1. Reflexology for the treatment of pain in people with multiple sclerosis: a double-blind randomised sham-controlled clinical trial.

Hughes CM, Smyth S, Lowe-Strong AS.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19825891

 

Source

School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Life and Health Sciences, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland. cm.hughes@ulster.ac.uk

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) results in pain and other symptoms which may be modified by conventional treatment, however, MS is still not curable. Several studies have reported positive effects of reflexology in the treatment of pain, however, no randomised controlled clinical trials for the treatment of pain have been conducted within this population. The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of reflexology on pain in and MS population. We randomly allocated 73 participants to receive either precision or sham reflexology weekly for 10 weeks. Outcome measures were taken pre-and post-treatment with follow-up at 6 and 12 weeks by a researcher blinded to group allocation. The primary outcome measure recorded pain using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). A significant (p < 0.0001) and clinically important decrease in pain intensity was observed in both groups compared with baseline. Median VAS scores were reduced by 50% following treatment, and maintained for up to 12 weeks. Significant decreases were also observed for fatigue, depression, disability, spasm and quality of life. In conclusion, precision reflexology was not superior to sham, however, both treatments offer clinically significant improvements for MS symptoms via a possible placebo effect or stimulation of reflex points in the feet using non-specific massage.

PMID: 19825891

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

2. Reflexology treatment relieves symptoms of multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled study.

Siev-Ner I, Gamus D, Lerner-Geva L, Achiron A.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12926840

 

Source

Complementary Medicine Clinic, Department of Orthopedic Rehabilitation, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effect of reflexology on symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in a randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial.

METHODS:

Seventy-one MS patients were randomized to either study or control group, to receive an 11-week treatment. Reflexology treatment included manual pressure on specific points in the feet and massage of the calf area. The control group received nonspecific massage of the calf area. The intensity of paresthesias, urinary symptoms, muscle strength and spasticity was assessed in a masked fashion at the beginning of the study, after 1.5 months of treatment, end of study and at three months of follow-up.

RESULTS:

Fifty-three patients completed this study. Significant improvement in the differences in mean scores of paresthesias (P = 0.01), urinary symptoms (P = 0.03) and spasticity (P = 0.03) was detected in the reflexology group. Improvement with borderline significance was observed in the differences in mean scores of muscle strength between the reflexology group and the controls (P = 0.06). The improvement in the intensity of paresthesias remained significant at three months of follow-up (P = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

Specific reflexology treatment was of benefit in alleviating motor; sensory and urinary symptoms in MS patients.

PMID: 12926840

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

3. What do people talk about during reflexology? Analysis of worries and concerns expressed during sessions for patients with multiple sclerosis.

Mackereth PA, Booth K, Hillier VF, Caress AL.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19341986

 

Source

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK. peter.mackereth@christie.nhs.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Our previous study evaluated the use of reflexology compared to progressive muscular relaxation in improving the psychological and physical profile associated with multiple sclerosis. In this paper audiotapes from the reflexology sessions have been analysed to give a picture of the nature of interaction between patients and therapists during treatment.

METHODS:

A crossover design with two groups was chosen. Each participant received six sessions of both interventions. All reflexology sessions were recorded and the tapes transcribed and analysed.

RESULTS:

Analysis of the available audiotapes (n=245) revealed that reflexology provided opportunities for 48 out of the 50 participants to share worries and concerns. Recurring disclosure themes related to physical symptoms and treatment, psychological concerns, home/family worries, and work/leisure issues. Explorative analysis revealed some differences in the amount of disclosure over the weeks, between for example the participant's type of MS and time living with the diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Reflexology appears to have created a space for patients to talk about their worries and concerns, and to receive advice and support from the nurse therapists. This work contributes to the debate about the role of the therapeutic relationship within reflexology practice.

PMID: 19341986

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]