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Preliminary Results from Michigan State University Study on Reflexology and Chemotherapy


Reflexology improves by 10% the physical function of women undergoing chemotherapy for stage 3 and 4 breast cancer according to preliminary results from the much anticipated 5-year Michigan State University (MSU) study. The results reflected less difficulty in breathing for study participants who received reflexology with consequent improved abilities in activities such as walking, carrying groceries and climbing stairs.


Such improvement in quality of life for the cancer patients was reported by lead reflexologist Barbara Bower of Branch Reflexology noting the findings by Dr. Wyatt, principle investigator and Dr. Alla Sikorskii, co-investigator and statistician of MSU. Barbara developed the 9-step reflexology protocol utilized in the research.


385 women participated in the study with: 141 assigned to a reflexology group (1 session each week for 4 weeks); 143 assigned to receive "manipulation of the feet that was designed to be similar to reflexology, but delivered by lay people" and 96 assigned to a control group. "Women in the reflexology group had less trouble breathing compared to women in the control group, and also compared to women who received lay foot manipulation."


More will be reported here as the official study results are released.


A $3.5 million National Institute of Health grant made possible the study. Thanks to positive results, a grant in a similar amount will fund a further study of reflexology and cancer care patients expected to begin later this year. Studied will be the impact of reflexology administered by primary care givers trained in the 9-step protocol developed by Barbara Brower. Barbara has launched an education program for teaching others the protocol. (www.branchreflexology.com )


Research Results from around the Globe: Reflexology Aids Patient Care


World map
Reflexology Aids Patient Care

Positive results from the Michigan State University (MSU) study, conducted within the school's nursing department, bring focus to positive results from reflexology research by nurses around the globe. The MSU research adds to 65 previously reported studies by nurses with 24 about cancer care. The amount of funding-$3.5 million-and the number of participants-385- demonstrates increasing interest in reflexology research in America. In addition, the inclusion in the research of reflexology provided by lay people or caregivers, pioneered by reflexologist and nursing professor Dr. Nancy Stephenson of Eastern North Carolina State University, demonstrates the viable inclusion of reflexology in efficacious and cost-effective patient care.


As with the MSU results, positive results from recent reflexology research by midwives and nurses in Iran (dysmenorrhea and cesarean section) as well as an MD. D. in India (epilepsy) demonstrate the world wide potential for reflexology application in medical care. Comments in these studies note the universal solutions sought for patient problems: a natural solution to lessening pain (dysmenorrhea) avoiding complications of drugs; the benefits provided by reflexology of additional pain relief following surgery when medication alone does not meet patients' physical and psychological needs (cesarean section) and the challenge of treating intractable illness where medical measures do not fully resolve patient's symptoms (epilepsy)


.Research conducted by Geneva Association of Nurse Reflexologists (ACT) is anticipated, following analysis of research, will shed further light on such use of reflexology as a solution to a problem not met by standard medical practice. Reflexology was applied to 900 patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU) at The ICU Surgical University Hospitals of Geneva to study its impact on the quality of agitation experienced by post-surgical patients. "The assumption was that it is possible to prevent episodes of agitation and their consequences in acting on the patient's environment with the IR-afferents and methods of relaxation. The objective was to test using a prospective randomized study (with control group) whether the introduction of relaxation methods (music, reflexology) and afferent could prevent episodes of agitation."