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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Feb;22:16-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.11.001. Epub 2015 Nov 17.

The acute (immediate) effects of reflexology on arterial compliance in healthy volunteers: A randomised study.

Author information

1
Undergraduate Medical School, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK.
2
Faculty of Health Science, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA, UK.
3
Raigmore Hospital, Old Perth Road, Inverness, IV32 3UJ, UK.
4
Department of Diabetes & Cardiovascular Science, University of the Highlands and Islands, Centre for Health Science, Old Perth Road, Inverness, IV2 3JH, UK.
5
Raigmore Hospital, Old Perth Road, Inverness, IV32 3UJ, UK; Department of Diabetes & Cardiovascular Science, University of the Highlands and Islands, Centre for Health Science, Old Perth Road, Inverness, IV2 3JH, UK. Electronic address: Stephen.leslie@nhs.net.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Reflexology is a widely used complementary therapy. The effects of reflexology on the cardiovascular system are not well characterised. Arterial stiffness (compliance) is a marker of vascular health. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of reflexology on arterial compliance in healthy volunteers.

METHODS:

12 healthy volunteers (1 male; 11 female; mean age 44.8 ± 10.8 yrs) received 10 min of reflexology on each foot in a single-blind randomised study. The main outcome measures were measurements of cardiovascular parameters including heart rate, blood pressure and arterial compliance (augmentation index).

RESULTS:

Reflexology had no significant effect on heart rate, blood pressure or augmentation index (all p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

In healthy volunteers, there were no consistent changes in haemodynamic parameters with a single brief reflexology treatment. Thus from a cardiovascular point of view, reflexology (as delivered) would appear to have a limited (if any) effect on the cardiovascular system.

KEYWORDS:

Augmentations index; Health volunteers; Reflexology; Vascular health

PMID:
26850799
DOI:
10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.11.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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