This article is from the Alternative Medicine Therapies guide.
Reflexology is recommended as an adjunct therapy, and is never the main treatment for a condition. Proponents say that it is particularly useful for stress-related conditions, including headaches and digestive disorders. It may also be helpful for asthma and irritable bowel syndrome, for easing symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), for skin conditions such as acne and eczema, and for chronic pain from conditions such as sciatica and arthritis.
Although scientific evidence is limited, a few studies have shown reflexology to be beneficial. In one study, 35 California women who suffered from PMS were divided into two groups. One group received true reflexology and the control group got a sham treatment. The women who received the real treatment reported a significantly greater decrease in PMS symptoms.
In another study of 220 Danish patients with tension or migraine headaches, 81% reported that reflexology sessions reduced or cured their headache pain.
And, in yet another recent study, it was found that breast and lung cancer patients experienced less anxiety after reflexology. The breast cancer patients also experienced a decrease in pain.