Reflexology and Anxiety

A fellow member of the Association of Reflexology recently shared a study regarding the effects of Reflexology on Anxiety in patients undergoing Coronary Angiography (CA) which is a technique used broadly for evaluation and treatment of coronary artery disease.  Heart disease is one of the most common reasons for deaths all over the world and indeed amongst my own family and friends, so this study caught my interest.

The main objective of this particular study was to investigate the effect of reflexology on anxiety among patients undergoing coronary angiography.  The intervention was 30 minutes of general foot massage in addition to reflexology stimulation of solar plexus, pituitary and heart reflexes as opposed to a placebo group who received just the general foot massage.

The net result was that both groups showed a decrease in anxiety but the reflexology group showed a higher reduction.  As my fellow AOR member pointed out, although these results are supportive of reflexology, the results were compared to a placebo treatment and would have been more effective if there was also a no treatment control group added to the trial.

Another trial on the effects of reflexology on anxiety in patients following coronary artery bypass graft surgery has also been undertaken.  The trial concluded that anxiety is common after heart surgery, and reflexology can be a beneficial option for anxiety reduction post surgery. The study also concluded that their findings underscored the importance of non-pharmacological techniques for the relief of anxiety.

These studies raised a question for me.  Can reflexology be used to prevent heart disease?

Stress and anxiety are not direct risks for cardiovascular disease however, it may contribute towards it.

How do you as an individual cope with stress and anxiety?

We all have different coping mechanisms. While some rush to the gym exercise their stress away, others resort to an extra bed time snack or additional glass or two of wine every night or become a couch potato in front of the TV.  I can hold my hand up to some of these!   It can be these very strategies we use to cope with everyday stress that can increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.

So what’s my point?

Could reflexology reduce heart my risk of heart disease as it reduces my stress and anxiety, negating my need for risky coping mechanisms of excess food and alcohol?

Well………..I’m off to book in a treatment swop with a fellow Reflexologist!!

Row Of Feet

A Randomized-Controlled Trial Examining the Effects of Reflexology on Anxiety of Patients Undergoing Coronary Angiography. The full paper can be obtained here:

The information provided on the Therapy Bee blog is for personal information and interest only.  It is not intended to offer professional medical advice or treatment for any condition.   If you have any health problems or are taking any medication you should seek advice from your GP and healthcare provider.