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Reflexology

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Reflexology is a practice in which different amounts of pressure are applied to specific points on the feet or hands. These points are believed to match up with certain other parts of the body. Reflexology is claimed to cause relaxation and healing in those parts of the body, but this has not been proven.

  • In a study funded by the National Cancer Institute, women with advanced breast cancer who received reflexology treatments showed improvement in a few symptoms, such as shortness of breath, but not others, such as nausea or pain. In this study, reflexology was safe even for the most fragile patients.
  • A small amount of research suggests that reflexology might be helpful for reducing a burning or prickling sensation sometimes associated with multiple sclerosis, but there’s insufficient evidence to support the use of reflexology for most multiple sclerosis symptoms.
  • There’s too little evidence on reflexology for irritable bowel syndrome to allow any conclusions to be reached about whether it’s helpful.

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Last Updated: January 2020