This treatment modality is thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health. Reflexology should be used with, not in place of, standard cancer therapy.
What does reflexology involve?
Reflexology uses the foot as a map of the body and treats various ailments by applying pressure to specific areas of the feet thought to correspond to each organ system. Reflexology has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine and believes in the life force, or Qi, that runs in channels throughout the body. By applying pressure to specific areas of the foot, reflexologists believe they can influence a patient's Qi. (Please see traditional Chinese medicine).
How is reflexology thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health?
Reflexology proponents believe that by applying pressure to specific points on the foot, energy flow is increased to the target organs. Health problems are thought to be treated by stimulating internal organs, boosting circulation and restoring bodily functions to normal. Reflexologists claim they can reduce stress and tension, improve circulation and increase wellness. They do not claim to cure illness.
What has been proven about the benefit of reflexology?
There is no scientific evidence that reflexology works. Some proponents claim that reflexology causes the release of endorphins or natural pain killers by the brain. Others believe that pressure causes uric acid crystals, that accumulate the in feet, to dissipate. Neither explanation has been proven. It is most probable that pressure on the feet feels like and produces the same beneficial effects of massage, which include promotion of relaxation and enhanced well-being.
What is the potential risk or harm of reflexology?
Reflexology is a gentle, non-invasive therapy with no known side effects.
How much does reflexology cost?
Costs will vary with the practitioner. Reflexology is usually performed by a trained reflexologist but can be learned in books, and then self-administered, to reduce costs. There is no medication or special equipment needed.
For additional information:
International Institute of Reflexology
5650 First Avenue North
P.O. Box 12642
St. Petersburg, FL 33733-2642
Telephone: (727) 343-4811
Web site: www.reflexology-usa.net/
Note: Information about therapies is intended to help you make informed choices, not to endorse any particular therapy. The information is courtesy of "Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients," a handbook written as an independent study project by Heather Morein. For more information, see the full text of the handbook (PDF), including all references and appendices.