Foot reflexology might be as effective as painkillers, according to a new scientific study.
Scientists at the University of Portsmouth have actually found that individuals felt about 40 % less pain, and had the ability to stand the pain for about 45 % longer when they made use of foot reflexology as a technique of pain relief.
Dr Carol Samuel, who is an experienced reflexologist and who carried out the experimental procedures as part of her PhD research studies, said it was the very first time this treatment had actually been scientifically checked as a treatment for acute pain.
She stated the results recommended that reflexology could be made use of to complement conventional drug therapy in the treatment of conditions connected with pain such as osteoarthritis, backache and cancers.
Individuals went to two sessions, where they were asked to submerge their hand in ice water.
In among the sessions they were given reflexology before they immersed their hand, and in the other session they thought they were getting discomfort relief from a Tens device, which was not really switched on. The scientists found that when the individuals got reflexology prior to the session they had the ability to keep their hand in the ice water for longer before they felt discomfort, which they could also tolerate the discomfort for a longer time period.
Dr Samuel said: “As we predicted, reflexology decreased pain feelings.
“It is likely that reflexology works in a comparable manner to acupuncture by causing the brain to release chemicals that lessen discomfort signals.”
Dr Ivor Ebenezer, a co-author of the study, stated: “We are pleased with these results. This is a little research study, we hope it will be the basis for future research into the use of reflexology.”.
Reflexology is a complementary medical strategy, which works along with orthodox medicine, in which pressure will be applied to either the feet or hands.
In this study, reflexology was applied to the feet.
Dr Ebenezer, from the Department of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, and Dr Samuel made use of a small research study of 15 people to identify whether reflexology would be more efficient than no discomfort relief at all.
Dr Ebenezer said: “Complementary and alternative therapies come in for a lot of criticism, and lots of having actually never ever been appropriately checked scientifically.
“Among the typical criticisms by the clinical neighbourhood is that these treatments are typically not tested under properly managed conditions.
“When a brand-new drug is checked its results are compared to a sugar pill.
“If the drug produces a similar response to the sugar pill, then it is likely that the drug’s impact on the medical condition is due to a placebo impact.
“In order to avoid such criticism in this research, we compared the impacts of foot reflexology to a sham Tens control that the individuals thought produced pain relief.
“This is the equivalent of a sugar pill in drug trials.
Dr Samuel: “This is an early study.
“Nevertheless, it looks like it might be utilised to match standard drug therapy in the treatment of conditions that are connected with pain, such as osteoarthritis, backache and cancers.”
The research study has actually been published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Medical Practice. More Reflexology research answers