What is Evidence Based Practice?
An evidence based practice (EBP) is any practice that relies on scientific evidence for guidance and decision-making. This means I won’t tell you Reflexology can cure every health problem, because research has not shown that. I will decide whether to treat you based on the Reflexology research that is available. Practices that are not evidence-based may rely on tradition, intuition, or other unproven methods.
There are still many unanswered questions about Reflexology – research is ongoing.
Below is a list of health conditions that we know Reflexology can improve, with links to relevant research.
- Constipation (research shows Reflexology is effective at inducing bowel movements)
- Depression (research shows reduction in female depression after Reflexology) theta brain states improve depression)
- Anxiety and health problems worsened by anxiety (research shows anxiety is reduced during and after Reflexology)
- Stress (research shows Reflexology reduces stress, both physiologically and according to subjective patient report/scoring)
- Oedema (post operative fluid retention, general fluid retention, lymphedema)
- High blood pressure (research shows Reflexology reduces hypertension)
- High Triglycerides (research shows Reflexology reduces Triglyceride levels in the blood. Triglycerides increase the chance of stroke, heart disease, and heart attack)
- Insomnia (research shows improvements in sleep tendencies after Reflexology)
- Fatigue (research shows Reflexology can reduce fatigue)
- Poor circulation (research shows Reflexology improves blood circulation)
- Pain (research shows a reduction in pain after Reflexology has been administered)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) (research shows a reduction in fatigue and anxiety in MS patients)(research shows reduced pain in MS patients after Reflexology)(research shows less tingling and neuropathy symptoms after Reflexology)
- Palliative support (research shows reduction of anxiety and stress in care settings, better circulation for bed-bound patients, improved wellbeing, decreased lymphedema, reduced anxiety)
- Heart condition support and heart attack recovery (research shows reduced stress and anxiety in cardiac patients, lower systolic blood pressure, reduced heart and respiratory rates after receiving Reflexology)
- Cancer support (research shows reduced anxiety and stress in cancer patients, after Reflexology) (research shows decreased lymphedema)
- Antenatal (pre-birth) Support (research shows reduced maternal fatigue after Reflexology and improved wellbeing) (research shows improvement in lower back and pelvic pain during pregnancy with Reflexology intervention)(research shows a reduction in hyperemesis gravidarum and in regular nausea with Reflexology using the Nei-Guan acupressure point – P6)(research shows a possible improvement in lower leg oedema after Reflexology)
- Labour support (research shows reflexology reduces anxiety in the labouring mother and promotes a positive birthing experience)(research shows Reflexology reduces maternal fatigue)(research shows reduced labour duration if Reflexology is administered antenatally on a regular basis) (it is understood that fear and pain interact in a cycle and that Reflexology can break this cycle during labour, increasing relaxation, reducing fear and pain and less use of Entonox)
- Lactation Support Post-Partum (research shows Reflexology aids mothers in initiating lactation after birth and improves milk volume)
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) (research shows Reflexology can reduce PMS symptoms) (research shows reduced stress and depression and improved blood circulation in premenopausal women)
- Immunity (research shows improved immunity in women)
- Detoxification (improved lymphatic drainage, stimulation of kidneys, liver, bowel and bladder)
- Dementia support (research shows reduced pain, stress and anxiety in dementia patients after Reflexology) (research shows reduced aggression in Alzheimer’s patients after Reflexology)
- Fibromyalgia (research shows reduction of pain in head, neck and shoulders)
- Lymph drainage (research shows better lymph drainage after Reflexology)
- Headaches/Migraines (research shows positive correlation between Reflexology treatment and reduction in headache frequency)
- Reducing Absenteeism At Work (research shows Reflexology intervention in the workplace reduces absenteeism and improves wellbeing of employees)
- Infant colic (research suggests colic symptoms are improved after Reflexology)
- Diabetes (research shows reduction in triglyceride levels and other symptoms after Reflexology)
- Stroke (research suggests Reflexology can aid in post-stroke recovery)