Reflexology Research

Although health researchers only recently have begun studying reflexology in a scientifically rigorous way, it’s widely practiced in many parts of the world and dates back thousands of years. 

There have now been many research studies around the world showing reflexology to be effective for a variety of health concerns.


Reflexology shows promise for treating breast cancer symptoms

Complementary therapies for patients with cancer:  Reflexology and relaxation in integrative palliative care.  A randomised controlled comparative study.
Conclusion:  A research study comparing reflexology to relaxation sessions in people living with cancer showed a significant decrease with both interventions in anxiety and depression. However, reflexology was found to be more effective in improving QoL (physical component) and had a greater effect on pain management than relaxation.

The effects of reflexology on anxiety, depression and quality of life in patients with gynaecological cancers with reference to Watson’s theory of human caring.
Conclusion: A study of reflexology in women with gynaecological cancers showed a reduction in anxiety, depression and an improvement in quality of life.


The effect of foot reflexology applied to women aged between 40 and 60 on vasomotor complaints and quality of life
Conclusion:  Reflexology can be effective in decreasing vasomotor (hot flashes, sweats, and night sweats) problems and increasing quality of life in the menopausal period

The effects of foot reflexology on depression during menopause: A randomized controlled clinical trial
Conclusion:  Reflexology can be effective for reducing women’s depression during menopause

The effects of reflexology on sleep disorder in menopausal women
Conclusion:  Reflexology is an effective therapy for sleep disorders and hot flushes in menopause


The effect of Reflexology on labour pain, anxiety, labour duration and birth satisfaction in primiparous pregnant women: A randomized controlled trial.
Conclusion: A study comparing reflexology during the first stage of labour to a control, showed reflexology is effective at decreasing pain and anxiety and increases birth satisfaction.

Reviewing the effects of Reflexology on pain and outcomes of the labour of primiparous women
Conclusion: Reflexology can lead to decrease in the labour pain. Therefore, regarding to the safety of this technique, it can be replaced as an alternative for pharmacological methods.

The effect of Reflexology on pain intensity and duration of labour on primiparas
Conclusion:  Our findings showed that reflexology can be useful to decrease the pain intensity as well as duration of labour.

A pilot randomised controlled trial exploring the effects of antenatal reflexology on labour outcomes
Conclusion: In this trial antenatal reflexology reduced labour duration for primiparous women who had experienced low back and/or pelvic girdle pain during their pregnancy, compared with usual care and footbaths.

Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst post partum women
Conclusion: an intervention involving foot reflexology in the postnatal period significantly improved the quality of sleep.

Reflexology: A randomised controlled trial investigating the effects of beta-endorphin, cortisol and pregnancy related stress
Conclusion: Reflexology during pregnancy may help reduce low back and/or pelvic girdle pain and associated stress.

The Effects of Foot Reflexology on the Anxiety Levels of Women in Labour.
Conclusion: Foot reflexology was found to have a positive effect in lowering the total anxiety scores of the pregnant women.