Research study 2014 finds reflexology improves cardiac output.
A research team at Stirling University Scotland have undertaken a three year study into the effects of reflexology on heart function in healthy volunteers. The team included PhD researcher Jenny Jones, from the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health, and Professor Steve Leslie, a cardiologist from the Cardiac Unit at Raigmore Hospital.
The study involved the use of a reflexology point known as the heart point, compared to a sham reflexology point on the subject's heel. The results showed that during the use of the true heart point the volunteers displayed a small improvement in cardiac output. This is a measure of how efficiently the heart is pumping. Significantly there was no change at all during the sham treatment.
This research therefore shows that reflexology has a physical effect on the functioning of the body. Many who enjoy reflexology treatments would agree that reflexology has a positive effect on their body but it is very difficult to prove this scientifically. This study suggests that with an approach focusing on one specific physical function it may be possible to scientifically demonstrate the physical effects of reflexology.
This research also looked at the effects of reflexology on patients with heart disease. Interestingly, there was no significant change in the heart function of cardiac patients. Whilst this may appear disappointing all the patients found the treatment relaxing and the research shows no negative effects. This would suggest that reflexology is a safe therapy for clients with heart problems who want to benefit from relaxation.
Although this is a robust study following strict research guidelines it only used a small number of volunteers. Further research is needed to provide unique data to enable both reflexology clients and clinicians to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of reflexology.
If you are concerened about your heart health please contact a medical practitioner as reflexology and other holistic therpies are not designed to replace medical diagnosis or treatment.
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