of having breast cancer[5] resulted in a statistical improvement in quality of life even at one month after the completion of the intervention. This difference was to a level that was calculated as being clinically worthwhile. While a small cross over trial (the patients were their own control) from America in lung and breast cancer patients showed that both groups of patients in the Reflexology for cancer patients study had a significant decrease in anxiety after reflexology.[6]

Read more about Reflexology for Cancer Patients at Essential Feeling.

Sources on Reflexology for cancer patients

[1] Availability of complementary and alternative medicine for people with cancer in the British National Health Service: results of a national survey. Egan B1, Gage H, Hood J, Poole K, McDowell C, Maguire G, Storey L. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2012 May;18(2):75-80

[2] Is reflexology as effective as aromatherapy massage for symptom relief in an adult outpatient oncology population? Dyer J, Thomas K, Sandsund C, Shaw C. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2013 Aug;19(3):139-46

[3] Effects of complementary therapies in cancer care. Briscoe J, Browne N (2013) Nursing Times; 109: 41, 18-20.

[4] Does reflexology impact on cancer patients’ quality of life? Hodgson H. Nurs Stand. 2000 Apr 19-25;14(31):33-8.

[5]A randomised, controlled trial of the psychological effects of reflexology in early breast cancer. Sharp DM1, Walker MB, Chaturvedi A, Upadhyay S, Hamid A, Walker AA, Bateman JS, Braid F, Ellwood K, Hebblewhite C, Hope T, Lines M, Walker LG. Eur J Cancer. 2010 Jan;46(2):312-22.

[6] The Effects of Foot Reflexology on Anxiety and Pain in Patients With Breast and Lung Cancer ONCOLOGY NURSING FORUM Stephenson, N. L. Weinrich, S. P. Tavakolil, A. S. 2000 VOL 27; PART 1 , page(s)  67-76

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