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Research in Reflexology


There are two studies from Japan using functional magnetic resonance imaging that show increased blood flow into the specific area of the brain that corresponds to the reflex point that is being worked on in the foot. (1, 2)


1.    Somatotopical relationships between cortical activity and reflex areas in reflexology: a fucntional magnetic resonance imaging study. Nakumanu T, Miura N. Fukushima R. Neurosci Lett. 2008 Dec 19;448(1):6-9. Doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.10.022

2.    Activity in the primary somatosensory cortex induced by reflexological stimulation is unaffected by pseudo-information: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study: Miura N, Akitsuki Y, Sekiguchi A, Kawashima. Complement Altern  Med. 2013 May 27;13;114. 


Recent studies have shown that reflexology:

  • Can significantly reduce pain during labour(1, 3),

  • Can reduce the length of the first stage of labour(1, 3).

  • Improved quality of sleep in post-natal women(2).

  • Shorter second stage for women with low back pain or pelvic girdle pain (6 x weekly reflexology) (4)

  • Reduced pain and stress levels for women with low back pain or pelvic girdle pain (6 x weekly reflexology) (4)

  • Lowers anxiety scores of women in labour (30 minute treatment) (5)


1. VALIANI M ET AL (2010) Reviewing the effect of Reflexology on pain and outcomes of the labour of primiparous women. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research


2. LI C-Y ET AL (2011) Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst post partum women. Midwifery. 27. p181- 186


3. Iran Red Crescent Med J 2011; 13(7):475-479 ©Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal.




5. The Effect of Foot Reflexology on the Anxiety Levels of Women in Labour. Yılar Erkek Z, Aktas S. J Altern Complement Med. 2018 Apr;24(4):352-360

Research: Text
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