Reflexology. no proven value

Epub: Miller et al. Evaluation of the effects of reflexology on quality of life and symptomatic relief in multiple sclerosis patients with moderate to severe disability; a pilot study. Clin Rehabil. 2013 Feb.

Objective: To examine the feasibility of delivering reflexology to people moderately to severely affected by multiple sclerosis and to investigate the effect on a range of symptoms.

Methods: A pilot single-blind randomized placebo controlled trial was conducted. Twenty people moderately to severely affected by multiple sclerosis were randomized into one of two groups receiving either reflexology or sham reflexology. Each participant received 8 weeks, 1 hour per week of either reflexology or sham reflexology. The primary outcome measure was the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS29). Secondary measures assessed a range of symptoms at baseline, 8 weeks and 16 weeks.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups at either 8 (P = 0.538) or 16 (P = 0.112) weeks for the primary outcome measure; however, both groups demonstrated small improvements from 92.3 (SD 20.9) to 75.6 (SD 3.3) with reflexology, and 91.3 (SD 29.9) to 81.5 (±18.5) with sham reflexology group after 8 weeks of treatment. Small improvements were noted in most of the secondary outcome measures at 8 weeks. There was no difference between the groups at 8 weeks except for bladder function (P = 0.003) and most scores returned to baseline at follow-up.

Conclusions: The results do not support the use of reflexology for symptom relief in a more disabled multiple sclerosis population and are strongly suggestive of a placebo response. This study demonstrates, however, that reflexology can be delivered and is well tolerated by people who are moderately to severely affected by multiple sclerosis.

This study examined the use of reflexology and  which is the application of pressure to areas of the body such as the feet, etc. with hands, fingers etc. without the use of oil. This study indicates that it does not do much for symptom relief. However, the study was small and was it really powered enough to show a difference. So no doubt we we will see another underpowered study in the future not telling us much definative. So if it it makes you feel better that’s great and enjoy the experience but there is nothing to indicate that it does anything medically.

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  • I had a friend who was studying reflexology and wanted to practice on me. It was a miserable experience. Almost everything she did seemed to make my legs spasm.

  • I strongly disagree. I have had MS for 12 years. Reflexology worked for me and still does. It is great for my legs, relaxation and sleep.

    • Had MS for over 30 years and it helps my numb feet. It does give me leg spasms in the same way a pedicure does. I just take a Tizanidine pill half an hour before I have it.

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