Reflexology is a popular complementary therapy enjoyed by people of all ages around the world. I work in a busy reflexology practice in Kidderminster DY115LB with clients experiencing many different issues including headaches. As I am from a nursing background I always look into the reflexology research to guide my treatments and inform clients of the results obtained.
Headaches can range from a mild discomfort that causes little trouble to a debilitating condition that seriously limits people's lives. If you experience headaches it is important to speak to your G.P. about the symptoms prior to addressing them through complementary therapy. The NHS statistics stats that more than 10 million people in the UK get headaches regularly, making them one of the most common health complaints. But most aren't serious and are easily treated. Tension headaches are the most common headache and are what we generally think of as a normal, "everyday" headache. They generally feel like a steady ache that affects both sides of the head. A tension headache normally won't be severe enough to prevent you doing everyday activities. They usually last for 30 minutes to several hours, but can last for several days. there are many other types of headaches such as migraines, cluster headaches, hormonal headaches, viral headaches and rarely headaches related to conditions such as stroke, brain injury or brain tumour. For more information on types of headache please visit NHS conditions and search "headache".
In 1995 a Danish study involving 220 subjects being given reflexology for 3 months concluded that 65% found reflexology helpful for managing their headaches while 16 % reported that they felt their headaches were cured.
A Chinese study in 1993 looked at 7 adults with a variety of headache types including tension and migraine. After two sessions of reflexology five of the subjects found their symptoms alleviated while the remaining two were improved after three sessions. Another Chinese study looked at a larger group of subjects and concluded that foot reflexology was a helpful technique for managing symptoms.
In 2000 reflexology for migraines headaches was studied. 60 cases including men and women were divided into two groups, one treatment and one control. The treatment group received reflexology daily for two weeks. The control group were given medication. The study concluded that 83% of the treatment group found reflexology to be effective compared to 66% of the medication group. The reflexology group experienced no unpleasant side effects but the medication group reported dry mouths, drowsiness and nausea. A Danish study also focused on migraine headaches. the study concluded that reflexology was supportive for migraine sufferers who reported significant reductions in medication use after reflexology treatments.
Reflexology is a complementary therapy which has been shown to be effective for the relief of tension headaches and migraines. The studies are, however, all small in size and consequently all results must be considered as informative rather than prescriptive.