Researchers at the University of Portsmouth concluded that people felt about 40 per cent less pain, and were able to tolerate pain for about 45 per cent longer, when they used reflexology as a method of pain relief.
Dr C Samuel, a trained reflexologist and who carried out the experiment as part of her PhD studies, said it was the first time this therapy had been scientifically tested as a treatment for acute pain.
She said the results suggested that reflexology could be used to complement conventional drug therapy in the treatment of conditions associated with pain such as osteoarthritis, backache and cancers.
The research is published in the journal Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice May 2013. More reseach is needed but this study highlights the positive effects reflexology may have on peoples ability to manage their pain.
More information can be found on our Reflexology research blog