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Reflexology is not an effective treatment for any medical condition

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by LuckyLisfranc, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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  2. perrypod

    perrypod Active Member

    I always thought that the purpose of reflexology was to provide a general sense of relaxation and wellbeing, not to specifically address ICD classified diseases? According to The World Health Organisation (WHO): "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". This definition was established in 1948 and so far has not been amended. What we could therefore ask ourselves, is whether or not reflexology can or cannot provide relaxation and a general sense of wellbeing? If it already does this then surely it can be seen to fall within the WHO remit? If it doesn't, what if anything, could we do to improve it efficacy?
     
  3. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Firstly the problem is that there is not one shred of evidence or even a biologically plausible mechanism/theory that can be used to show how reflexology actually might work. Its just made up woo.

    Secondly, every single well done clinical trail on "actual" reflexology has shown that it does not work.

    Thirdly, there is a big difference between "reflexology" and a "damn good foot rub". It is this "damn good foot rub" that
    and NOT the actual "reflexology". Clinical trials that have allegedly shown that "reflexology" works were not studies on "reflexology", but studies on a "damn good foot rub".
    That is not what the reflexologists claim. That is the woo.
    WHO also have other remits on use of evidence (look at the stand they took against homeopathy and ebola)
     
  4. You are mistaken. Foot massage provides a general sense of relaxation and wellbeing. Reflexologists make much grander claims about their foot massage than does a foot masseuse.

    Here is how reflexology is different than foot massage.

    Reflexology: A Close Look
     
  5. perrypod

    perrypod Active Member

    Craig, please forgive my ignorance but what exactly is "woo?". In August this year, WHO declared the Ebola outbreak, an international public health emergency and endorsed the use of experimental, unproven and unregistered interventions with unknown efficacy and adverse effects for treatment and prevention of Ebola, but at that time, even these experimental drugs were not available in sufficient quantities ...... Nobody as far as I know has proposed that reflexology will assist in eradicating Ebola?
     
  6. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Woo
    They speficifically said homeopathy would not work against ebola (see some of the woo in this thread on ebola)
     
  7. perrypod

    perrypod Active Member

    Hi everyone,

    Kevin I read your link Reflexology: A Close Look and now am not in the least bit surprised that you have developed serious concerns regarding its credentials. The research that I am citing below, although is by far from conclusive, directly approaches the subject from a research based angle: Reflexology has an acute (immediate) haemodynamic effect in healthy volunteers: A double-blind randomised controlled trial
    J Jones, P Thomson, W Lauder, K Howie… - … therapies in clinical …, 2012 - Elsevier
    ... Any reflexologist training provider appears able to create and publish a map according to ... organs
    or body parts is the one constant condition that reflexologists evoke, regardless of ... Furthermore,
    as reflexology is a complex intervention with many components, there may be other ...
    Abstract
    Reflexologists claim that massage to specific points of the feet increases blood supply to internal organs. This study measured changes in cardiovascular parameters in subjects receiving reflexology to areas of their feet thought to correspond to the heart (intervention) compared with other areas which are not (control).

    Method
    16 reflexology-naive healthy volunteers received an active and control reflexology treatment in an RCT, double-blind repeated measures study.

    Main outcome measures
    ‘Beat-to-beat’ continuous measurement of selected cardiovascular parameters, State Anxiety Inventory.

    Results
    Cardiac index decreased significantly in the intervention group during left foot treatment (LFT) (baseline mean 2.6; standard deviation (SD) 0.75; 95% CI ± 0.38 vs. LFT mean 2.45; SD 0.68; CI 0.35), effect size (p = 0.035, omega squared effect (w2) = 0.002; w = 0.045).

    Conclusion
    Reflexology massage applied to the upper part of the left foot may have a modest specific effect on the cardiac index of healthy volunteers.

    Keywords
    Reflexology; Randomised controlled trial; Complex interventions; Cardiovascular; Haemodynamic; Complementary therapy.

    As you can see, a small sample and a small positive outcome. Obviously to get a really accurate outcome there needs to be more research to draw any firm conclusions.

    On a totally different subject entirely, does anyone know of any really good research regarding
    epigenetics and muscular/skeletal problems? I have found a large list to wade through, just wondering if there is anyone out there who is an expert in this area so I can cut to the chase?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  8. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    They state quite emphatically in the full paper that the reflexology had no effect. The abstract was not a good summary of what they found.
    There is quite a bit in this thread: http://www.podiatry-arena.com/podiatry-forum/showthread.php?t=79398 (even though its on the diabetic foot, there is plenty of other stuff there) and there was this a few days ago in Runners World: http://www.runnersworld.com/health/the-epigenetics-of-endurance-training
     
  9. perrypod

    perrypod Active Member

    Thanks for the links to the epigentic research Craig, I appreciate that. Could you please cut and paste the part of the research that I have cited regarding the reflexology study, that differs in substance and form to the result claimed at the end of the abstract. I am at a loss? Conclusion: Reflexology massage applied to the upper part of the left foot may have a modest specific effect on the cardiac index of healthy volunteers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  10. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    I tried, but for some reason the PDF of the paper is not letting me cut and paste! I will try again later from another computer.
     
  11. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Here; this is first paragraph from the discussion:
    This is the conclusion from the paper:
    They don't quite match the abstract
     
  12. perrypod

    perrypod Active Member

    The reason I ask this is because just looking at the published statistics, we can see that the conclusion does show a modest specific effect? If this was not so I cannot see why the University would allow the conclusion to be published thus? Therefore, if you have a gripe regarding what has been cited, I think that you should take it up with Stirling University.
     
  13. perrypod

    perrypod Active Member

    OK Craig, I can see exactly where you are coming from! Stirling University did two research studies regarding reflexology in or around 2012, one was on people suffering from cardiac problems and the other study was on those that where deemed to be healthy. The one performed on the patients with cardiac problems was as you say negative, but the one that I have cited was moderately positive. It was the result of "stimulating" (for want of a better word), the nominated zone on the left foot of HEALTHY patients, according to reflexology zones proposed to correlate with the heart. So we had two studies that showed different results. The one on the patients with cardiac disease was as you say negative. The one on the healthy patients was otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  14. perrypod

    perrypod Active Member

    Craig, many thanks for the epigentic links, have you interest in this subject as well?
     
  15. NewsBot

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    The effect of foot Reflexology Massage on pain of scoliosis patients undergoing spinal surgery
    Sahbaee F, Abedini S, Ghandehari H, Zare M.
    JAP. 2015; 5 (2) :63-71
     
  16. HansMassage

    HansMassage Active Member

    OK this one is in line with what I practice which is not reflexology but ReflexPosturology. That is every part of the body has a corresponding support in the foot. The reflexology charts show the spinal column along the first metatarsal arch. The typical finding with scoliosis is that they compensate by elevating one arch and lowering the other. Clinically balancing the tibialis posterior is an important part of relieving scoliosis pain.
    In conclusion Reflexologists may produce positive outcome but they are blinded by their ideology from knowing what they have actually done.
     
  17. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    Self-Administered Foot Reflexology for the Management of Chronic Health Conditions: A Systematic Review.
    Song HJ1, Choi SM, Seo HJ, Lee H, Son H, Lee S.
    J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Jan 30
     
  18. Pod'sDog

    Pod'sDog Welcome New Poster

    I have a patient who uses reflexology for neuropathic pain (she has MS) She says it works better than any medication she has tried:pigs:
     
  19. Lab Guy

    Lab Guy Well-Known Member

    I don't have a problem believing it.

    Steven
     
  20. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Reflexology I would not believe. Damn good foot massage I could believe. There is a very big difference.
     
  21. Mr C.W.Kerans

    Mr C.W.Kerans Active Member

    If you believe that something is a benefit to you, you're right; if you believe that it is no damned good at all,.......you're right.
     
  22. NewsBot

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    Comparing the effects of reflexology and relaxation on fatigue in women with multiple sclerosis.
    Nazari F, Shahreza MS, Shaygannejad V, Valiani M
    Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2015 Mar-Apr;20(2):200-4.
     
  23. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Why do so many these "randomized" reflexology studies so often end up with the same number in each group?
     
  24. NewsBot

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    Comparison of the effects of reflexology and massage therapy on primary
    dysmenorrheal.

    Sara Azima, Hajar Rajaei Bakhshayesh, Samaneh Mousavi
    Biomedical Research 2015; 26 (3): 471-476 ISSN 0970-938X
     
  25. NewsBot

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    The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Acute Pain in Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
    Ko? T, G?zen D
    Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2015 Jul 28.
     
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    An exploratory study on the user experience of foot reflexology therapy using reflexology artifacts
    Download PDF
    Hector Chimeremeze Okere et al
    AIP Conf. Proc. 1669, 020074 (2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063
     
  27. NewsBot

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    Effects of Foot-Reflexology Massage on Fatigue, Stress and Postpartum Depression in Postpartum Women
    Choi MS, Lee EJ
    J Korean Acad Nurs. 2015 Aug;45(4):587-94. doi: 10.4040/jkan.2015.45.4.587.
     
  28. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Not randomised. Next.
     
  29. NewsBot

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    Evaluation of the Effect of Reflexology on Pain Control and Analgesic Consumption After Appendectomy.
    Khorsand A et al
    J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Sep 24
     
  30. NewsBot

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    Foot reflexology in feet impairment of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus: randomized trial.
    Silva NC et al
    Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2015 Aug;23(4):603-610.
     
  31. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    As in so many of these tests, the control group 'received guidelines on foot self care'. They did not get a good foot massage, which would be a reasonable comparator.

    To invest in such a therapy on the basis of one (dubious) trial involving a population of 45 would be questionable to say the least.

    Bill Liggins
     
  32. NewsBot

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    Effectiveness of reflexology on premenstrual syndrome among students
    Mrs. Prof. Nalini R.
    International Journal of Advances in Nursing Management; Year : 2015, Volume : 3, Issue : 2
     
  33. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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  34. NewsBot

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    A comparison of the effects of reflexology and relaxation on pain in women with multiple sclerosis.
    Nazari F, Soheili M, Hosseini S, Shaygannejad V.
    J Complement Integr Med. 2015 Nov 18
     
  35. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    Revisiting reflexology: Concept, evidence, current practice, and practitioner training.
    Embong NH et al
    J Tradit Complement Med. 2015 Sep 28;5(4):197-206. eCollection 2015.
     
  36. NewsBot

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    Comparing the Effects of Reflexology and Footbath on Sleep Quality in the Elderly: A Controlled Clinical Trial.
    Valizadeh L et al
    Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2015 Nov 1;17(11):e20111. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.20111.
     
  37. fishpod

    fishpod Well-Known Member

    and just who is going to pay for these foot massages and baths cos thats what this bull is all about a money wasting exercise, to put money in the hands of charlatans.
     
  38. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    There is clearly a fundamental problem with the experiment design - 'randomized groups n = 23 and n =23.'??? In addition we are not told the numbers in the control group, nor what happened with the control group The experiment would have some validity if the control group did have a foot massage.

    Cr#p in = Cr#p out.

    Bill Liggins
     
  39. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    I too fail to get it and have commented on it many times in this thread.
    Why do so many clinical trials on reflexology that are randomized almost always end up with the exact same number in each group? You never see that in the high impact factor journals - you only see it in the low impact factor journals.
     
  40. Ben Lovett

    Ben Lovett Member

    Hi Craig,

    Apologies if you've answered this previously elsewhere, but why is it necessarily problem to have a randomisation process that yields equal sized groups.

    There are many different conceivable randomisation techniques some will yield equal groups some unequal (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136079/).

    Some will also be valid and some not. Why are those yielding equal groups invalid?

    Cheers
    Ben
     
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