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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2013 Aug;19(3):133-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2013.03.004. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Reflexology has no immediate haemodynamic effect in patients with chronic heart failure: a double blind randomised controlled trial.

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  • 1School of Nursing, Midwifery& Health, University of Stirling, Highland Campus, Old Perth Road, Inverness IV2 3JH, UK.



This study measured the effects of reflexology in 12 reflexology-naive patients with chronic heart failure in a placebo-controlled, double blind randomised controlled study design.


Outcomes included 'beat-to-beat' non-invasive continuous measurement of cardiovascular parameters and measurement of state of anxiety and pain/discomfort.


There were no changes in any of the haemodynamic parameters measured (all p > 0.05). Perceived state of anxiety was significantly reduced post treatment in the control group only (p = 0.03).


Reflexology applied to the feet of patients with chronic heart failure appears to have no immediate haemodynamic effects. While any long term treatment effect is uncertain, it would appear that reflexology is safe for use in this patient group.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Cardiac patients; Chronic heart failure; Complementary therapy; Randomised controlled trial; Reflexology

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